Points of Light Civic Accelerator Launches Spring 2016 Class – Invests in 13 Civic Ventures That Are Addressing Digital and Financial Inclusion
With its founding partner, the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., along with Capital One, Hilton Worldwide, Dentons, Vodafone, and Singing for Change, the Points of Light Civic Accelerator kicks off the Spring 2016 accelerator program with 13 ventures from across the United States working to solve the digital and financial divides.
ATLANTA, March 28, 2016 – 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 2016 program. This will be the seventh cohort of the Civic Accelerator since its founding in 2012. The ventures come from across the U.S. and include for-profits and nonprofits that focus on digital and financial inclusion to help more people succeed in the digital economy.
The 13 teams will gather in Atlanta on April 11 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 and the June 16 Demo Night event in Washington, D.C.
Application and selection committees screened more than 200 social ventures and reviewed 76 curated applications before selecting the top 30 finalists.
At the core of their missions, the chosen ventures are creating more opportunities for all to succeed in the digital economy. The solutions are diverse and include models driven by financial technology, mobile applications, and innovative software. Others seek to empower communities through workforce development, job skills training and financial literacy.
“We are excited to bring together such promising ventures focused on accelerating tech adoption and financial inclusion for low-income families, young adults and ethnic and racial minorities who are not benefitting from the economic recovery in the U.S.”, shared Ayesha Khanna, founder of the Points of Light Civic Accelerator. “This class includes innovative solutions -- including workforce development, asset building, internet access, and developing personal finance and digital skills -- to help individuals and families reach financial stability, obtain living wage employment and achieve economic mobility. We kick off in a few weeks and look forward to helping these teams and ventures succeed and grow in the months ahead”.
The civic startups participating in the Civic Accelerator Spring 2016 program represent California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. They are:
Autism Expressed (Philadelphia, PA, For-profit) is a learning platform teaching marketable skills to empower individuals with disabilities like autism.
Benefit Kitchen (Brooklyn, NY, For-profit) is a benefit screening and financial literacy tool that provides to-the-dollar eligibility information to low-income families who need help making ends meet.
Credit Do (New York, NY, Nonprofit) is on a mission to deliver the first debt-free generation and aims to break the cycle of financial exclusion specific to youth’s patterns with credit cards, work opportunity and affordability of college.
eCredable (Alpharetta, GA, For-profit) connects consumers without credit to affordable financial services from mainstream providers.
EveryoneOn (Washington D.C., Nonprofit) aims to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet, computers, and free digital literacy training accessible to all unconnected Americans.
HT Mobile Apps (Detroit, MI, For-profit) is a FinTech company that creates software to help financial institutions stay relevant and fun.
LaborX (Oakland, CA, For-profit) is the LinkedIn for the LinkedOut, connecting high need populations with living wage jobs.
LearnLux (Boston, MA, For-Profit) helps Millennials learn personal finance skills through online learning tools and connects them to the resources they need to take action.
Live It To Learn It (Chicago, IL, Nonprofit) combines financial literacy classes with access to relevant financial services through the first ever teen credit union, Money Locker.
New York On Tech (New York, NY, Nonprofit) is committed to creating pathways into the technology industry for underrepresented students.
Operation Spark (New Orleans, LA, Nonprofit) rapidly prepares low opportunity individuals for careers in software development through immersive training.
PYT Funds (Silver Springs, MD, For-profit) is a debt reduction model for student loans. By using predictive data to assess risk, PYT is able to fund the gap for education at a lower interest rate.
TechCongress (San Francisco, CA, Nonprofit) is building a 21st century Congress with technology talent, training and ideas.
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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 more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year – we put people at the center of change. 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, 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, a founding partner, and from Capital One, Vodaphone, Dentons US LLP, Singing for Change and official hotel sponsor, Hilton Worldwide. Visit cvcx.org for more information or follow the accelerator on Twitter at @civicacceleratr and across social media at #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.
About Capital One
Capital One Investing for Good is committed to enhancing the well-being of individuals and families in local communities. They focus on financial wellbeing, affordable housing, skills for the 21st century and small business development. All four areas of focus strengthen communities and prepare them for robust economic futures. To learn more visit www.capitaloneinvestingforgood.com or follow them on Twitter at @yourfutureedge.