Points of Light’s Civic Accelerator Launches Spring 2015 Class – Invests in 13 Civic Ventures That Put Women and Girls at Center of Change

With Founding Support From PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Starbucks Foundation, and Added Support from GE Foundation, Outerwall, McKenna Long Aldridge LLC, Singing for Change and Official Hotel Sponsor, Hilton Worldwide

ATLANTA, April 13, 2015 – The Points of Light Civic Accelerator – the first national accelerator dedicated to investing in civic ventures – announced today the 13 ventures selected to participate in its spring 2015 program. This will be the sixth round of the Civic Accelerator since its founding in 2012. The ventures come from across the U.S. and include for-profits, nonprofits and hybrids that are creating opportunities for women and girls to succeed in today’s economy.

The 14 teams will gather in Atlanta on April 27 for the start of an intensive, 10-week entrepreneur boot camp that includes mentoring, education, peer support and networking. Points of Light will offer two of the most promising ventures – as selected by the entrepreneurs themselves – a $50,000 investment following the conclusion of the program at the June 24 Demo Day event in New York.

Application and selection committees screened more than 200 social ventures and reviewed 55 formal applications before selecting the top 25 finalists.

The chosen ventures include a gender lens at the core of their mission and use innovative methods and platforms to mobilize people to address social issues in areas including education, environment, economy and technology-for-good. The platforms are diverse and include models driven by storytelling and cloud-based, tech platforms. Others seek to empower communities through crowdsourcing investments for small businesses and unique STEM education models.

“We are thrilled to have such a promising group of ventures in our next class, and we are particularly inspired to support and invest in solutions that are accelerating women and girls”, shared Ayesha Khanna, founder of the Points of Light Civic Accelerator. “This class includes innovative solutions that engage people to address critical gaps – from STEM and workforce readiness, to mentoring, safety and economic justice – and we look forward to helping these teams and ventures succeed and grow as we kick off in a few weeks.”

The civic startups participating in the Civic Accelerator’s Spring 2015 program represent California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Washington, and Washington, D.C. They are:

  • Develop Link (New York, NY, For-profit) is a platform to help healthcare professionals in developing countries improve care coordination and make more effective strategic decisions.
  • The Dress Project (Atlanta, GA, Hybrid) collects donated formal dresses and resells them in Malawi to fund education for young girls.
  • Firelily (Chicago, IL, For-profit) is a fundraising platform dedicated to those impacted by disaster and the organizations that serve them.
  • GirlForward (Chicago, IL, Nonprofit) is dedicated to creating opportunity for refugee girls who have been resettled in the U.S. from countries around the world.
  • HeartMob (New York, NY, Nonprofit) provides real-time support to individuals experiencing online harassment, and gives bystanders concrete actions they can take to step in and save the day.
  • Her Agenda (New York, NY, For-profit) is a platform of inspiration and information that offers professional millennial women access to career advice and a curated database of advancement opportunities, panels and conferences.
  • InvestNextDoor (Seattle, WA, For-profit) leads communities through capital transformations.
  • MotherCoders (San Francisco, CA, Nonprofit) offers a tech orientation program with on-site childcare for moms on-ramping to careers in technology.
  • Move This World (New York, NY, Nonprofit) harnesses the power of creative expression to build trust, reduce fear and inspire change within communities.
  • Pentorship (Atlanta, GA, Nonprofit) creates accessible, innovative, and relevant educational products for the incarcerated.
  • MSwift (Chicago, IL, For-profit) is a mobile financial management tool for underbanked individuals in emerging markets that tracks financial data and provides intelligent suggestions on how to improve economic well-being.
  • Smarty Pants Yoga (Chicago, IL, For-profit) empowers young girls to advocate for themselves and their communities.
  • Women LEAD Nepal (Washington, D.C., Nonprofit) empowers the next generation of female leaders in Nepal.

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About the Points of Light Civic Accelerator

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator program and investment fund in the country focused on “civic ventures” — for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. The three month, boot camp-style program convenes 10-15 teams in person and online with the goal of equipping each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovation. The Civic Accelerator was launched in 2012, in partnership with Village Capital, and receives generous support from PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation, both founding partners, and from the GE Foundation, Outerwall, McKenna Long Aldridge LLC, Singing for Change and our official hotel sponsor, Hilton Worldwide. We are pleased to also welcome Georgia-Pacific as our Atlanta Regional Sponsor. For more information, go to www.civic-x.org and follow @civicacceleratr #CivicX.

About PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.

The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) organization, makes charitable contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship, and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism.