Our Story

We're a non-profit, Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) providing financial support for entrepreneurs and startups all over the world.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs

Our mission

Stardust Startups provides financial support for the innovative work of emerging entrepreneurs and early-stage startups making positive social and environmental impact in the areas of sustainability, health, and learning.

Stardust is an impact first organization, which means that the social and environmental impact aspects of a project in our Impact Portfolio come before financial profitability. The projects and startups we fund are carefully selected after review by subject matter specialists and approval by our Advisory Board. They quickly launch for local, tangible solutions, and become catalysts for a more forward-looking, accessible, and conscious world.

Funding comes in the form of individual
or team grants of $2,000 (USD) for
selected projects.

Financial support from Stardust is not intended to fund extensive, multi-year endeavors. It is intended to give you just the right amount to get you started on a project that will get you on your way to realizing a long-awaited goal, whether that means funding an airplane ticket for important travel, a patent application and business fees, buying important supplies, or enough rent to cover two months rent for your new office.

We know that as an entrepreneur just getting started these small things can add up and cost you time that you could be spending improving your project! We believe that creative, active energy is vital, and we want to make sure yours is prioritized, so we offer a little extra support.

Here’s what we value most.

Relevant work

The people and projects we support
intend to make positive social and/or
environmental impact within the
core Stardust focus areas.

Active participation

We strongly value sharing ideas and knowledge for a more collaborative environment and ever-growing network
of open-minded thinkers.

Diverse community

We embrace the variety of people, backgrounds, and ideas that make up Stardust’s energizing, supportive, and nurturing environment.

Genuine curiosity

We know that retaining a sense of wonder and awe of the world helps us to stay aware and make positive, impactful decisions.

Opportunities for all

We believe in providing an open, accessible, and transparent organization for all: applicants, donors, partners, staff,
and all Stardust supporters.

Inspiring & enabling

We want our portfolio and our vision to continue to inspire and enable first-timers and experienced entrepreneurs alike to explore new ideas and apply!

Stardust is helping reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We recognize the interconnectedness of all 17 goals and are inspired by the ways they are trying to attain solutions to pressing problems.
Though we accept projects fitting within any of the UN’s categories, these 8 most closely reflect Stardust’s goals:

Learn more about the 17 SDGs

The Stardust team

Meet our amazing group of hard-working co-creators, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and staff that make all this possible.

Jean & Jim Moloney


Jean and Jim are Angus's parents. They live in Morehead City, North Carolina, with their two cats, two dogs, and two birds. Jean is the CEO of ABEM Digital Creations (digital marketing) and Jim is a substance abuse therapist at Camp Lejeune.

Camille Babington


Camille lives in Lyon, France as an urban design graduate and works as a freelance graphic designer, web designer, and voice over artist.

Laura Jean Palmer-Moloney, Ph.D

Managing Director, Chair of the Board of Directors

Laura Jean Palmer-Moloney brings 30 years of experience and expertise in problem-based learning, sustainability and systems assessment (water-food-energy), and holistic health to The Stardust-Startup Factory. She also brings her fascination with the stars. She runs her own consulting business, Visual Teaching Technologies, as well as the digital marketing company ABEM Digital Creations (Angus Moloney's internet-based business).

Edward T. Cope

Board of Directors

Ted brings his passion, vision, energy, intellect, and network to Stardust. Retiring after 42+ years of gov. service, Ted is learning new ways to put a dent in the status quo mindset from the private sector perspective. He inspires those he works with to challenge conventional wisdom and strives to help those he works with to imagine, explore, innovate, and ultimately execute what others thought impossible. He is currently a consultant for Thermopylae Sciences + Technology.

Fran Pigott Harding

Board of Directors

A native of Carteret County, Fran’s corporate career in Marketing Communication/Public Relations in financial services, Insurance and education took her from California and Texas to New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. Returning to NC, she purchased a home in Beaufort in 2013. Today she resides in Morehead City. Fran is also busy promoting the NC Coastal Lifestyle with her business as a NC Real Estate Broker. She loves the beach; Diesel, the perfect dog; keeping in touch with family in New Jersey, Texas, Florida, and Beaufort, of course; and networking with friends around the world.

Camille Babington

Senior Director of Operations, Advisory Board Chair

Camille Babington lives in Lyon, France as a young entrepreneur. She has a Master's in Urban Planning & Design and currently works with Stardust and as an independent graphic designer. She loves spending time in nature, especially while camping, kayaking, and hiking. She is always working on a creative project, especially in the areas of photography, design, film-making, and music.

Jim Moloney

Advisory Board

Jim Moloney works with active duty Marines and Sailors at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, NC as a Substance Abuse Counselor. Jim's contribution to the Advisory Board is multifaceted. He is a regular TM Meditator and interested in the holistic approach to mental and physical health and wellness. He love the outdoors and is a DIY learner. Jim plays guitar, rides motorcycles and gets regular exercise riding his bicycle at the beach.

Larissa Miller

Advisory Board

Larissa hails from Oneonta, NY, a former stomping ground of Angus’s, which came to light as a friendship was developed through shared appreciation for experiential learning, adaptive technology, & integrative healing methodologies as classmates at the N. VA School of Therapeutic Massage. Larissa went on to pursue manual therapy specializing in spinal reflex therapy, and founded Dynamic Integrations Wellness. In addition to a background in environmental policy and urban sociology, Larissa was a special educator in high-need public and charter schools in NYC and New Orleans.

Sashka Avanyan

Advisory Board

Sashka is a filmmaker and entrepreneur living in Vanadzor, Armenia, where she is the co-founder of Creopia Productions, a social impact video editing company. She has had her films screened at multiple small festivals in Montreal and works for McGill University as a videographer and editor in addition to doing freelance work. Sashka’s interest lies in using film to explore cross-cultural dynamics. Sashka was raised in Moscow, Russia until the age of 15, and lived in Canada until her move to Armenia in 2016.

John Barry

Advisory Board

A son, a brother, a father, a husband, a coach. A lover of life, a student of earth and beyond. A joker, moderately philosophical, fisherman/loves music/poor dancer. A sloppy chef, an optimist, a dreamer, not the best plumber. A self-proclaimed businessman. An old diver. Usually an “over-comer,” through failure and grit. And a believer (in keeping things positive), until it is time to get dirty. John is in his 10th year as the diving coach at American University and coaches several divers competing at the national level under the Dominion Dive Club in Fairfax, VA.

Mosiur Imraan Rahman

IT Coordinator

Imraan is the technical support lead and doubles as a digital marketing strategist for Stardust. He is quick to develop innovative and creative solutions to problems and enjoys the dedication IT work demands. Imraan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the State University of Bangladesh.

Eléonore Brocart

Writer and Newsletter Publisher

Eléonore is currently finishing her Bachelor's degree in International Management at McGill University. She has been living in Montreal, Canada for 3 years after a childhood spent between France, Angola, and Australia. She aspires to an eco-friendly lifestyle, and as such is constantly looking for more ways to cut down on waste. She is keen on raising awareness about mental health and eating disorders in particular, which she does on her Instagram page. Her hobbies include drawing and painting, listening to music, exploring new local shops and taking long nature walks.

Colin Ward


Colin is studying Celtic Shamanism and Spirituality in Westport, Ireland. A reformed economist and ex-defense researcher, he traded a research cubicle for Irish coasts and studies consciousness and alternative therapies for mental health recovery. Sometimes he writes about finance and economics but tries not to dwell on it. As best he can, Colin tries to live with mindful and heart-centered purpose and discovering what that means exactly. He loves to escape into science fiction and vegetarian cooking.

[Position open]

[Position open]

Social Media Manager

Kristina Wolff

Funding & Outreach

Kristina is a fourth year student at McGill University. She is completing an Honours major in International Development Studies, along with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies. In addition to competing as a student-athlete for the Varsity Alpine Ski Team, Kristina has served as Co-President of MealCare McGill, a student group dedicated to diverting on-campus food waste to community organizations. In her free time, Kristina enjoys knitting, eating croissants, and spending time in the outdoors.

Advaith Jayaram

Funding & Outreach

Advaith is an Economics and Finance student at the University of Edinburgh. Advaith has always had a passion for making a change in the way the modern economic system works. He is an advocate for the “buddhist economy.” The most fundamental feature of Buddhist Economics is seeing people as interdependent with one another and with Nature. It proposes a world that is driven towards maximising satisfaction of the soul rather than maximising consumption by the body. He sees Stardust as the perfect platform to launch his career into directly investing capital into meaningful projects in the field of sustainability, health and learning challenges.

Natasha Bousquet

Funding & Outreach

Natasha is a McGill Student pursuing a major in Strategic Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She has worked at two technology startups and is thrilled to be part of the Funding and Outreach team at Stardust. She has a keen interest in the intersection between food sustainability and technology, especially with regards to the use of AI in combating global issues, such as food insecurity. She is the VP of Fundraising for Mealcare McGill, an association that seeks to redistribute surplus food to communities in need, and Events Team organizer for McGill Women in Computer Science. During her free time, she enjoys inventing new fusion recipes and training Snoopy, her beagle puppy.

If you’re interested in joining the team
as a volunteer, staff, or member of the
Board of Directors, please contact us at [email protected]

Stardust Leverage Point Team

Don Piper

Brenda Searle

Fran Pigott-Harding

Entrepreneur in Residence, Co-Managing Director

Officer Manager

Public Relations Lead

Angus Moloney

Thinker, adventurer, entrepreneur

Angus was spontaneous and always in motion.

Angus’s modus operandi was climbing rocks and trees, jumping on his trampoline, doing gymnastics flips, parkour, spring board and platform diving, or walking on his slack line.

Angus’s mind was as agile as his body. His physical prowess reflected his supple and nimble mind—always leaping and diving towards big ideas. At only 22-years-old, he was well on his way to making substantive contributions to environmental and social justice issues. Opening his own internet business in 2014, Angus was in the process of building a web presence that promoted emerging entrepreneurs in the areas of sustainability, mental and physical health, and learning.

Among others, startups he supported included a massage therapy practice, a job assistance center to help US veterans, and an experiential learning program.

In contrast to Angus’s physical perpetual motion, he had a profoundly calm and centered spirit, connected to his purpose. He was determined to change the world, to make it a better place, and to energize people with fresh and positive ideas.

Angus was insatiably curious and passionate about making and eating vegan food, physical health and mind-body connections, energy fields and quantum physics, renewable and free energy sources, the human brain, and consciousness.

Angus could see the goodness in all around him. His infectious smile brightened every room and lifted the spirits of all those he met.  It is hard to imagine a happier, more sincere, loving, eager, and optimistic young man. Many have learned from him and been impacted greatly by his bright and shining life.

Angus Britton Emmett Moloney was born on Friday, August 13th, 1993, in Salida, Colorado. His love of nature and his creative work-around approach to life were built on life with his family in Colorado, living in the mountains above 10,000 feet, where he could look up at the night sky and see the Milky Way.

Angus passed away on September 26th, 2015, as a result of injuries sustained in a fall when hiking in Gregory Canyon in Boulder, Colorado.

Though he was an avid rock climber, his death was not the result of a radical free solo attempt, equipment failure, or falling rock but rather a missed foot placement while scrambling a few feet from the beaten Saddle Rock Trail.

In honor of his bright and beautiful spirit, Angus’s parents (Jean and Jim) and his girlfriend (Camille) began The Stardust-Startup Factory, a 501(c)(3) to maintain and grow his contribution to the world.

Prolong Angus's legacy ∞

See your money propel conscious growth and innovation by supporting emerging entrepreneurs with projects in the areas of health, sustainability, and learning.