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  • Writer's pictureKaty Sperry

Torrey Project Startups: LyfBox and \STR\, a stellar company

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

Torrey Project's first incubator cohort took place from June 3-29, 2019 in San Diego, California. The cohort included five different entrepreneur participants, who we now refer to as Torrey Project’s “Stakeholder One.” This article will highlight two of the ventures that these entrepreneurs worked on, namely LyfBox and \STR\, a stellar company.


LyfBox is a venture started by Matteo Tousignant-Hernandez and Charles Bullard that focuses on creating prefabricated modular housing units out of shipping containers. The vision is for these housing structures to be used for rapid deployment in regions that have been impacted by natural disasters. These modular homes are highly sustainable because they utilize recycled shipping containers and thus do not require the sourcing of other construction materials. These housing structures can be rapidly implemented because because they do not require on-site construction. This turnkey home installation process is incredibly valuable in disaster-stricken areas where multitudes of survivors are left homeless and where the land itself cannot support conventional building methodologies.

Matteo and Charles were given the opportunity to participate in the Torrey Project incubator after their presentation in the Global Social Innovation Challenge. As undergraduate students at the University of San Diego, this incubator experience provided them with great insights and tangible skills about how to succeed as entrepreneurs through the overarching methodology of conscious capitalism.

\STR\, a stellar company

Laurel Lees participated in the Torrey Project incubator, along with her co-founder Jessa Spainhower, representing their start-up \STR\, a stellar company. \STR\ is a business consulting entrepreneurial venture that strives to provide streamlined business solutions through regenerative business consulting, strategic planning, and operational services. \STR\’s core business values align with the triple bottom line approach to capitalism, in which monetary profit, environmental preservation, and social capital are cornerstones throughout the strategic advisory and decision-making process. The goal of \STR\ is to boost ecological health, enhance social capital, and revive economies through the widespread implementation of conscious capitalism business initiatives.

Laurel became connected with the Torrey Project incubator while participating in a Net Impact SD sustainable business panel on the University of San Diego campus (her alma mater). Laurel had wanted to start her own business for a long time but was struggling to figure out how to make money doing so while also having a positive net impact on the world around her. The incubator provided Laurel with a greater understanding of the purpose, core values, and future steps needed to be taken in order to realize the full potential of \STR\. She learned a great deal about the methodology that goes into making strong business decisions that create shared value for stakeholders. Laurel received a lot of honest & productive feedback from David, his founding team members, and fellow entrepreneur participants that have forced her to reevaluate and ultimately strengthen the underlying basis of her start-up business.

What’s Next

We at Torrey Project look forward to following the continued progress and development of these entrepreneurial ventures over the coming months. They will continue to receive mentorship from the Torrey Project team over the next 12 months and will always be part of Torrey Project’s Stakeholder One cohort.

By: Alan Pleat

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