The Points of Light Civic Accelerator, the first national accelerator program and investment fund in the country focused on “civic ventures,” has launched an application to call for innovative, early-stage social ventures with business models that focus on digital and financial inclusion to help more people succeed in the digital economy.
For the Digital & Financial Inclusion Challenge, the Civic Accelerator is pleased to announce that Capital One will join as the Spring Cohort Supporting Sponsor, along with founding supporters PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation. The Civic Accelerator receives additional support from Dentons, Singing for Change and official hotel sponsor, Hilton Worldwide.
The national call for applications will build a class of 12-15 innovative, scalable ventures that focus on creating greater access to financial and digital tools, technologies and services. The founders of the selected ventures will convene for three weeklong sessions from April to June in Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington D.C., to participate in the Civic Accelerator’s rigorous curriculum founded upon rapid innovation and lean startup methodologies.
Through the Civic Accelerator and its partners, the participating entrepreneurs will connect with impact investors, expert advisers and mentors, and successful entrepreneurs in the financial technology and social enterprise space.
During the program and in between sessions, teams will work in peer groups and with mentors to test and validate customer segments, achieve important seed-stage milestones and apply skills and tools learned in the accelerator to their respective ventures. At the end of the program, the two most promising teams (one for-profit and one nonprofit) will each receive a $50,000 investment with a twist – the teams themselves ultimately decide who will receive the investments.
Capital One’s support of the Points of Light Civic Accelerator is part of its $150 million Future Edge initiative, a five-year effort designed to help more Americans to get the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Visit www.capitalone.com/investingforgood to learn more or join the discussion on Twitter at @YourFutureEdge.
“We are thrilled to work with our corporate partners to identify and help accelerate breakthrough solutions to connect lower-income and disconnected individuals and communities with financial and digital tools and on-ramps to participate in the global economy. The solutions are many, from user-generated and peer-to-peer technologies, equitable access to financial services, to models that influence savings and spending habits,” said Ayesha Khanna, founder of the Civic Accelerator. “As we launch our next class, we will be leveraging a program that has been proven over six previous cohorts to produce truly scalable and innovative approaches to complex social issues.”
Notable Civic Accelerator alumni already addressing this challenge include Moneythink(winter 2012), Neighborly (summer 2013), Library for All (fall 2014), CODE2040 (spring 2014) and CareerVillage (winter 2012).
Applications will be open through February 26, 2016. The final teams participating in the spring 2016 program will be announced on March 28, 2016. To apply or for more information visit cvcx.org.
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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 Capital One, 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 Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities – good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families – benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives. To learn more, visit www.capitaloneinvestingforgood.com.
“We are thrilled to work with our corporate partners to identify and help accelerate breakthrough solutions to connect lower-income and disconnected individuals and communities with financial and digital tools and on-ramps to participate in the global economy." - Ayesha Khanna