Now in its sixth year, Tribe 12 continues to select young entrepreneurs to teach them how to expand their new businesses.
Karli Hershorin is taking her nonprofit to new heights — literally.
Hershorin is one of 12 new fellows of Tribe 12’s six-month entrepreneur fellowship. Now in its sixth year, Tribe 12 continues to select young entrepreneurs to teach them how to expand their new businesses.
Hershorin’s enterprise, called Metamorphosis, intends to create a dance studio for girls and women specializing in circus arts as an artistic outlet. The classes and programs would be reduced in cost so underprivileged girls will have the same opportunity as others.
“The connections we have within the community are so strong and respected,” she said, “that I knew it would be a good opportunity to bring something new and very different to a crowd of people who might not have been exposed to something like that in the past.”
Hershorin has been training in the aerial arts for about six years, working in different studios and with a variety of dancers, including Cirque du Soleil performers.
But of all the studios in Philadelphia, she said most of them are strictly circus-based — and are all in Center City.
“I want to take that into the suburbs in a nonprofit component because of how expensive of a hobby and a passion it is,” she explained. “[I want] to allow kids who may not be able to traditionally afford the dance shows and the classes and the opportunity that upper- and upper-middle classes have as well.”
The fellowship began last month, and while she is well versed in her art, Hershorin said she hopes to gain the business knowledge that she lacks.
“I’ve already connected with so many people within Tribe 12 who are doing completely separate projects from myself, but we can aid each other very well,” she added.
One of those people is Amber Emory, another new fellow.
Emory also works in the arts, specifically in the theater as a director. She has worked throughout the Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. areas for the past seven years.
Through the theater, she wants her project, Mz. Initiative, to expand the discussion of gender roles for women.
“Mz. Initiative is a social innovator to create platforms for women to explore gender inequalities through an artistic conduit,” she described. “I’ve taken my education and theater background and working for the last seven years within the community to realize that art is not only a product-driven thing that people come to and see as an audience member, but can also be a way that we interact and discuss things going on in the world.”
Emory said she wants to create a safe space where women can discuss challenges and questions that come up in everyday life, like stereotypes in the workplace or expectations from family.
She based this safe space off of the Jewish community here, a community she lauds as collective and corroborative.
“You kind of get this natural support system of community, and that’s something I wanted to replicate in the aura of Mz. Initiative,” she said.
Ross Berkowitz, founder of Tribe 12, said millennials are jumping into entrepreneurship now more than ever.
“It’s very different from the older days, where people were more content with getting a job and being in that job for a long time,” he clarified. “Especially in your 20s, two to three years in any one job is a long time.”
The initiative’s “business school crash course” also pairs each fellow with a coach who is an active businessperson in the community, and with a past fellow.
“It’s really a leadership development program, and they’re gaining these transferable skills that they’re using to develop a business, but they’re skills that they can use in many other aspects of their life,” he said.
Berkowitz said he sees Tribe 12 as a leader for 20- and 30-somethings.
“I went through this very similar process, and you have to have a passion for what you’re doing and really care about it,” he said. “You also have to have people around you that really care about it. You cannot develop something on your own. It’s just not going to work, especially a nonprofit.”
On the other side of the spectrum, Danny Metzger-Traber is focusing on the older generation in his venture.
Metzger-Traber has a background in management consulting and is on track to graduate this semester from Wharton School with an MBA.
Through Caring Nudge, Metzger-Traber hopes to put patients and caregivers at ease.
“Caring Nudge is sort of a natural outgrowth of some of the work I was doing as a consultant where we were looking at the health care system changes,” he explained. “One of the big things the Affordable Care Act is trying to incentivize is getting value from health care rather than just sort of volume as a way that health insurance companies are making money.
“There’s been a big push in figuring out more holistic ways of lowering costs for patients, and one of the areas that is most heavily looked at is the elderly.”
Metzger-Traber’s mother is the caregiver to his grandmother and godfather.
“I got to see firsthand what she was doing, how much of a role she played in their health and just how big of a role she could play if she was given better support,” he added.
His business essentially supports these family caregivers by providing them with self-care, a support group and clinical education about being a better caregiver.
“When you’re doing a project like this, something entrepreneurial, it’s so easy to feel like you’re alone and things aren’t going well,” he said, “so just having that support apparatus becomes incredibly important.
“I think one of the nicest things is that we were picked based on our ideas and what we’re doing, but at the end of the day, this is really about fostering a community of active Jews who have an interest in social impact and dedicating some part of their lives to that.”
Here are the other 2016 Tribe 12 fellows and their ventures, as provided by Tribe 12:
Adam Wodka – In-Kind
In-Kind combines elements of generosity, fun and surprise to stage experiential events focused specifically on populations who struggle with a wide range of hardships in order to cultivate feelings of motivation, support and appreciation. Through partnerships with direct service organizations, In-Kind designs relevant and useful interventions.
AJ Kohn – The Skateboard Academy
The Skateboard Academy is based off of the educational and community work that AJ Kohn has done over the last decade. Enriching the understanding of life concepts as well as learned in school through interactive and engaging assemblies, after-school programming, summer camps and interactive workshops utilizing action sports as a medium.
Ami Yares – AltNeu Arts
AltNeu redefines artists’ roles as changemakers while empowering communities to find their own creative voices and actions to build a better world. By providing opportunities for concerts, community workshops, guerilla arts experiences and artist training, the arts will gain an even stronger foothold in our societal development.
Debbie Werlin – Cookie Lab Philly
Cookie Lab Philly creates kosher, custom-designed cookies for all occasions. Cookie Lab Philly also offers instructional classes for cookie baking and design for adults, and cookie design parties for children.
Siona Stone – The Point
The Point will have expressive healing arts taught by therapists who are also mentors. This program gives kids a space where they can receive undercover recovery and connect new labels to their old theories of who they are. We aren’t looking for a disorder; we want you to know The Point of sticking around.
Kain Warner – All the Colors Painting and Contracting
This venture is about contracting and professional painting, including all people qualified for work regardless of their orientation or gender identity. Home remodeling. Repairs. Refurbishing. Professional painters are the ones you call when you need your three-bedroom, two-bathroom home done in a week. Making your home look like an entirely new house. Need your kitchen floor retiled? Kain can do that, too.
Michael Bomze – Hot Chicks Non-Profit Hummus
Every batch contains locally grown chickpeas and Soom tahini. Each hummus is unique; fresh produce is added to celebrate what is available each season. Bomze has formed many partnerships with urban farmers and businesspeople to receive products at cost. He sells at craft fairs and donates all profits (nearly $2,000 to date) to urban farms. (Full disclosure: Bomze is also a blogger for the Jewish Exponent’s Philacatessen blog).
Oren Leib – KosherSublet.com
KosherSublet.Com is an exclusive, online Jewish marketplace for subletting, sharing and swapping kosher apartments on a global basis. It is an all-inclusive community that caters to any and all levels of observance, from Orthodox to secular Jews. Plans to launch in 2016.
Torri Grice – Pooch Kaboose Dog Rescue
Pooch Kaboose Dog Rescue is a resource to the community, finding dogs loving, responsible matches that will provide permanent homes for dogs. They aid the prospective adopter with information regarding care and responsibility of bringing a dog into their lives/homes. The dogs they rescue receive all appropriate veterinary care and treatment, as well as spay/neuter services.
This article has been updated to reflect that KosherSublet.com will launch in 2016.
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