Capitalism Transformed

We use entrepreneurship as a tool to transform the purpose of business in society. Creating a more just, joyous, equitable, prosperous and profitable world for us all.

Novella Center for Entrepreneurship by Conscious Venture Lab

The Novella Center for Entrepreneurship Inc. (NCE) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to expanding access to the opportunity of entrepreneurship for all. Leveraging a decade of learning from our work at the Conscious Venture Lab, NCE creates partnerships and programming that help entrepreneurs rethink the relationship between business and society and build companies that matter.

The Novella Center is named after our founder’s Mom, Joyce Novella Cherry. Joyce grew up in the 1940’s in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, and experienced firsthand the consequences of discrimination. She taught Jeff and his sisters about the importance of justice in all forms – legal, social, and particularly economic – and about how these were critical components for thriving communities. Particularly for those communities that have been historically neglected.

Today, the Novella Center honors Joyce’s legacy through economic empowerment in those communities. We expose under-estimated entrepreneurs, early-stage founders, and CEOs to Stakeholder Theory and the Tenets of Conscious Capitalism™ and show them how managing a business for all stakeholders creates both societal and financial value, helps to create generational wealth, and ultimately leads to a more just, joyous, equitable, sustainable, and prosperous society for all.

Do What Matters

We create partnerships and programming to train entrepreneurs on how to build companies that matter! We show founders how managing business for all their stakeholders creates both societal and financial value.

Expand Opportunities

We believe in and work with companies solving big problems and founded by diverse teams that others ignore for all the wrong reasons. Helping to bring more of society into the innovation economy and create generational wealth in under-served communities.


Remove Barriers

Our goal is to help those who are creating innovations that break down barriers to access. Creating a more just, joyous, equitable, prosperous, and sustainable society for all.


Stakeholder Theory & Conscious Capitalism®

Based on our work with author and Entrepreneurship professor Raj Sisodia and UVA Darden’s Ed Freeman, we’ve created a
curriculum based on the tenants of Stakeholder Theory and Conscious Capitalism® a research and market proven path to
better-managed companies.

Conscious Venture Lab Accelerator

The Conscious Venture Lab is a 12-week accelerator program for early-stage, purpose-driven companies using innovation to break down barriers to access and create a more equitable society. We help diverse and under-estimated entrepreneurs integrate the tenets of Stakeholder Theory and Conscious Capitalism into the DNA of their businesses and provide a robust technology- driven process to help them take a business from idea-through-series A financing.

Apply Today

Our Approach is Different

NCE focuses on training diverse founders operating at the intersection of profit and purpose. Those using innovation to break down barriers to access, who believe diversity is a competitive advantage, and who understand how business practiced with a stakeholder mindset can create a more prosperous and profitable society for all.

Customized Content
Our learning management system is powered by FounderTrac, the most robust, fully-integrated entrepreneurship training management platform in the industry.

Immersive Support
We surround founders with world-class talent to support building a new business. NCE’s facilitators focus on topics to help prepare founders for investments.

Stakeholder Focused
We’ve created a curriculum based on the tenants of Stakeholder Theory and Conscious Capitalism®, a research and market proven path to better-managed companies.



We Do This Together

Join Our Accelerator

If you are an early-stage startup founder working at the intersection of profit and purpose & would like to learn more about joining our award-winning accelerator program.

Become A Mentor

At some point in your career, you were likely helped by someone who went before you. Join our cause and share your experience with an early-stage founder by becoming a mentor.

Expand Our Movement

Learn how the Novella Center for Entrepreneurship Accelerator can create inclusive opportunities for diverse founders and spur economic growth in your city.

CVL Alumni Testimonials

"Conscious Venture Lab is creating a culture where everyone involved is invested in seeing the founders win. Conscious Venture Lab makes you raise your game as a founder because you are held account by the community to execute.

- Kendrick Pullen, LifeTagger
CVL Alumni Testimonials

"Conscious Venture Lab helped us see the bigger picture- how to do more social good while increasing our scalability and profitability."

- Aviva & Arielle Vogelstein, ReVased
CVL Alumni Testimonials

"Conscious Venture Lab is a place of growth for founders and social impact companies. As a reult, of the feedback we received, we made critical pivots and are far more effective in telling our story to investors and customers alike."

- Christopher King, We are Marcus.


The Novella Center for Entrepreneurship creates opportunities for new prosperity for diverse entrepreneurs and underestimated urban communities by using entrepreneurship as a tool for economic inclusion. We are dedicated to changing the story about who gets funded and how we all work.

Mentor Network

Sujuan Ba, Ph.D.
Active Seed Investor | Non-Profit Leader
Ernest Benjamin, Jr.
Chief Credit Officer & FHA Chief Underwriter
Kelli Booth
Principal at Early Charm Ventures, LLC
Mike Brady
Entrepreneur | CEO | Social Justice | Inclusive Hiring | Jobtech | Public Speaker | Nonprofit and Corporate Governance | Impact Investing | PwC
Catie Campbell
Executive Coach | EQ Expert | Strategy & Culture Change
Robel Chiappini
Africa Venture Capital
Nick Culbertson
CEO at Protenus
Ollen Douglass
Managing Partner at Motley Fool Ventures
Chris Ewing
Head of Sales and Marketing at Early Charm and associated portfolio companies
Laurie Felker Jones
2X Certification Lead
Yair Flicker
President, SmartLogic
Sloan Foster
Builder | Operator | Connector | Founder Institute Mentor | Wicked Problem Solver
Andrew Freedman
Managing Partner, SHIFT
Chandler Givens
Adjunct Prof. + Consulting
Smitha Gopal
CEO at Rendia, Inc.
Kerry Graves
Executive Director at NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore
Angela Hein
CPG Consultant & Startup Advisor
Monika Jansen
Head Kick-Ass Copywriter and Strategist/CEO
Tara Jenkins
CEO & Founder at Conscious Revolution
Miles Kemp
Chief Vision Officer & Head of Design at Variate, Entrepreneur
S.Ko-yung Lee
High Performance Coach + Investor
Elise Liberto
Partner | Private Equity Group at Brown Advisory
Rai-mon Nemar Barnes
Visioneer, B Corp founder at Consciously®
Hideto Nishitani
Board Member | Financial Services | International Business
Pete Oliver-Krueger
Chief Librarian,
Cosmina Popa
Building and supporting startups that make a difference in the world
Pete Ryan
Partner at Ryan & Wetmore, PC & Wealth Advisor at Alikos Wealth Management, LLC
Nina Sharma
Ecosystem builder. Startup supporter. Impact storyteller.
Justin Shelby
President at REEA Global | Skier & Biker & Drummer
Yanik Silver
Founder, | Author, | Creator | Catalyzing the Catalysts to Make a Global Impact
Andrea Spudich
Strengths-based leadership development consultant & coach for conscious business builders
Adam Van Dyke
Entrepreneur | Business Builder | Blue Economy
Dana M Wildeboer
Head of Marketing & Communications at All Raise
Gary A. Williams
Founder & CEO | wRatings, Co-Managing Partner | G2 Equity Partners
Wen Zhang
Founder and CEO at INNW Institute | Fundraising & Startup Advisor | Pitch Expert | Tedx Speaker


At some point in your career you likely helped by someone who went before you. We believe that giving of yourself is one of the greatest acts of learning. Join our cause and share your experience with an early-stage founder by becoming a mentor.

Become a Mentor

How It Began

In 2013, our internationally acclaimed Conscious Venture Lab Accelerator program opened its doors in Howard County, Maryland as the passion and brainchild of our founder Jeff Cherry. For more than 37 years, Jeff has been a serial entrepreneur, management consultant, architect, tech executive and investor, and the program is built upon the foundation of this body of work. The program has continued to scale to meet the needs of society, address the current business climate, and support diverse entrepreneurs, and has included a move to West Baltimore, a subsequent move to Port Covington and a pivot during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Full Story Here (PDF)

Our Team

Jeff Cherry
Founder, CEO
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Venture capitalist, serial entrepreneur. Started 7 companies with 3 successful exits. Inc. 500 CEO (1997).
Founder of first public equity fund investing in stakeholder focused companies.

Content McLaughlin
Chief Administrative Officer
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JD and LLM (Taxation) from University of Baltimore. Graduate, Merrick School of Business. Entrepreneur. Extensive board, senior executive and non-profit experience.

Eliza Graham
Chief of Staff
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Extensive business and community relation experience; helping individuals, teams and organizations focus their intentions on creating a positive impact within their communities, businesses and themselves.

Marianna Pappas
Program Director
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Daily planning and program management for the 12-week accelerator program. Small business owner. Expertise in marketing, brand management, social media and program logistics.

Thank you to our partners!

Become a Partner

As a nonprofit organization, NCE relies on philanthropic donations to support our entrepreneurs and sustain our operations. If you’re interested in supporting NCE through philanthropy, please contact us today.

We welcome Corporate Sponsors to support the work of our founders, companies and individuals. Corporate Partners can offer free services, content, sponsor demo days and more.


Become a Partner

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