Established in honor of Robert L. Avinger, Jr., the Avinger Impact Fund fuels the vision, qualities, and passions of an innovator, giving evidence of creativity, energy, and initiative that will lead to success in future endeavors. Through project-based grants, the Avinger Impact Fund awards up to $10,000 to Davidson entrepreneurs looking to validate and advance their idea.
This year, four Davidson ventures received funds from the Avinger Impact Fund. Click on any of the links to learn more about their businesses or scroll down to get a brief bio on each recipient.
Constantine Desjardins ’24 is the founder of Direct Camp, a company focused on helping summer camps simplify their general operations by automating administrative processes using custom software. Having been significantly shaped by summer camps as a kid and working at camps growing up, Constantine is passionate about making camp processes as easy as possible for staff members, so they can focus on prioritizing campers instead of stressing about scheduling. After taking a computer science course, Constantine developed his idea and his software and is excited to continue improving this product and creating an integrated software package, aimed at improving camps everywhere.
Tasos Pagounas ’23 and Christos Korumpotis ’23 are international students, with a goal to help people like them in their professional careers. Having traveled 5000 miles from home to pursue opportunities unavailable in their home country, Tasos and Christos describe the problem they’re trying to solve as “the hopelessness that lack of opportunity creates.” Their company, Rise Together, which also won the audience choice award at the 2022 Nisbet Venture Fund Competition, unites young employees and employers, increasing equal opportunity for students and small business employers.
Heidi Meyer ’23, recognizes how difficult it can be to choose a career path, especially in the overwhelming process of networking, job applications, and finishing a college degree. Working to simplify and inform students, Heidi’s venture, Careers Explained, is a podcast that seeks to empower students by giving them insights into all types of careers. Working to increase her listener base and monetize her podcast, Heidi provides educational bite-sized content focused on helping students from all backgrounds optimize their job searching process.
KK Dairy Solutions
Lily Korir ’23 is from a rural community in Kenya and knows the ins and outs of small-scale farming. Lily’s venture, KK Dairy Solutions, seeks to solve the supply chain challenges many small farmers face by developing a holistic approach to set up a central entity where farmers can access quality and affordable dairy inputs. With 80 farmers and two operational stores, Lily has a close relationship with these entities and is helping create a lasting, sustainable solution for her community. With money from the Avinger Impact Fund, Lily’s venture will acquire and set up a pasteurizing facility to add value to milk before selling it to processing companies, recruit more farmers, and continue to expand marketing to improve the profitability of dairy farming.