While United Way proudly supports established non-profits that provide much needed products and services in our community, we realize it’s not always feasible or prudent for these organizations to change course or divert resources to explore a new initiative. With that in mind, the Social Innovation Accelerator (SIA) is unique in three key ways:
- Innovation: SIA enables new or existing organizations to apply for funding for groundbreaking ventures that place social impact at the heart of their business model.
- Fellows: Recipients of funding may be both non-profit and for-profit organizations, intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial ventures.
- Milestones: Seed funding is linked to the completion of program activities and milestones to ensure that impact can be made quickly.
Drawing on the strength of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and supporters from across the community, the Social Innovation Accelerator provides a three-pronged investment approach:
- Financial capital through seed funding to accelerate your impact work
- Human capital through expert instruction and one-on-one mentoring to refine your plan
- Social capital through the United Way network to increase visibility, connections and resources
At United Way, we know that innovation can come from many different places. That’s why SIA is designed to support innovation from both new organizations and from within established non-profits.
The Social Innovation Accelerator looks for ideas that fill gaps in our community landscape. We find innovative ideas poised to better our community and supply them with the critical resources needed to bring those ideas to life. Fellows are problem-solvers whose innovations will help us move toward United Way’s 10-year community goals. Our investment in these organizations provides wrap-around support to help innovators refine their solutions to be more sustainable and impactful.
Up to ten organizations will be invited to become GroundFloor Fellows. Our 2020 Accelerator Class is comprised of three components:
- Bootcamp powered by Santanter
- Mentor Accelerator
- The Vote & The Pitch
5 of the 10 Fellows will be selected to participate
|Human Capital||Social Capital||Financial Capital|
|Grounded Bootcamp||Intensive expert instruction to help you refine your business plan and set milestone goals||Publicity as GroundFloor Fellows||Seed funding for completion|
|Mentor Accelerator||One-on-one mentoring and coaching with a GroundFloor Mentor||Connections and resources through the United Way network||Seed funding for the completion of each of three milestones|
|OneUp||Social media training and strategy support by Accenture & Opportunity to work with YPO coaches and network with YPO members||Increased visibility through digital community engagement and a large scale, public pitch event||Opportunity for additional seed funding|
- Mentorship: Our experienced mentors are paired with Fellows based on expertise and need. Mentoring can range from providing an overall sounding board to strategic problem solving in specific areas.
- Peer Learning: SIA Fellows navigate the Accelerator as a group and benefit by learning and sharing with each other. An important component of the program is building a camaraderie with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who serve as support and a valuable resource.
- Seed Funding: Fellows can earn seed funding by successfully completing program elements.
- Increased Visibility: The social capital of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas helps to increase visibility of SIA Fellows through media coverage, participation in community-wide events and digital community engagement.
- Organizational Capacity Assessment Grid (OCAG): The OCAG is designed to help measure the overall capacity of your organization and your organizational growth throughout the Social Innovation Accelerator.
- United Way Staff: After an initial assessment of your organization, we work with you to establish short and long-term goals that we work to achieve during the 5-month program. Staff provides accountability and creates forward momentum for our Fellows.
- United Way-Produced Promotional Video: United Way’s marketing staff will film and produce a short promotional video about each Fellow, valued at $5,000.