Last week 14 executives from foundations, granting organizations, angel investor groups, venture funds, and loan funds judged the final presentations of Innovation Accelerator’s third cohort. They were joined by dozens of local business people who came to cheer on the graduates. The event was the capstone to a six-month intensive training for five teams of innovators from local nonprofits. Their objective: devise, assess, and pitch new programs that leverage their organizations’ assets to create substantial new sources of mission-aligned (and unrestricted!) revenue.
Every team had credible evidence supporting their ideas, each one capable of generating from $1 million to $10 million a year in unrestricted revenue.
Students’ confidence in their ability to come up with new ideas and assess them nearly doubled.
Students’ ability to identify all of the stakeholders for a project, their incentives, how they can help (or hurt) a project, distinguish between symptoms and root causes, etc… nearly tripled.
Our Judges came from a wide range of experiences:
Sylvia de Haas Phillips (formerly with several funders, now with BayPath University)
From for-profit investment funds, groups:
Individual investors & domain experts:
The five graduating teams:
Connector (from Human Services Forum) - connecting the best local training providers to the region’s human service organizations.
YesAbility (from Riverside Industries) - importing cutting edge pedagogy from mainstream education to help the intellectually disabled prepare for & stay in the workforce.
Digital Skills Workforce Solutions (from TechFoundry) - helping medium-sized employers upskill their workforce’s digital skills.
Corporate Inclusion Solutions (from Viability) - training disabled men and women to become superior team members for national employers.
Move to Work (from Viability) - helping nonprofits that serve the developmentally disabled to place more of their disabled clients into meaningful careers.