Reinventing Delaware finalists announced

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The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation (PDFF)  announced four finalists from its November 10 Reinventing Delaware Dinner.

The finalists were chosen by an internal review committee.  The committee voted on the finalists based on their innovations aimed at creating jobs and making Delaware a better place to live, work and raise a family.

The committee consisted of PDFF Board Chair Thère du Pont, PDFF Executive Director, Stephanie Johnnie; Scott Malfitano, CSC, Foundation board member; Peggy Geisler, PMG Consulting; Nora Gonzalez, VP Finance Seaboard Hotels, PDFF board member; and Mac Macleod, CEO, Carvertise.

The top four finalists and their ideas:

Jeffrey Ronald & Jason Malone: Zero Homelessness, Full Employment
Jeffrey Ronald, CEO of The Springboard Collective Inc. received the most votes from the audience. Ronald proposed a plan that would move homeless Delawareans into heated, comfortable cabins with employment and educational services onsite. The initiative is being piloted in Sussex County. Ronald aims to launch the program statewide with the foundation’s support.

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Andrew Cottone: Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing
Cottone, CEO of Adesis, proposed reducing the reliance on foreign energy by generating clean hydrogen from water and making Delaware the energy leader of the 21st century.

Scott Malfitano: Attract/Welcome Home Delaware
Malfitano, vice president CSC, proposed Attract Delaware, a plan to incentivize workers to move to Dove from out of state, similar to work done in Tulsa, OK. They attracted over 2,000 people to move to Tulsa with an 88% retention rate after two years.

Allison Levine: Spotlight Delaware
Allison Levine, president and founder of the Local Journalism Initiative and VP for Marketing and Communications at Delaware Community Foundation. Allison proposed Spotlight Delaware, a nonprofit newsroom that will work with existing media to increase government oversight and access to information on how policy affects Delawareans, especially in underserved areas.

Over the next three to six months, the four finalists (and their teams) will work closely with PDFF and local firms – Social Contract and Launch Point Labs – to bring their ideas to fruition and develop a strategic plan to scale the business. At the conclusion of this process, one winner will be announced later this year and will collect a $15,000 investment made by the Foundation to facilitate their work.

“We are thrilled to advance these innovators and their ideas into the next step of the Reinventing Delaware process. Their vision for improving Delaware is inspiring and exciting,” said Stephanie Johnnie, executive dDirector of the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation.

For the past eight years, Reinventing Delaware has been a catalyst for several noteworthy ideas that are now businesses. Previous winners include Zip Code Wilmington, Pay for Success, Intern Delaware, The Warehouse, WilmInvest, Wilmington Green Box, NERDiT Now and, most recently, the Delaware Collective for a Creative Economy.

“We’re excited to partner with PDFF to launch this new collaborative newsroom, build up our local news and information ecosystem for all Delaware communities, and create a model that can be replicated around the country,” said Allison Taylor Levine.

“The Springboard Collaborative is energized and honored to team up with Reinventing Delaware for collective impact,” said Jeff Ronald,  co-founder & chairman of the board, The Springboard Collaborative, Inc. “Together as a benevolent force-multiplier, we can measurably end homelessness in the First State, empower disadvantaged Delawareans to cultivate a better life and build more vibrant communities across our three counties.

For more information about the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and Reinventing Delaware, visit www.petedupontfreedomfoundation.org.

 

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