We are looking for a very specific type of social entrepreneur for the Civic Accelerator program.
You should be able to answer “yes” to the following questions before you apply:
- Is your venture addressing a social or community problem in the U.S.? Our current focus is on supporting U.S.-based start-ups, both for-profit and nonprofit. We hope to expand our scope in future years to support global entrepreneurs. Learn more about our global work here.
- Are you launching a “civic venture?” Does your startup leverage people as a core part of the solution?
- Are you in the startup phase? We do not select ventures at the idea stage. You should have a prototype or have completed a pilot program prior to applying.
- Have you recruited a minimum of two to three people to join your team? We believe that most successful startups are not the product of alone entrepreneur, but rather the collective work of small teams. We will consider teams of two to five people and are very reluctant to accept one-person startups.
- If your venture is a nonprofit, have you developed a means to generate earned revenue? We are interested in nonprofits that plan to supplement traditional grant and sponsorship revenues with earned revenue models.
- Is your venture a social enterprise? A social enterprise is an organization that applies business strategies to achieving social goals and can be structured as a for-profit or nonprofit.
- If accepted, will you be able to attend the entire Civic Accelerator program? To be eligible, at least one of your team members must be able to attend each of the three sessions.
YOU SHOULD NOT APPLY FOR THE CIVIC ACCELERATOR PROGRAM IF
- Your venture is past the startup phase. We typically define startup as less than five years old, and still searching for the proven and repeatable business model.
- Your venture does not leverage people as a core part of the solution. Points of Light is the largest service and civic engagement organization in the world, and thus, our focus is on supporting early-stage startups who believe in putting people at the center of change.
- Your proposal is for a faith-based initiative. We do not support ventures that are aligned with a specific religious institution or have been established to promote a specific faith.
- You have no track record of raising or generating revenue.
- Your venture is grounded in or focused on a specific political agenda or party. Points of Light has a 20-year history and bipartisan presidential support.