LEANING IN: The Riveter cofounder and CEO Amy Nelson, standing in foreground, with, from left, teammates Martha Segovia, Jennifer Cadence, Kirsten Mullins, Dubraskha Arrivillaga and Nadya Matiya.
GOLD AWARD: THE RIVETER
Location: Seattle | Employees: 9
Top Exec: Amy Nelson, cofounder & CEO
Amy Nelson founded The Riveter to change the world.
“We’re working to create a space where women can come together to be a network and access and learn all the professional skills that they need to — where they can find resources and where they can build community,” says Nelson.
The company offers a woman-focused coworking space as well as professional and wellness classes, on-site movement studios and meditation rooms. The Riveter resulted from the merging of two separate business goals. When Nelson wanted to start a company, she found it hard to find a network of women who had walked the path before her. “That network has been around for decades, if not for centuries, for men, and women need the same sort of access and basis from which to grow,” Nelson notes.
Cofounder Kim Peltola, meanwhile, was looking to create a wellness space for women. The business has organized more than 50 programs and welcomed speakers such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Memberships range from private offices to daily passes and aren’t restricted to women.
“We welcome everyone who is an ally to what we are building into our space,” Nelson says. “We really feel that it’s hard enough to get a seat at the table that we wanted to welcome everyone to our table.”
SILVER AWARD: SAMARITAN; WILLIAMS HELDE
Location: Seattle | Employees: Samaritan, 10; Williams Helde, 15
Top Execs: Samaritan, Jonathan Kumar, project lead; Williams Helde, Marc Williams, president & owner
Encouraging its users to “walk with, not by,” Samaritan, formerly GiveSafe, created an eponymous app that offers users a window into the worlds of people experiencing homelessness. Via Bluetooth, the app alerts a user when a homeless Samaritan “beacon holder” is nearby.
It provides the holder’s story and allows the user to donate directly to essential needs. The beacon holder uses the funds at partner stores or nonprofits. Beacon holders also meet with counselors monthly to set and follow up on goals. Belltown marketing/communications firm Williams Helde volunteered with homelessness programs for three months and donated more than $20,000 in creative work to help prepare the Samaritan app.
“The changes Williams Helde helped us make are a guiding philosophy,” Samaritan reports, “and an ‘on ramp’ for helping regular people interact and help those who are on the streets.”