The non-profit organization
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.
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!
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!
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.
The Stardust-Startup Factory has no physical location, since our founders and team currently live in different cities and countries (i.e., Jean lives in Morehead City, North Carolina and Camille lives in Lyon, France). We are completely virtual, apart from when we host events! Our non-profit status is registered in the state of North Carolina.
Anyone with a good idea that fits within the focus areas of health, sustainability, and/or learning! We’re looking for creative and ambitious people with a business-sense, who are just starting out with their projects. 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.
Currently, we give $2,000 USD per micro-grant.
We stay in contact with our grant recipients! It is important to communicate with our project applicants and 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.
We’re always looking for volunteers and staff members 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.
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.
Yes! We send a comprehensive ‘News & Updates‘ newsletter to our loyal email subscribers four times a year (every season). Our staff writer Thalia Bloom 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. Click here to join our email list.