adidas Community Lab: Empowering latino/a/e social entrepreneurs in Portland

The 2023 adidas Community Lab, in collaboration with Impact Hub, supports Black and Latino/a/e social entrepreneurs by providing resources, funding, and mentorship. This year’s programme graduated eight participants, each receiving $75,000 in funding. The programme concluded with a pitch competition, awarding additional funding to three winners: $25,000 for first place, $10,000 for second, and product and partnership support for third. 

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The adidas Community Lab, in collaboration with Impact Hub Network, has been dedicated to closing the opportunity gap for Black and Latino/a/e social entrepreneurs. This year, the 2023-2024 accelerator programme continued this mission by providing invaluable resources and support to help turn visionary ideas into impactful realities. This initiative reinforces adidas’s commitment to equitable access in sports, health, and wellness for underserved communities. Through mentorship, workshops, special meetups, pitch practices, and networking opportunities, the programme has truly set the stage for the hero journeys of its participants.

“Supporting entrepreneurs who are passionate and dedicated to building a more inclusive and just world is one of the most inspiring and meaningful experiences of a lifetime.“

Achievements of the programme

This year, the adidas Community Lab successfully graduated all eight of its participants. Each entrepreneur received comprehensive support, including:


  • Mentorship from industry leaders
  • Weekly entrepreneurship workshops
  • Special meetups for community building
  • Pitch support to refine their business presentations
  • Numerous networking opportunities to amplify their work

Beyond these resources, each organisation was awarded $75,000 in non-directive funding to further their initiatives. The culmination of the programme featured an internal pitch competition where participants presented their projects to adidas’s Senior Leadership Team, key business partners, local Portland media, and other community leaders. From this event, two winners were selected to receive additional funding:


  • First Place,  Mashari Tyson, Founder and CEO at Black Excellence Group – $25,000 Prize
  • Second Place, Lestarya Tuadi Molloy, Founder and CEO at Fridie Outdoors – $10,000 Prize

“Sports saved my life growing up, and it has been a great pleasure to support diverse founders who are actively changing the lives of our communities by making sports more equitable. I’m so proud of their growth through the programme and excited to see their impact at scale!”

Black Excellence Group

The Black Excellence Group is transforming the student experience by focusing on the mental well-being of Black children. Their initiative creates safe spaces within schools for weekly Black affinity group programming. By fostering a positive racial identity and a sense of belonging, the Black Excellence Group empowers Black students with the skills and confidence needed to thrive. Their innovative approach to mental health and identity development is creating a lasting impact on the lives of young Black students.

“It was surreal and such an honour to win first place at adidas Community Lab Pitch Day. Our programme is designed to accelerate belonging and trajectories for black children, so this win means the world for us. It was also such a powerful recognition of the need for more community investment and expanded programming. This accelerator experience with the adidas Purpose and Impact Hub teams was phenomenal. From the strategic human connections, to expert fireside sessions, to invaluable exposure to partnership opportunities— this was a once in a lifetime opportunity!! I am so grateful and Black Excellence Group will be integrating the learnings and insights gained for years to come. “

Fridie Outdoors

Fridie Outdoors is on a mission to make the outdoors accessible and enjoyable for everyone. They empower individuals with the knowledge and skills needed for camping, helping them experience joy, confidence, and freedom in nature. By breaking down barriers to outdoor activities, Fridie Outdoors is encouraging more people to embrace and enjoy the natural world.

Big Yard Foundation

The Big Yard Foundation focuses on empowering disadvantaged and historically marginalised communities through literacy, creativity, and physical wellness. Their holistic approach addresses multiple aspects of community well-being, promoting educational and creative development alongside physical health. Brennan Scarlett, Founder and President, also received a third place prize in the form of Product and Partnership Support for the “Big Yard Academy” summer programme.

The adidas Community Lab aims to continue supporting entrepreneurs in realising their ideas and surpassing their aspirations. By providing resources, funding, and mentorship, adidas and the Impact Hub Network have empowered these social entrepreneurs to drive positive change in their communities. As adidas continues to dismantle systemic barriers, their commitment to active change through sport and community engagement remains a core principle, extending beyond design innovation.

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