The Kenneth Cole Grants will be awarded to Compass ventures that exhibit innovation and social responsibility in the consumer goods space.

The legacy of Kenneth Cole Productions is proof that buying shoes and clothing can mean more than equipping oneself with the latest fashion trends; what you stand in says a lot about what you stand for.  With the advent of companies like Warby Parker, TOMS Shoes, LSTN, and beyond, engaging consumers to make a positive social impact is becoming an increasingly important pillar of social innovation.  Consumer goods ventures embracing this idea are eligible for this grant.

Preference will be given to ventures with the ability and plan to accelerate their ventures using the grant and those interested in creating a long-term relationship with Kenneth Cole Productions. 

The Kenneth Cole grant helped bring Pumpstash from an idea to a reality. The grant money was an important start to creating a physical product and the Kenneth Cole team has been great to bounce ideas off of and connect me to people and resources in their network.
— Corinne Logan, Founder, Pumpstash
Creativity. Activism. Boldness. These are the qualities that Kenneth Cole exuded as a social entrepreneur himself, and the KC Foundation generously supports the next generation of social entrepreneurs with the same essence by helping them develop their vision into reality. The KC grant allowed my sustainable clothing venture to create it’s first organic cotton T-shirts designed by international artists with a message of world citizenship. Compass Fellows, you have what it takes to make an impact, and the KC grant will help you get there!
— Jeremy Pingul, Founder, Connect One Threads
The Kenneth Cole grant provided me an opportunity to combine my passions of adventure and creation with my desire to pursue a career in business. The Kenneth Cole grant allowed me to turn an idea written in my notebook to a registered Limited Liability Corporation in the middle of a prototyping process and raising funds. Moreover, the Kenneth Cole grant opened doors to meeting people in the Compass, Fordham, and New York communities who are working to better society.
— Enzo Obeso, Founder, Ventir
Quite simply, the Kenneth Cole grant was the springboard my business, Spire & Co, needed to go from hobby to scalable company. From the resources to the support to the grant itself, this is a game changing opportunity for anyone in the Compass community who wants to take their business idea to the next level.
— Emily Raleigh, Founder, Spire & Co


Eligibility, Selection Process, & Timeline


There will be four grants, each in the amount of $2500. Two grants will be reserved for current Compass fellows and two will be for members of the greater Compass community, contingent upon both groups meeting the quality standards as determined by Kenneth Cole Productions.  Previous awardees may apply for community grants, however, preference will be given to those who have not previously received a grant.

Requirements and Criteria

Applicants for the grant must submit:

  • A compelling, professional pitch about the venture via video (maximum of 60 seconds)

    • send in .mov file

    • video will be posted for public voting to determine which finalists advance

  • A written application including:

    • an explanation of the problem (social, environmental, or otherwise) the venture exists to solve or opportunity the venture exists to explore

    • a well-articulated business model describing planned revenues and expenses for the next 12 months

    • a detailed summary of requests for mentorship and additional non-financial resources needed from Kenneth Cole Productions

    • well-articulated next-steps:

      • a clear plan to use grants funding effectively, articulating next-actions and line items for expenses

      • a comprehensive outline about effective next steps to advance this venture

      • a commitment to work on the venture (while in school, if applicable) for the remainder of the calendar year

    • any visuals (prototypes, sketches, models, samples, etc.) that will aid in conveying the utility of your venture

Selection Process and Timeline

1.    Video and written applications must be sent to Imran Khurshid by February 29th at 11:59pm EST

2.    Kenneth Cole Productions will judge written applications and select finalists by April 1st

3.    Videos of the finalists will be featured on Sponsor’s website to accommodate voting by the social media community.  Online voting on videos will take place through the month of March 2016

4.    Winners will be selected based on the level of support received through online voting and the overall strength of each finalist’s video and written application as determined in Sponsor’s sole discretion

5.    Winners will be honored at Shift Series on April 9, 2016