Aspen Institute Launches Program to Accelerate Growth of Social Enterprises

July 22, 2015

Contacts: Eric Lavin
The Braddock Scholars Program/Aspen Ventures
(202) 736-3546

Aspen Institute Launches Program to Accelerate Growth of Social Enterprises

Braddock Scholars Initiative Helps Aspen Fellows Scale Innovation 

Washington DC, July 22, 2015 – The Aspen Institute launched the Braddock Scholars Program, a new program to help selected entrepreneurs incorporate big company skills and knowledge into the scaling of some of the world’s most innovative organizations. The 12-month program is designed to support entrepreneurs leading organizations on the cusp of achieving significant scale with high level mentorship, peer-learning, and capital to fund key initiatives of the scholars choosing.

The program is made possible thanks to the generosity of Aspen trustee, Rick Braddock. Mr. Braddock, who had a distinguished and varied career in global business including several entrepreneurial activities, is serving as one of the senior mentors.

“Entrepreneurs are great at starting businesses that solve important problems in new ways, but aren’t always effective at significantly scaling these innovations and much of the value creation comes from scaling. Many of the skills to do this come from spending time in big companies,” said Braddock. “We aim to bridge the ‘scaling gap’ by channeling the expertise of our mentors towards the challenges our scholars face.”

“The Aspen Institute can support these selected scholars – who are leading entrepreneurs in their own right – thanks to the many business leaders associated with the Institute who have agreed to serve as mentors,” said Eric Lavin, Manager of the Braddock Scholars Program. “Additionally, the Institute’s long track record of facilitating high impact peer-learning experiences, and ability to convene leaders tackling big issues positions us to be a catalytic force in helping scale social enterprises.”

The Braddock Scholars program is open to US based members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN). The selected scholars of the inaugural cohort are:

  • Joshua Baer, Executive Director, Capital Factory
  • Aimee Eubanks Davis, Founder, Beyond Z
  • Bart Houlahan, Jay Coen Gilbert, and Andrew Kassoy, Co-Founders, B Lab
  • Brett Jenks, President and CEO,, Fish Forever
  • Jordan Kassalow, Founder and Co-Chairman, VisionSpring
  • Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder, Chairwoman and CEO,
  • Rob Price, President, Edible Arrangements
  • Eric Westendorf, CEO and Co-Founder, LearnZillion

About the Aspen Institute

The Braddock Scholars Program is a mentorship initiative that pairs select US-based members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network with seasoned global business leaders. The program seeks to support Aspen entrepreneurs with the ambition and ability to achieve significant scale with their organization through a mix of high level mentorship, peer-learning, and discretionary grant capital. 

The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector — currently, more than 2,100 Fellows from 49 countries — who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India, the Middle East and China.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit 


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