The inaugural semi-finalists participated in a 4-week business accelerator where they had access to the best of the best. With intimate access to one another, to innovators and entrepreneurs in the field, they strengthened their knowledge and their pitch, from idea generation to implementation. Their “teachers” included such notables as GSV Founder Michael Moe and his team, Forbes Editor Randall Lane and American journalist Moira Forbes, Hoque Global CEO Mike Hoque and Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell.
At the celebratory final event, the vibrancy and the excitement behind the culmination of the 4 month process for the cohort was palpable. The work and experiences demonstrated during the accelerator were so inspiring that STOP Award Founder Janine Yass was moved to reward all of them. In the end, $3.5 million was distributed to 20 outstanding organizations representing diverse kinds of education – public, private, charter, microschools, edtech and community groups. The energy, and the excellence had a captivating impact on all involved. The 2021 Cohort’s invaluable bond continues in development of several new partnerships which are creating expanded and more innovative opportunities for students across their borders.
STOP Award winners have the opportunity to collaborate and impact the development of STOP-enabled efforts long after the initial program is over with national exposure and access to the media, representing the STOP Award at global events, becoming contributors on Forbes.com and informing policy makers on how best to replicate their work.