Points of Light Civic Accelerator Invests $100,000 in Two Startups Advancing Workforce Innovation

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator graduates 11 civic ventures that are addressing ways to improve educational and workforce outcomes to prepare individuals for 21st century employment

ATLANTA, Jan. 3, 2018 – The Points of Light Civic Accelerator announced today that it will invest $50,000 each in ReciproCare (Washington, D.C.), a for-profit enterprise, and La Cocina VA (Arlington, Virginia), a nonprofit enterprise. Both ventures are focused on access and pathways to employment to help more individuals and families succeed.

The Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator and investment fund in the country focused on civic ventures – for-profit and nonprofit startups that solve social problems by tapping into human capital as part of the solution. The goal of the accelerator is to equip each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovations.

The investment came at the end of the Civic Accelerator’s 10th bootcamp-style early-stage program. The fall 2017 program convened 11 startups over 10 weeks for three in-person, week-long sessions in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, in addition to an in-depth virtual curriculum. Using vetted investment criteria, the program peer participants themselves selected the two ventures that received $50,000 investments.

ReciproCare helps senior-care organizations find great caregivers, and helps caregivers find great jobs. “This experience has been transformative and will continue to propel our mission for years to come,” said Rachel Fuller, co-founder of ReciproCare. “With this $50,000, we will be able to accelerate our impact and reach 10,000 caregivers by the end of 2018. By bringing more caregivers to full employment, we can increase their economic stability and help senior care providers deliver more care.”

La Cocina generates social and economic change by preparing unemployed immigrants for culinary and entrepreneurial careers. “The opportunity to participate in CivicX has elevated and refined our model as a nonprofit and an evolving social enterprise,” said Paty Funegra, founder of La Cocina VA. “This investment validates the confidence our peers and mentors have in our product, impact and ability to scale. We look forward to implementing the tools and cultivating the networks CivicX provided as we build our kitchen incubator and programs for food-focused entrepreneurs."

In its fifth year, the Civic Accelerator has committed $800,000 in investment and has paired 123 startup teams with more than 150 mentors, partners and strategic advisers. The graduated teams have generated more than $50 million in revenue to-date and reached more than 18.7 million individuals to solve the most critical social problems facing communities across the country.

“It’s inspiring to work with our corporate partners, faculty and mentors to help accelerate these entrepreneurs who are unlocking talent and increasing employment in our economy. They are improving access to jobs through innovative education, workforce training and on-ramps to career advancement particularly among populations with high rates of unemployment such as immigrants, the disabled, women of color, the formerly incarcerated and others facing barriers,” said Ayesha Khanna, founder of the Points of Light Civic Accelerator. “Our teams represent the diversity of this country – more than 50 percent led by women, and more than 70 percent by racial/ethnic minorities – with domain expertise and proximity to these issues so they can best solve them.”

The graduated ventures in the fall 2017 cohort are:

BridgeYear Nonprofit (Houston) – connects underserved individuals to high-growth employment and education opportunities through Career Test Drives and timely advising.

ClassTracks For-profit (Baltimore) – empowers English language learners through an online learning tool that helps them learn key vocabulary more quickly and efficiently.

Cooperate Inc. Nonprofit (New York) – connects under-represented college graduates to each other and to meaningful careers in tech, media and design.

Fathers Building Futures Nonprofit (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – ensures parents and families experiencing barriers from incarceration have opportunities for stability through job skills training and placement, financial education and wrap-around services.

Gifted Education Foundation Nonprofit (Atlanta) – aims to break generational cycles of poverty by producing marketplace leaders from low-income communities across America.

InReturn Strategies For-profit (Kansas City) – enables businesses to overcome social barriers and employ people with disabilities as easily as they do mainstream populations.

JobSnap Media Inc. For-profit (Los Angeles) – is the first web app video interviewing software platform, helping Generation Z in underserved communities enter the workforce by telling their story via 30-second videos.

La Cocina VA Nonprofit (Arlington, Virginia) – generates social and economic change by preparing unemployed immigrants for culinary and entrepreneurial careers.

NewHire® For-profit (Chicago) – helps businesses hire better by providing the candidates, screening tools and coaching.

ReciproCare For-profit (Washington, D.C.) – helps senior-care organizations find great caregivers, and helps caregivers find great jobs.

The Memo For-profit (New York) – is a digital career subscription platform that provides career readiness training for women of color to advance in their careers.

About Points of Light 

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

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, bootcamp-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. CivicX was launched in 2012, with support from founding partners PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation, and in partnership with Village Capital. We also receive support from Bank of America, Dentons, Singing for Change and official hotel sponsor Hilton. Visit cvcx.org for more information or follow the accelerator on Twitter at @civicacceleratr and across social media at #CIVICX