[A]n award designed to recognize the entrepreneurial efforts of an individual or team working to address a social, environmental, or economic problem was given to the founders of a new café concept this past weekend.
Diaspora Coffee & Chai Co. was founded by Sam Khaute and Jesse Prichard, with the common mission to offer in-depth job skills, English language training, and cultural integration for immigrants and refugees through a coffee shop. Khaute himself is an immigrant from a remote corner of India, who, after six months of unemployment, found a career and community while working in a local refugee-owned café. Diaspora currently produces and sells specialty roast coffee, but has yet to open a brick and mortar location.
Khaute and Prichard pitched their concept alongside several competing companies, ranging from AI technology in healthcare to innovative social housing concepts, to judges at the Elevating Impact Summit. Diaspora was awarded the top prize of the Impact Invention Award for its ability to solve a problem through enterprise.
“Winning the Elevating Impact Summit Pitch Fest was something out of this world for us,” Khaute tells Fresh Cup. “We were already feeling so honored to be one of the finalists at the Summit. Winning the pitch contest was just unbelievable! Still cannot believe it! That said, it is very humbling to know that people believe in our endeavor. It gives us new strength and hope knowing that we are not alone in this venture.”