AAJA Catalyst Entrepreneurs Update

AAJA Catalyst Entrepreneurs Update

AAJA’s Catalyst entrepreneurship program was launched in 2017 for founders of color who want to learn how to fund and launch their own media products. Application for the next Catalyst bootcamp will be out soon. SAVE THE DATES: Jan. 29, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021 in San Francisco.

A check in with a few of our program entrepreneurs:


Megan_Rummler.jpgMegan Rummler, A|DECIBEL

AAJA 2017 Catalyst Entrepreneur

Since Catalyst, I launched a digital media start-up called, A|DECIBEL Media (adecibel.com) and its first production is a podcast called, FULL FRAME, featuring Asian American trailblazers.

The pilot, Season 1, debuted on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, and featured 12 episodes of intimate conversations with leading and emerging Asian Americans from all walks of life. 

Our guests include the co-screenwriter for Crazy Rich Asians, a Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist; Smithsonian’s first-ever, in-house choreographer; and a “Forbes 30, Under 30” statistician who fights human trafficking. 


Iris_Kuo.jpgIris Kuo, LedBetter

AAJA 2017 Catalyst Entrepreneur

LedBetter is a data-driven company building tools that enable and encourage equal opportunity workplaces. They previously launched the The Gender Equality Index, a ranked database detailing gender parity in the leadership of over 2,000 of the world’s biggest consumer brands. LedBetter’s work has been covered in Fortune,Forbes,CBS News andCNNMoney among others. It’s led byIris Kuo, a writer and journalist whose work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and The Washington Post. She holds a fellowship from the Tara Health Foundation, and was previously named a leading woman working towards gender equality by Refinery29 

We are looking for introductions to potential investors, as well as customers interested in diversity data work for their industry (our current pipeline include evaluating sexual harassment policies, pay equity among executives at large corporations and a pilot for diversity & inclusion corporate practices). 


Katerina_Krystie.jpgKaterina Jeng & Krystie Mak, Slant’d

AAJA 2017 Catalyst Entrepreneurs

In less than 3 years, Slant’d made a noticeable impact on the community. They garnered validation for our signature event series (magazine launch parties, story slams, Lazy Susan happy hours, and pop-up dinners) by putting on in-person gatherings in our four key cities (*all* of which were sold out!). They also partnered with countless Asian American artists, business owners, and cultural institutions and published 3 magazines featuring 50 deeply personal stories by Asian American peers that give voice to our community and dimensionalize the Asian American experience. They fostered a highly-engaged online community of 11,535 followers.

In 2020, we are looking to 

  • Continue to publish our annual literary magazine, showcasing different Asian Americans around the country. 
  • Organize meaningful, on-the-ground, community-strengthening experiences in NY, Denver, SF and LA to foster deeper connections, encourage self-discovery, and celebrate our cultural heritage on a more regular basis. 
  • Mobilize a team of brand ambassadors and Slant’d supporters across the country to help cultivate the community Asian Americans want, need, and deserve

Help us build momentum by sharing ourcampaign 


Ameer_Al-Khatahtbeh.jpgAmeer Al-Khatahtbeh, Muslim

AAJA 2018 Catalyst Entrepreneur

Muslim was created with the purpose of giving Muslim youth a seat at the table. We are building a community and media platform that gives Muslim youth the chance to share their narratives, as it is needed now more than ever. We tackle Muslim issues while dismantling anti-Muslim tropes and stereotypes within the media, by giving Muslims the chance to speak. If you want to be a Muslim ally, this is the right place for you. 

Join 15,000+ others and sign up for our weekly newsletter in collaboration with MuslimGirl, #1 Muslim women’s media site. http://muslim.am/ – follow us on Instagram for daily posts, too @muslim


Noel.jpgNoël Duan, Argos & Artemis

AAJA 2018 Catalyst Entrepreneur

We launched Argos & Artemis, a community for good dogs and the good humans they love. We feature delightful conversations and stories with and by aspirational dog people, curated guides to living your best life with your pup, and most importantly, a trusted community of dog people who want to be the person their dogs thinks they are.

Subscribe to the Dog Park, our newsletter for good people who love good dogs delivered to your inbox every Saturday AM, just in time for some conversation starters at your IRL dog park. (Coffee not included.) Look out for curated canine stories along with dog lifestyle recommendations from your favorite tastemakers.


Karen_Yin.jpgKaren Yin, Conscious Style Guide

AAJA 2018 Catalyst Entrepreneur

I launched Conscious Style Guide, a free online resource that helps writers and editors stay connected to conscious language and how to write about marginalized communities with sensitivity.

Recent successes included The Associated Press Stylebook announced that AP is dropping the hyphen in terms like “Filipino American” for the upcoming 2019 edition and credited this change to Henry Fuhrmann’s “Drop the Hyphen in ‘Asian American’” article on ConsciousStyleGuide.com. The AP Stylebook also credited us with contributing to the new entries for “bisexual” and “asexual,” which were omitted when entries for “LGBT,” “lesbian,” “gay,” and “transgender” were added years ago.

Help me spread conscious language by giving the Conscious Style Guide newsletter a shout-out in your newsletter, blog, and social media.


PaolaMardoC3_SQ.jpgPaola Mardo, Long Distance Podcast

AAJA 2017 Catalyst Entrepreneur

I launched my podcast in October 2018 and it is called Long Distance, a narrative about life in the Filipino diaspora. It was selected as 1 of 6 inaugural shows for the Google Podcasts creator program with PRX, an accelerator program for podcasting. More about program at googlecp.prx.org.

Long Distance has been featured in U.S. and Philippine outlets including Rappler, Inquirer, Colorlines, and Fast Company. It was selected as one of the 100 Outstanding Podcasts of 2018 by Bello Collective. It has been featured on Spotify and it is currently on Apple Podcasts’ U.S. New and Noteworthy section. More about the show at longdistanceradio.com.

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