Civic Incubator

The Civic Incubator inspires entrepreneurs and strengthens early-stage “civic ventures.”

We embrace service and civic engagement as fundamental to a purposeful life and essential to healthy communities. We serve as the platform from which entrepreneurs are able to launch and scale new ventures that inspire, equip and mobilize people to drive positive change.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Today, we face increasingly complex social problems with limited financial resources. Most traditional institutions – government, business and nonprofit – have to do more with less, creating a growing demand for engaging people in problem solving. To truly solve today’s complex problems, we need breakthrough ideas that are scalable, leverage technology and engage people in new and different ways.

Fortunately, entrepreneurs are stepping up to meet this challenge and the market is shifting. People are interested in solving social issues in new ways with 60 million Americans saying they care about the social and environmental impact of products, and a developing market with $2.7 trillion in capital focused on social impact investing. However, the lack of infrastructure, access to capital and support services makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to launch ambitious programs. As a result, innovative ideas often dissipate before becoming real and meaningful solutions.

OUR BELIEFS

Big advances in society have always been powered by people. We believe that by applying the lessons and tools from the private sector – and building a similar ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders – we can increase the likelihood of success for civic ventures and create transformative change in our communities.

OUR SOLUTIONS

We help civic entrepreneurs in three ways:

CIVIC ACCELERATOR

Civic Accelerator LogoPoints of Light has partnered with Village Capital to launch the first startup accelerator program focused on civic ventures. The program includes mentoring, entrepreneur education, peer support and networking. Additionally, seed investments will be made ($50,000 each) for two of the most promising solutions in each cohort, as selected by the entrepreneurs themselves. Applications are being accepted for the fall 2013 Civic Accelerator through Sept. 6.

 

VENTURES IN RESIDENCE

Ventures in Residence LogoWe help entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale their civic ventures. We provide strategic and operational support for a period of one to three years including strategy and networking, finance, human resources, marketing and communications, systems and infrastructure. In addition, ventures are able to leverage our 501(c)(3) status through a fiscal agent relationship. A sample of our civic ventures includes generationOn, AmeriCorpsAlums and Fuse Corps. Applications will be available soon.

 

MERGERS AND JOINT VENTURES

Mergers and Joint Ventures LogoWe will pursue strategic mergers and joint ventures in areas where there is a market gap, shared interests, and entrepreneurs and organizations are aligned with Points of Light’s mission, values, networks and growth strategies. If you are interested in our mergers and joint ventures opportunity, please email us.

 

Together, these approaches offer specialized ways to help social entrepreneurs launch and scale their ideas. These ideas become programs, social enterprises, nonprofits and joint ventures–each aimed at putting people at the center of change and advancing civic engagement around the world.

For more information on any of these programs, please email us at: civicincubator@pointsoflight.org.