The Stardust-Startup Factory, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, awards six micro-grants a year to emerging entrepreneurs and startup groups who need some seed money to get started on their health, sustainability, and learning-related projects. Read our mission here.
What does The Stardust-Startup Factory do?
We are Laura-Jean Palmer Moloney and Camille Babington, two ambitious and eager individuals determined to make a difference, however small, in local communities around the world. We use networks to our advantage to connect and inspire passionate entrepreneurs to one another, by sharing their stories on all platforms we can. Our vision is vast—and propelled by problem-solving, curiosity, and optimism. Our strong inner resilience and drive reinforces our confidence in the people behind the projects we fund. We’ve been around since September of 2015, and are constantly working on new ideas and initiatives. Sign up for our newsletter (at the bottom) and visit our Facebook page to keep up with all the cool stuff we are doing!
Who are the founders?
We are all made of stardust! When stars explode and release energy, they create the most essential chemical elements that make up all matter in the universe. Those elements, like carbon and iron, are the building blocks of our environment and all of life. And we believe that the inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs of this world play a similar role as stars in the sky… their ideas propel positive social and environmental impact so that everyone can benefit. Startups, as opposed to corporations, are becoming more and more important in the millennial age. Finally, the factory part of our name refers to the process through which we fund projects. We have a strong team working together to ‘produce’ results—by awarding smart and deserving project-leaders with seed money and connections!
What does the name of the organization mean?
The extraordinarily sad circumstances from which the non-profit was born made it so special and the most meaningful thing Jean and Camille could do during that time. Jean and her husband Jim’s 22-year-old son, and Camille’s long-term boyfriend at the time, Angus Moloney, died suddenly from a hiking accident in Colorado. Read what happened next here and read more on Angus here.
How did the organization begin?
The Stardust-Startup Factory has no physical location, since our founders and team currently live in different cities and countries around North America (i.e., Jean lives in Morehead City, North Carolina and Camille lives in Montreal, Canada). We are completely virtual, apart from when we host events! Our non-profit status is registered in the state of North Carolina.
Where are you located?
Anyone with a good idea! We’re looking for creative and ambitious people with a business-sense, who are just starting out with their projects (which must fit within the focus areas of health, sustainability, and/or learning). There are no age, location, or experience restrictions. However, you must have access to a computer and be able to communicate effectively and relatively rapidly in English. Read more here.
Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
Currently we’re giving $2,000 per micro-grant.
How much do you give per grant?
Yes! It is important to communicate with our project applicants and grant recipients before, during, and after the process (see Stages of Submission and Approval graphic). We value the sense of community and ‘personal touch’ that this practice brings. Whenever we hear updates, we post them in their project pages and write about them in our seasonal newsletter. We’re always interested in knowing their success and impact within their communities.
Do you stay in contact with grant recipients?
You can donate online here, either once or as a recurring gift. Otherwise, you can mail a check to P.O. Box 35, Morehead City, 28557 USA. Your donations are tax-deductible. Thank you!
How can I donate?
We’re always looking for volunteers to join our wonderful Stardust team! More specifically, we’re looking for blog writers, social media marketing coordinators, fundraising outreach, and corporate grant outreach. If you’re qualified in any of these areas and have a passion for positive community impact, send us an email at: [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible for a Skype interview.
Do you have any open positions for volunteers?
Angus Moloney’s digital marketing and web design business, ABEM Digital Creations, is now in the hands of Jean. 20% of their profits are donated to The Stardust-Startup Factory. Jean and Camille also created Stardust’s Spiritual Alchemy, a subscription-driven membership site providing tools and content encouraging the transformation from grief to purpose. 100% of their profits are donated to The Stardust-Startup Factory.
What other companies/organizations are you affiliated with?
Where can I find you on social media?
Yes! We send a comprehensive 'News & Updates' newsletter to our loyal email subscribers four times a year (every season). Our staff writer Nicolette LaPalme also sends out 'The Constellation' on the first of every month; in every issue we highlight a micro-grant recipient and a Stardust Board/Advisory Board member who offers keen insight into one of our focus areas of health, learning, and sustainability. All of our newsletters are archived here. Join our email list by entering your name and email into the form at the bottom of this page!
Do you send out email newsletters?
Email us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear your feedback: suggestions, comments, and questions.