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.

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.



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.

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.



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.

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

Conscious Venture Lab Accelerator Alumni

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.

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.

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.

Marianna Pappas
Director of Network
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Program management for the 4-week CVL Accelerator Program. Small business owner. Expertise in marketing, brand management, social media and program logistics. Mentor and Alumni relationship manager.


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

Mentor Network

Justin Abad
Hospitality and Management Professional
Jonathan Aberman
Dean and Professor of Practice, Marymount University
Harry Alford
Sales Lead at Portal | Ex Coinbase
Sujuan Ba, Ph.D.
Active Seed Investor | Non-Profit Leader
Kory Bailey
Chief Ecosystem & Relationship Officer
Craig Bandes
CEO, Pixelligent Technologies - Next Gen Nano
Tessa Bennet
Certified Public Accountant
Ernest Benjamin, Jr.
Chief Credit Officer & FHA Chief Underwriter
Carmin Black
Co-Founder at HALF UNITED
Kerriann Blair
Fractional CFO
Madelyn Blair
Mentor • Words @Psychtoday • Faculty @Columbia • TV Show Host of Unlocked • Keynote Speaker •Author
Maurice Boissiere
Helping founders launch and grow faster
Wendy Bolger
Founding Director, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Loyola University Maryland
Kelli Booth
Principal at Early Charm Ventures, LLC
Bobby Bowers
Board Director | Corporate Finance | Early-Stage
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
Melissa Carrier
Professor of the Practice and Director of Social Innovation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Marcelo Castro
Founder & CEO @MarketLogic
Betsy Cerulo
CEO AdNet/AccountNet, Inc.-Management Consulting /Human Capital Management. 8(a)/LGBTE/WBE; Author
Robel Chiappini
Africa Venture Capital
Michael Cryor
President at The Cryor Group
Nick Culbertson
CEO at Protenus
Chauncey Curtz
Managing Partner of Lexington, KY office and Chair of Natural Resources Practice Group at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP
Theresa Daytner
Fortune Most Powerful Woman Entrepreneur | Practical Visionary, Triple Bottom-Line Builder
Sabrina Depestre
Higher Ed Marketing Director | Brand Marketing Consultant | 🎙️Podcast Host
Brendan Doherty
Builder | Investor | Heartfelt Leader
Tamara Dottin
Lead Software Engineer at Acre
Ollen Douglass
Managing Partner at Motley Fool Ventures
Delali Dzirasa
CEO, Fearless
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
Rick Frazier
Founding Partner, Concinnity Advisors, LP
Andrew Freedman
Managing Partner, SHIFT
Chandler Givens
Adjunct Prof. + Consulting
Smitha Gopal
CEO at Rendia, Inc.
Kerry Graves
Executive Director at NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore
Francesca Gallucci
Full time Francesca
Oliver Guinness
Co-Founder, Managing Director at MOTIV (not active in new endeavors)
Eric Harr
Co-Founder & CEO at The Laudato sì Challenge Foundation - Inspired by Pope Francis
Michael Harris
President at Quest Partners LLC
Stephanie Hay
UX Director @ Google
Angela Hein
CPG Consultant & Startup Advisor
Jay Ifert
NYU MBA | Veteran
Ramzy Ismail
Building financial products for underserved working families at EQL | On Deck Fellow
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
Brian LeGette
CEO at Ammortal, Inc.
Alex Levin
Helping businesses grow and thrive for over 30 years
Winston Lord
Helping mission-driven leaders scale
Tony Loyd
RRCA Certified Coach | Run for Social Justice
Julie Lenzer
Chief Innovation Office, University of Maryland
Elise Liberto
Partner | Private Equity Group at Brown Advisory
Rai-mon Nemar Barnes
Visioneer, B Corp founder at Consciously®
Richard Manekin
Partner at Workshop Development, Inc.
Allyson McDougal
Co-Founder @ WorkChew | Techstars '20
Pam Miller
Inside Sales Executive at WR Grace
Lexie Mooneyham
Information Technology Technician at Eagle Eye Networks Inc
Charles Moore
Information Technology Technician at Eagle Eye Networks Inc
Tina Naser
Senior Partner and Global Organization & Culture Practice Leader
Hideto Nishitani
Board Member | Financial Services | International Business
Victor Obioma
Ex. Panalpina| Ex. Nokia| Ex. Samsung in 2 Divs.-CE & SVC| Advisor- Loconav Inc., VERTEX Group| GB Council Board@ FAB|
Pete Oliver-Krueger
Chief Librarian,
Doug Palley
Award-Winning Entrepreneur & Start-up Mentor
Jacques Panis
Former President of Shinola | CEO | Founder | Board Member | TEDx Speaker
Choloe Parker
Manager at Ryan & Wetmore, PC
Susan Pinkwater
Founder- Adaptive Sports Movement
Steve Polo
Managing Partner at OPX
Cosmina Popa
Building and supporting startups that make a difference in the world
Kendrick Pullen
Co-Founder at LifeTagger
Larry Rivitz
Social Entrepreneur
Pete Ryan
Partner at Ryan & Wetmore, PC & Wealth Advisor at Alikos Wealth Management, LLC
Katina Rojas Joy
Public Servant: Moore/Miller Adminstration
Duane Rollins
Product and Design Leader | Certified Professional Coach | Startup/Investor Ecosystem Builder
Hank Romaine
Fractional CFO - Founder/CFO at HSR Advisory, LLC; Bitcoiner; Entrepreneur In Residence at Conscious Venture Lab
Pam Rothenberg
Creative real estate & business attorney & intrapreneur, devoted to clients and committed to growing the Impact Economy
Jonathan Schubbe
Senior UX / Product Designer
Nina Sharma
Ecosystem builder. Startup supporter. Impact storyteller.
Justin Shelby
President at REEA Global | Skier & Biker & Drummer
Whitney Siders
Change Maker | Strategist | Facilitator | Learner | Innovator
Yanik Silver
Founder, | Author, | Creator
Raj Sisodia
FEMSA Distinguished University Professor of Conscious Enterprise and Chairman, Conscious Enterprise Center at TECNOLOGICO DE MONTERREY
Jill Sorensen
Chief Development Officer at MTEC, Executive Director of MTEC Ventures
Andrea Spudich
Strengths-based leadership development consultant & coach for conscious business builders
Lisette Steel
Founder, Managing Partner: brand strategy and communications for life science, healthcare innovators
Michael Stinson
Global Head of Strategic Partnerships @ Atomic
Fredrick Sunesson
Bosate Group of Companies
Adam Van Dyke
Entrepreneur | Business Builder | Blue Economy
Jenny Thompson
Strategic business consulting for companies experiencing slower growth that are ready to breakthrough, innovate, and eliminate distractions.
Sabrina Thornton
Creativity & Innovation Program Officer at T. Rowe Price Foundation
Giovanni Tomaselli
President at SkyBell
Joe Valis
Investor | Advisor | Mentor
Kathleen Warner
Mission-driven, entrepreneurial leader who clears paths, cultivates relationships and aligns resources so that big ideas take root and grow.
Nate Weiner
Head of CDSS/EHR Technologies at Amalgam Rx
Ellington West
CEO & Co-Founder of Sonavi Labs
Dana M Wildeboer
Head of Marketing & Communications at All Raise
Neal Wilkinson
Partner at Kelson Investment Partners
Gary A. Williams
Founder & CEO | wRatings, Co-Managing Partner | G2 Equity Partners
Andy Will
Early Stage VC Investor | Fitness Fanatic | Twitter: @Andywill29
Tien Wong
CEO, Private investor; capit
Wen Zhang
Founder and CEO at INNW Institute | Fundraising & Startup Advisor | Pitch Expert | Tedx Speaker

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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