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    The Bluhm / Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship

    Through the BHSI Fellowship, Chicago Ideas has recognized and supported 36 young social entrepreneurs from around the globe.

    Introducing the 2018 BHSI Fellows

    Five leading innovators who are changing the world through entrepreneurship.
    Alejandro Gac-Artigas
    BHSI Fellow; Founder & CEO, Springboard Collaborative
    Heejae Lim
    BHSI Fellow; Founder & CEO, TalkingPoints
    Jason Kang
    BHSI Fellow; Co-Founder & CEO, Kinnos
    Kiah Williams
    BHSI Fellow; Co-Founder & Director, SIRUM
    Eric Glustrom
    BHSI Fellow; Founder & CEO, Watson Institute

    About BHSI

    About BHSI

    The Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation (BHSI) Fellowship at Chicago Ideas Week recognizes social entrepreneurs, 35 years or younger, whose nonprofit and for-profit ventures tackle significant social challenges through innovative business models. Now in its eighth year, the BHSI Fellowship is committed to empowering entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds by providing them with a platform for growth.

    Each year, the outstanding entrepreneurs chosen as Fellows earn a spot on the Chicago Ideas Week stage, and - during the weeklong ideas festival - meet with a slate of nationally-recognized business and civic leaders, as well as fellow speakers, on a schedule tailored to their unique needs. In addition, Fellows are awarded $10,000 in non-discretionary financial support toward their work. They join a close-knit community of past Fellows who enjoy ongoing support and mentorship from the greater BHSI and Chicago Ideas communities. 

    Since its inception in 2011, the BHSI Fellowship – created by philanthropists and entrepreneurs Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand – has awarded more than $700,000 to the Fellows through contributions and in-kind services.

    Chicago Ideas Week will be held October 12-17, 2019. For more information, contact info (at)

    Meet Past BHSI Fellows

    Read about these exceptional entrepreneurs making a difference in the world.
    Minhaj Chowdhury
    Co-Founder & CEO, Drinkwell
    Micaela Connery
    Founder, The Kelsey; Mitchell Scholar, University College Dublin; 2012 BHSI Fellow
    Andrew Mangino
    CEO, The Future Project; BHSI Fellow
    Donnel Baird
    BHSI Fellow; Founder, BlocPower
    Zubaida Bai
    BHSI Fellow; Founder & CEO, AYZH
    Rose Wang
    Co-founder & CEO, Chirps
    Jahmal Cole
    Founder & Executive Director, My Block My Hood My City