Social Impact at CIC Massachusetts

CIC Massachusetts is proud to open a Social Impact Cohort which will provide unique programming that supports small organizations led by historically underserved entrepreneurs from Massachusetts. This opportunity is made possible by the Capital Readiness Program grant awarded by the Minority Business Development Agency, in which CIC was the only Massachusetts organization selected to receive funds.

Three people collaborating in an office

Our Social Impact Cohort

Social impact touches all areas of our community and economy. CIC strives to provide a positive, collaborative, and business-enhancing place for entrepreneurs to grow and innovate. We help connect the innovation community of Greater Boston and Massachusetts with the global innovation ecosystem to help solve tomorrow’s problems.

The companies in our Social Impact Cohort will receive complimentary access to work at one of our Massachusetts innovation campuses—an environment that encourages collaboration, learning opportunities, and interaction. They will also get access to regular programming through CIC, and local partners will provide cohort members with educational and networking opportunities. Additionally, cohort participants will receive 1:1 mentorship and introductions to potential capital investors.


Our ideal candidates are small organizations in the growth stages (approximately seed – Series  A). Candidates should have businesses based in Massachusetts. Founders should identify as coming from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  Check out our FAQ below for more details on eligibility.


CIC Massachusetts’ Social Impact Cohort is a small group of intentionally chosen, growth-stage entrepreneurs based in Massachusetts. As part of the cohort, you’ll be a member of CIC, which means you’re joining a global network of entrepreneurs and innovators.


Applications are now closed for the February 2024 cohort. Candidates who were chosen to proceed to the final interview stage can expect to have a short call in January 2024. The final cohort will be announced at the end of January 2024 to begin on February 12, 2024, and will run for 6 months. Fill out the form below to keep in touch about future cohorts.


Our ideal candidates are small organizations in the growth stages (approximately seed – Series  A). Candidates should have businesses based in Massachusetts. Founders should identify as coming from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

We welcome startups in all industries to apply. We are particularly excited about companies in AI, robotics, life science, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, digital health, pharmaceuticals, defense, sustainability, climate tech, food tech, and fintech, but encourage any company, regardless of industry, to submit an application.

Each startup can have up to two representatives during the program. We would recommend that founders/CEOs and any decision makers plan to participate.

Yes! Participants will receive complimentary coworking access for the duration of the program, as well as for 3 months following their completion of the program.

In addition to curated networking events to allow participants to meet experts in their industry, build relationships with investors, and develop peer relationships, participants will also gain access to CIC’s global network of over 1,000+ entrepreneurs worldwide.

We will endeavor to make as much programming available both virtually and in-person as possible. Most lectures and mentoring sessions will be available virtually. However, some events can only be attended in-person, and we will make sure to give you notice when these are scheduled.

  • Expanded network of potential mentors, investors, and business contacts
  • Increased skills and knowledge to support your startup’s growth
  • Improved pitch and presentation deck
  • Strong community of peer support
  • Professional headshots
  • Access to CIC’s coworking space and global community
  • Opportunity to be awarded a small stipend at the final pitch event

Fill out the form below with information about your businesses and the support/services you’d like to provide.


Meet the 2024 Cohort

Yoku AI

Vasha DuTell, CEO
Anne Harrington, CTO

Tell us about your organization.

Yoku combines expertise in human perception with cutting-edge computer vision and AI technology to predict the visibility of content when viewed peripherally. We use this innovative blend of AI and vision science to help inform critical design choices.

What do you hope to get out of this program?

We are excited to grow our network, be part of a supportive cohort, and learn from all the educational content!

Ethos Admissions

Lani Willmar, founder
Leo Liu, Assistant

Tell us about your organization.

Ethos Admissions is where college readiness meets community building. What if instead of trying to stand out from the pack, students learn how to become part of a great one? Our mission is to disrupt the traditional college admissions consulting market and offer a new alternative. Through small group cohorts, we aim to create social impact and genuine college readiness through thoughtfully designed programs for both individual and collective success.

What do you hope to get out of this program?

I created Ethos Admissions because even in a competitive world, I believe community building and collaboration are key ingredients to success. I am hoping to gain a sense of true community with fellow members of the program as we learn how to run our organizations in parallel with each other.


Elizabeth McWhorter, Founder

Tell us about your organization.

ThriveIEP is changing how parents and educators manage the special education process, empowering them with a robust platform that provides generative AI-driven insights, information, and assistance—ultimately improving education outcomes for kids. Our unprecedented dataset will transform into insights and actions that change policy and practice at systemic and local levels.

What do you hope to get out of this program?

There are three big things for me. First, being surrounded by other innovators and entrepreneurs. Second, access to knowledge and resources in a structured way. And third, building my network and confidence in the startup community.

CircNova Inc.

Crystal Brown, CEO

Tell us about your organization.

CircNova is an early stage deep biotechnology company addressing drug discovery challenges by combining AI, cutting-edge scientific innovation, and modern drug development techniques to develop non-coding circular RNAs l to program cells for treating unmet medical needs and previously undrugged diseases.

What do you hope to get out of this program?

I look forward to connecting with leaders and mentors in the Boston biotech ecosystem that will give applicable guidance to new founders like myself who are building high growth companies as efficiently as possible.


Vaibhav Anand, CTO
Pedro Ojeda, CEO

Tell us about your organization.

Own, control, and diversify your real estate investments with just $1. It’s the modern way to invest in property, your way!

RequestFOIA, Inc.

Herbert Myers, founder

Tell us about your organization.

RequestFOIA is a digital transformation company that caters to government agencies and public sector clients in need of workflow based public records software applications.

What do you hope to get out of this program?

A life-long relationship with mentors and alumni.


Emily Hao, CEO

Tell us about your organization.

Investing At Home is the go-to platform for democratized alternative investments, where anyone, regardless of their financial background, can explore and invest in a wide range of assets. By integrating community building and influencer engagement into the investment process, Investing At Home aims to create a dynamic, supportive ecosystem that not only facilitates financial growth but also fosters learning and collaboration among its users.

Coils to Locs

Dianne Austin, CEO
Pamela Shaddock, COO

Tell us about your organization.

Coils to Locs is a social impact, for-profit business filling a gap neglected by the major U.S. wig distributors supporting the lucrative hair loss industry: The lack of availability of premium, coily, curly, culturally-sensitive wigs, (hair prosthesis) targeting Black women experiencing medical and non-medical hair loss.

What do you hope to get out of this program?

We are excited to network with industry experts and like-minded entrepreneurs in ways that will support our ability to learn from others and share what we’ve learned during our entrepreneurial journey.

Thank you for your interest in the CIC Massachusetts Social Impact Cohort

Applications for our February 2024 cohort are now closed.

Fill out the form below to keep in touch about future cohorts, or to provide support/services to our current cohort.

Please email

This webpage was prepared by CIC using Federal funds under award MB23OBD0340313 from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) or the U.S. Department of Commerce.