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Summer 2018 Alley Member Highlights

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Celebrating achievements, inspiring innovation, and building community is an essential part of Alley's business model. We are proud to share the stories of these Alley members, who have disrupted different sectors by introducing innovative ideas and visions of a better world. The start-ups listed below have begun to make their mark in their sectors, and are gearing up to move towards the next phase of their growth, whether it is landing seed funding, or expanding to new markets. These start-up's underline the fact that building a more inclusive, equitable future is not just a fantasy, but a work in progress.


Curating digital experiences for millennials, Blavity is a media company that connects creators and influencers with a broader audience. Shining a spotlight on the issues and topics that matter to black entrepreneurs and leaders, Blavity reaches over 7 million millennials a month, providing a platform to support each other’s creativity. With a mission to change the narrative of black millennials in mainstream media, Blavity offers engaging and insightful pieces on the state of the racial issues in America, and the impact on black Americans.

Blavity's unique voice and vision for more equitable representation led to a 6.5 million dollar investment by Google Ventures (GV).

Member of Alley Chelsea. - Learn more about membership


Solstice is making clean energy affordable for all. Solstice's community solar program aims to provide solar power to Americans who cannot afford or support solar panels in their homes. Through the provision of financing innovations, an easy subscriber management platform, and community education initiatives, Solstice is creating a future where energy consumption does not mean environmental harm. Solstice is helping Americans realize an equitable, sustainable clean energy future.

In 2018, the Park Foundation, dedicated to educational and environmental programs, awarded $40,000 to Solstice. The funding helps Solstice meet its goal of delivering clear, renewable, solar energy to underserved communities and creating an equitable future.

Member of Alley powered by Verizon - Learn more about membership


By inspiring communities to care about the issues that matter to them, Polis started as a political polling company that has changed the way companies look at data. Polis focuses on smart, actionable data, and utilizes door-to-door canvassing to connect companies with their customers. Polis helps companies understand how to build meaningful relationships with their customers, and consistently add value. By using the Polis platform, companies can develop a meaningful narrative with their customers,  build customer loyalty by 75%, and close sales by 7 -12% more. Polis is a full spectrum solution based customer engagement platform.

Kendall Tucker, Founder & CEO of Polis was a featured panelist at The Energy Executive Forum in May 2018. Kendall shared insights into how Polis is impacting the energy sector in America.

Member of Alley powered by Verizon Cambridge. - Learn more about membership


Ouchie, by Upside Health, is a chronic pain management app that empowers chronic pain suffers by providing them with resources and tools. The app support patients by giving them the tools to track, monitor, and learn about their chronic pain. The Ouchie app helps generate better outcomes for patients, quicker but increasing treatment compliance, and the likelihood of patients trying new treatment plans. By reducing non-essential patient visits, the medical system is free to provide care where and when it is required, optimizing medical care.

Ouchie's innovative disruption of the medical system has garnered them a spot in a social impact incubator in Norway, while the company prepares for seed funding.

Member of Alley powered by Verizon FiDi. - Learn more about membership

Haute Hijab

Haute Hijab is a fashion e-commerce start-up with the first in the world luxury and fashion hijab line. Haute Hijab is elevating the experience of the Hijab for Muslim women, taking from a polarizing political piece of clothing to an expression of personal style and empowerment. Based on the Islamic tradition of ihsaan - doing everything with beauty and excellence, Haute Hijab brand is built around ideas of comfort, style, and excellent craftsmanship. Haute Hijab shows young Muslim women that they can be both trendy, confident, and powerful while observing their Muslim identity.

Haute Hijab is gearing up for the release of their line of under caps, as well as working on raising their round of post-seed funding.

Member of Alley powered by Verizon FiDi. - Learn more about membership


Bowery, a commercial appraisal startup, uses big data, advanced technology, and extensive expertise, to provide their customers with quick and accurate real estate valuations. Bowery ensures the integrity of data through its one-of-a-kind app, cross referring information through its proprietary platforms, and review and search of public records. Guaranteeing their customers with accurate and timely information, Bowery is altering the face of real estate valuations.

Bowery's innovative approach to commercial appraisal resulted in 5 million dollars of seed funding, including an investment from global real estate leaders Cushman and Wakefield.

Alumni member of Alley Chelsea. - Learn more about membership

Black Tomato

Bespoke travel agency, Black Tomato, understands the pressures and time limitations facing their clients. Designing customized and transformative travel experiences, Black Tomato is a luxury travel agency like no other. Black Tomato allows travelers to indulge their curiosity about the world by providing information and tips aimed at getting you the best experience. Drawing on local and insider knowledge, Black Tomato creates travel experiences as unique as the individual traveling. Black Tomato's commitment to building positive experiences extends to the communities they work with, partnering with community projects, and working in a socially and environmentally conscious way.

Recognizing that sometimes individuals need a quick escape, Black Tomato created the "panic button." Designed for on the fly getaways, travelers fill out a customized questionnaire about travel preferences and budget (the minimum is $3,000). A travel expert contacts you with a full itinerary for your travel adventure, including next-day flights.

Member of Alley Chelsea - Learn more about membership


To say that Mapfit provides mapping services to companies is too simple of a way to describe a start-up that is competing with Google Maps. Drawing on various mapping sources, Mapfit provides accurate door-to-door navigation, including entrance definition, such as primary, secondary, parking garage, and freight docks. Mapfit powers the new standard of user experiences and defines a new level of map data accuracy, ensuring increased visibility and searchability for new start-ups. Mapfit allows you to customize the right map for your business needs.

Mapfit's innovative use of technology, data collection, and map information made it one of the first members of Verizon's 5G lab at Alley and has secured 5.5 million in seed funding.

Member of Alley Chelsea & Alley powered by Verizon D.C. - Learn more about membership


Hooch is a subscription-only cocktail app and discovery platform. Subscribers, over the age of 21, can get one free drink a day at different bars and restaurants.  A cost-saving lifestyle app, Hooch provides subscriber’s access to hotel deals, concierge services and access to exclusive celebrity events, through Hooch Black. Ever growing and changing Hooch, is available in over 500 bars, in 9 countries and has over 200,000 users.

Hooch continues its expansion and will be building out blockchain technology, called TapCoin. Hooch has raised $5 million funding for this next initiative.

Member of Alley Chelsea - Learn more about membership

Her Agenda

Her Agenda is a digital media platform working to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. Through content, events and subscription community the media company empowers women with the information and inspiration they need to achieve their goals. Sharing inspirational stories, Her Agenda spotlights the resources, skills, and opportunities required for young millennial women to reach their goals and potential. 

In 2017, Forbes recognized Founder Rhonesha Byng, in their top 30 under 30 women list.  

Member of Alley Chelsea & Alley powered by Verizon D.C. - Learn more about membership


Your trusted and local handyman. Whether it is furniture assembly, TV mounting, help to move, or any other outstanding task, Task Rabbit is your source for qualified, quality help. Taskers can tackle all your home projects. Task Rabbit is a same-day service platform which instantly connects individuals with skilled Taskers to help with odd-jobs and errands so that they can be more productive, every day.

Ikea acquired Task Rabbit in 2017.

Member of Alley Chelsea - Learn more about membership


Paloma, started in February 2017 and provides users with everything they need to manage Facebook Messenger at scale, driving conversions through automated messaging. Paloma uses dynamic, automated conversations to quickly respond to customers and provide them with the most relevant content and opportunities. 

Paloma is the solution for the social media marketplace, supporting business in engaging with their clients through messaging. The solution-focused start-up has hit revenue targets six months after starting their company; closed a pre-seed round in June 2018; and grew from 1 employee to 5 employees in their first year.

Member of Alley Chelsea - Learn more about membership


Sorcero is a learning solutions company that empowers people with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Increasing workforce productivity, Sorcero utilizes inquiry-based AI technology to generate better business outcomes for clients. This Alley startup provides companies with the tools to adequately train their workforce and minimize the amount of time knowledge users search for information through the use of an AI-powered KnowledgeBot. 

Sorcero's vision for improving team performance led the startup to finals of the Vinetta Project D.C. Venture Challenge, supporting female founders. Sorcero will be pitching at the final showcase on September 26, 2018, for a chance to receive $20,000 in cash.

Member of  Alley powered by Verizon D.C. - Learn more about membership
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