Jennifer Carolyn King
Jennifer Carolyn King, a social entrepreneur for 28 years, is passionate about inspiring healthy, adventuresome, soulful living, worldwide. Jennifer is the founder of BioSpace, Inc., the co-founder of Rugged Elegance, the soulful network of social entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and Kudos Trading Co., the beautiful mobile giving platform. Ms. King is also the President of the Rugged Elegance Foundation. The mission of the soulful network, the Rugged Elegance Foundation and Kudos.tc is to inspire healthy, adventuresome, soulful living, and philanthropic giving.
A founding trustee of The Thrive Foundation for Youth, Jennifer has created unique opportunities and environments for young people to thrive since 1995. In 2005, Jennifer, her partner, Timothy Fredel, together with their two daughters, Jessie and Niki, converted their former home in San Francisco into The Thrive House for Youth. For 7 1/2 years, The Thrive House served as a beautiful, safe haven where the city's under-served children came to learn life skills and find their "spark" in life. The Thrive House 2.0 is currently a work-in-progress. In November 2011, Jennifer's parents, Robert and Dorothy King, extended Thrive's mission significantly by creating a poverty institute at Stanford University called SEED (Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies). SEED's first innovation center is located in Accra, Ghana.
While Jennifer's heart resides in San Francisco, California and Kennebunkport, Maine, her soul resides in Africa. In 2007 and 2010, she spearheaded two philanthropic trips for her children and her adopted family. In Northern Kenya, Jennifer & Tim had a home built for orphans in Kusitawi Village. (Kusitawi in Swahili means "Thrive.") While in Lusaka, Zambia, Jennifer's adopted Swedish daughter, now a pediatric surgeon in Gothenburg, changed the lives of two burn victims by assisting Zambia's only plastic surgeon. Another of Jennifer and Tim's proudest investments has been with Grassroot Soccer, an organization that teaches kids about HIV and AIDS via the power of the game of soccer. Likewise, Ms. King and Mr. Fredel are passionate about the work of International Justice Mission, a global initiative to eradicate slavery and sex trafficking in developing countries.
An avid cyclist and a member of Velo-SF, Jennifer raises awareness and funds each year for the American Diabetes Association. In May 2013, she completed her sixth Tour de Cure century ride in Napa. Both of her children were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of four.
Professionally, Jennifer is responsible for having created one of the first 50,000 websites in the world. In March 1995, she launched ~ her first venture ~ BioSpace.com, the global hub site for life sciences. Today, thousands of people have found their jobs via the BioSpace Career Center, and millions are kept abreast of news and clinical trial developments via the aggregation of biotechnology and pharmaceutical company information, worldwide. Her venture-backed "first baby" is now in its 17th year of service. In 2003, Jennifer transitioned out of the promotion of life sciences to life. Her first-of-two social ventures, Rugged Elegance is an invitation-only "soulful" network. Every Rugged Elegance member is a philanthropist. Members of Rugged Elegance inspire healthy, adventuresome, soulful living. All three combined? They call this "HAS Magic" living.
Within the private network is a PASSIONS community called RuggedEleganceAfrica.org. This online book ~ a work-in-progress ~ is being created to inspire more people-of-means to go to Africa and come home passionate about effecting positive change within the continent. Within Africa and around the world, Jennifer's philanthropic focus has been: AIDS, starvation, gender violence, clean water, poverty, education and shelter.
In June 2012, Jennifer and her partner of 24 years, launched a global mobile initiative called Kudos Trading Co.
Kudos.tc offers an in-the-moment way to express gratitude with a small, creme-de-la-creme gift (like flowers or ice cream), or a donation in the recipient's name to a select non-profit organization. On June 2nd, the first ever Kudosong was sung by Olivia King at the Rugged Elegance Presents ... Kudos Trading Co. launch.
All "moving" philanthropic and "good" kudos raise money and awareness for The Thrive House for Youth, Grassroot Soccer, Love Light & Melody, The Rwandan Cycling Team, and other non-profit organizations supported by members of the Rugged Elegance network.