Social Innovation Incubator at Duke

Being in the I&E “Design to Impact” Incubator means that we have a stake in your success.

Design to Impact is an incubator providing mentorship, coaching, and access to additional advisors and financial resources to compelling social entrepreneurship programs created by students. Originally Tony Brown’s ELI Incubator, this incubator now includes projects launched in his classes as well as other projects growing at the university level.

What does being in the Incubator entail?

  • The core of the program will include coaching from Social Entrepreneurship staff at Duke I&E and alumni who will provide you with as many resources as possible to help you and your venture succeed.
  • Incubator teams will also participate in meet-ups with the other teams in the incubator every semester.
  • Teams in the incubator will be required to send semester or semi-annual updates of progress and events, as well as an updated description of the project to Katherine Black ( and Matt Nash (
  • Incubator teams will receive special consideration for other resources such as conferences, funding, placement on Duke’s Indiegogo page, etc.
  • Students on incubator teams will also be invited to be student representatives at special events that we hold.

Requirements before applying:

  • Provide a well thought out “one-pager” describing your venture’s mission, accomplishments, and goals.

Please note: This concept of this incubator originated out of Tony Brown’s ELI program. Therefore, all projects/ventures that come out of Tony Brown’s Social Entrepreneurship class have special consideration, pending Tony’s endorsement, if they fulfill the application requirements. These teams can stay in the incubator for the allotted time if they have shown measurable traction with their venture.

How to be considered:

  • Set up a meeting with Katherine Black (
  • Please bring a “one-pager” describing your venture, including:
    • Brief project description and mission
    • Results to date
    • Goals for the future
    • Please include website or social media, if applicable.
  • It will then be decided if you will be accepted into the Incubator or if you need to spend more time on some project development.

If you are a student who is interested in joining one of the Incubator teams, please contact Katherine Black (

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Past Projects in the Incubator

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