Clifton Hall

Clifton Hall

Founder – Social Alchemy Applied, LLC

Meet Clifton Hall, founder of the Hall Leadership Academy (HLA)!

Clifton is passionate about how the intersection of social sciences, psychology, and technology can help communities to combat violence and reduce trauma. Clifton, coming from a low-income community himself, noticed how a lack of resources and youth programs perpetuates gang activity, violence, and drug abuse. What Clifton saw and experienced growing up inspired him to take action.


HLA is a platform that combines active and engaging curricula with scientific literature to provide resources for communities and youth suffering from trauma. In addition, the business is working on its new mobile app as a complementary tool. The app offers training videos, coaching, and other valuable resources for instructors and students against what Hall calls the “war on trauma”.


After it became nearly impossible for Clifton to continue to live and build a mobile app in New York during the pandemic, he came to Philadelphia to look for resources and programs that could assist him. It was during this period that he was accepted into Venture Cafe’s 2022 OnRamp cohort.

During OnRamp, Clifton was able to address things that he hadn’t yet considered, and now, he says that he is “extremely comfortable” with whoever he pitches to. The program also allowed Clifton to double down on creating his app and work towards acquiring funding.


When asked what he wished aspiring entrepreneurs knew while building a business, Clifton says to expect a lot of roadblocks but avoid getting stuck in them.

“One of the things that could have stopped me early on was believing that I needed a lot of funding to start (the app), but that wasn’t the case.” Clifton says that he was able to find free or cheap third-party platforms like Appypie that help to build workable, minimum viable products. Clifton reminds us that we can start wherever we are and to not get discouraged because of a lack of start-up capital.

Since the OnRamp program at Venture Cafe, Clifton has built a mock-up of all of the content that will be on the mobile app. His next big milestone is to hire someone who can assist him with the workload. Clifton feels that this will help free him up to work on things like user testing.

If you have any recommendations for Clifton, he is available via email at

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Twitter: @hallacademy1, @TraumaMe

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