New Funders Volunteering To Help Innovation Accelerator Students

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Central to making it work are the fantastic funders, both nonprofit and for profit, who volunteer their time to coach the entrepreneurs at these events. Today we are delighted to announce some of our newest funders to volunteer! Our students get multiple chances to stand in front of the very people who can offer funding for their innovative, revenue-generating pilot programs at our Shark Tank events.

14 Funders Praise, and Critique, Newest Innovation Accelerator Graduates

Unrestricted Revenue

“ We talk to thousands of nonprofits every year and very, very few are able innovate the way you have over the past six months. ” ” — Graduation judge. 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.

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Funders’ Network Report: Anchored in Place

Surdna Foundation

A new report issued this week by the Funders’ Network as part of its Anchors Institution Funders’ Group examines the potential these deeply rooted local enterprises hold to create lasting and sustainable change—and illustrates how funders are working with anchor institutions to create healthier, more equitable, and economically vibrant places to live and work. The post Funders’ Network Report: Anchored in Place appeared first on Surdna Foundation

Funding Friday: NextMaker Box

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan and funder of teaching kids to code. I believe helping young people learn to think logically via coding exercises is helpful to their development in so many ways. So when I came across the NextMaker project on Kickstarter , I backed it instantly. NextMaker is a monthly box that comes with a project that your kids can do combining coding with making things.

Equitable Evaluation: Learning with the Frontlines of Racial Justice

Surdna Foundation

Together with grantees, stakeholders and funders, they developed a learning and milestones process that: engages communities closest to the problem. Takeaways for Funders. Funders should not see themselves as a separate entity, but rather a vehicle for change.

Virtual Town Hall: The State of Black Entrepreneurship

Ecosystem Builder Hub

– Formalized collaboration between funders, founders and ecosystem builders. – Consensus amongst funders and ecosystem builders as to what structural changes must take place for New Majority entrepreneurs to survive and thrive.

Clearing a Path Toward Equity Through Entrepreneurship


New Kensington, Pennsylvania had begun to attract interest from funders as a candidate for several revitalization projects. CASE STUDY. Forward Cities + The Corner. New Kensington, Pennsylvania. By partnering with two collaborative national networks, community builders in New Kensington, PA were able to build toward an equitable ecosystem through entrepreneurial training and empowerment.

Lesa Mitchell joins The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars to help startups disrupt legacy enterprises


With my background as an executive in a large scientifically focused organization, an entrepreneur and one of the lead funders and board members in the creation of the NSF iCorp, I’m excited to work with founders across scientific and technology fields to help them identify challenges and opportunities and grow their businesses,” says Mitchell.

There’s More to Funding than Grants


The making sense of the last three years financials in the specific format requested by the funder. Other Ways to Fund Your Nonprofit Idea. by Rebekah Marr, CO.STARTERS Director of Operations & Programs. Funding is one of the biggest issues identified by community builders. This article is the first in a series focusing on practical ways for nonprofits to sustain their work. Grant cycles. . If you work for a nonprofit, you know what I mean. nabs $7.7M seed to remove barriers between public clouds


million seed round from TA Ventures, DNX, Florida Funders and other unnamed angels to keep building on that idea.

Innovation Grant won by Western Massachusetts Training Consortium

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Members of the cohort will work together to turn their ideas into actionable plans for pilot programs and develop relationships with potential funders. Check out our website for more details on our funders The best teachers never stop learning, they always seek how to teach better and reach more students.

Living Local wins grant to innovate how we connect to one another

Unrestricted Revenue

Members of the cohort will work together to turn their ideas into actionable plans for pilot programs and develop relationships with potential funders. Looking for help to turn those ideas into something you can execute and funders can get behind? Check out our website for more details on our funders Two awards in one week, wahoo! Kelly and I are thrilled to announce Living Local won a grant to be one of the nonprofits participating in our Fall Innovation Accelerator Cohort.

It Takes a Village to Build an Ecosystem


The RAINMAKER has the credibility and ability to engage funders. By Enoch Elwell, CO.STARTERS Founder & Visionary. As the ecosystem building approach to economic and community development gains interest and credibility, the title of “ecosystem builder” has emerged to represent a specific type of community leader. This title signifies important distinctions in the intended outcomes as well as the type of economic development activities a leader pursues.

Just Roots wins grant to innovate how we increase access to healthy, local food

Unrestricted Revenue

Members of the cohort will work together to turn their ideas into actionable plans for pilot programs and develop relationships with potential funders. Looking for help to turn those ideas into something you can execute and funders can get behind? Check out our website for more details on our funders We are thrilled to announce Just Roots won a grant to be one of the nonprofits participating in our Sprig Innovation Accelerator Cohort.

Beveridge Family Foundation puts local nonprofits on fast track to investments through a partnership with Innovation Accelerator

Unrestricted Revenue

Mr. Caswell went on to share, “Funders like us have trained nonprofits to be very good at writing grants, and not at how to build sustainable business models. Each team that participates in the flagship accelerator program generates mission-aligned ideas, gathers concrete evidence, and receives direct feedback from the Beveridge Foundation and other funders. The Beveridge Family Foundation provides support to nonprofits within Hampden and Hampshire counties.

Startup Pitching 301

Paul G. Silva

Entrepreneurs tend to explain to funders how they will spend money. This is the 3rd post in the “Startup Pitching” series. In this post we’ll go over advanced-level (301) techniques. The one (maybe two) number rule. Most people can’t hold multiple numbers in their head. You can put as many numbers on a slide as you like, but people won’t process them. In fact, if you show too many numbers they’ll almost certainly process the numbers incorrectly!

Research Assistant (Full Time – 6 months)

Forward Cities

The position will also support the preparation of outgoing reports for various audiences including local project funders and key stakeholders, individual Entrepreneur Support Organizations, and public presentation of key indicators in data dashboards. POSITION SUMMARY. Forward Cities is seeking applications for a temporary (six-month) full-time Research Assistant to join our team.

Frustrations and Challenges of Ecosystem Builders

Ecosystem Builder Hub

We work closely with angel investors, venture capitalists, technology transfer offices, federal and philanthropic funders, and other entrepreneurship support program providers. Dealing with resistive funders, however, is our biggest challenge.

Professional development for tomorrow’s ecosystem builders

Ecosystem Builder Hub

I’d like to understand how to build effective multi-year plans that inspire and engage both funders of my own organization (and/or myself!) Expanding understanding and deepening genuine co-creation with policy-makers, academia & research, and funders (foundations & investors). This post is part of a series featuring highlights from the Unsung Heroes of Ecosystem Building campaign which shone a spotlight on 40+ entrepreneurial ecosystem builders from around the U.S.

Spring Cohort's Second Shark Tank!

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Few things sharpen an innovator's mind as much as the prospect of standing in front of funders and having to pitch & answer questions. That is why Shark Tanks - events where students present to panels of potential funders - are a central part of my curriculum. Of course, it is also terrifying!

All Investing Has Impact

This is going to be BIG.

What that means is that many of the funders of this industry wind up being rich white dudes or family offices of rich white dudes, hence where the dollars are flowing for new business opportunities. I've always had a problem with the term "impact investing". It's as if the investments that you made that aren't part of an impact investing strategy hang from the ceiling Mission Impossible style in a temperature controlled environment making no discernable impact on stakeholder's lives.

Unsung Hero Spotlight: Beth Zimmer

Ecosystem Builder Hub

Today, I have asked some key funders to consider requiring ecosystem asks vs asks from individual organizations. To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder? To me, an Ecosystem Builder is someone that is a servant leader who is naturally optimistic and focused on solving systemic problems. We appreciate collaboration and work diligently to identify appropriate networks & partners within ecosystems to convene and apply solutions collectively.

Innovation Accelerator Trains Mature Nonprofit Organizations with the help of the Beveridge Foundation

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Step three is Funder Ready, where teams get support from mentors to build a business model around ideas, design a pilot product, then prepare a pitch to funders. The final step is graduation where teams present everything learned to a panel of funders and business executives in the region. Innovation Accelerator – Innovation. Revenue.

Wahoo! ServiceNet wins grant to develop new, unrestricted revenue stream

Unrestricted Revenue

Members of the cohort will work together to turn their ideas into actionable plans for pilot programs and develop relationships with potential funders. Check out our website for more details on our funders ServiceNet is one of our region’s largest and longest-lived nonprofits. Are they resting on their laurels? Heck no!

When is the right time and how should you fund your Venture?

Innovation 2 Enterprise

Ventures must align the risk appetite of prospective funders with their own venture’s stage. by Mark Lauinger, SVP, Client Services, i2E. The questions of when and how to fund your business are associated with two important aspects of commercializing your startup.

Case Study: The Dan River Region Ecosystem Development

Ecosystem Builder Hub

We are also grateful for the flexibility from our funder in terms of adjusting to change in strategy to address challenges related to COVID-19,” Eva adds.

"Money is Local, Impact is Global" for Angel Investing


Studies show that over 80% of funding at Angel groups and Series A VCs goes to businesses in the same city/region as the funders. By Michael "Luni" Libes In the traditional world of early stage, Angel and VC investing, money is local. Over in the impact investing space, this rule is not true.

YC Bio Tour – 2020

Y Combinator

Since 2014, YC has funded over 250 bio, healthcare, and life science companies, making us one of the largest seed stage bio/healthcare funders in the world. This year, for the first time, we’ll be visiting universities and institutions to meet founders who are focused on building biotech and healthcare companies.

Investing in Capacity Building: The Overhead Pledge

EntreWorks Consulting

Folks in the business of community building know the story when it comes to outside funders. Let’s hope that other foundations and other funders embrace this message as well. They fund projects, not organizations. This policy has meant that many local organizations are starved for funds. They can raise money for specific projects, but can’t invest in their people or in building up their organizations.

Practical Metrics and Methods: ESHIP Goal 5 – Part 1

Ecosystem Builder Hub

I asked them to treat me like a funder. Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series on ESHIP Goal 5. Part 1 focuses on practitioners. Part 2 will focus on academic researc hers. Practical Metrics and Methods (Practitioner Edition): Identify and develop better metrics and methods for ecosystem building. In a nutshell : There are many metrics and methods in use in entrepreneurial ecosystem building, but they are not all widely adopted. In fact, many approaches are still emerging.

Developing Rapid-Response Plans for Cities to Help Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses in This Time of Economic Crisis

Forward Cities

At Forward Cities we are committed to being a resource for cities ready to take these steps and fostering opportunities for shared learning and collaboration between cities, and we are keen to collaborate with funders and other regional and national organizations who share this commitment.

Calling Bold Nonprofit Leaders

Unrestricted Revenue

Leaders develop new revenue-generating ideas, build business models, gather evidence proving their assumptions, are guided by funders along the way, and at graduation pitch to a panel of funders who want to fund pilot initiatives. If you. Lead a nonprofit and. See the funding landscape shifting under you and. Know that insanity is defined as doing the same things over and over again but expecting different results.

Thriving Companies Listen and Adapt


I had a great conversation with Troy Vosseller from gener8tor to hear how their accelerator programs and funders are staying relevant in this season. A point made by my coach, Brian Howard, has stuck with me throughout the COVID-19 season. At the beginning of the pandemic, Brain said, “The world has changed. That means our clients‘ jobs have changed, which means our jobs have changed.”.

How VCs, Accelerators, and Coworking Spaces Put Communities in Buildings vs. Buildings in Communities

This is going to be BIG.

Ideas get poorly vetted because the funders aren't current on tech trends. I'll bet you don't know where the Center of NY's Tech Community and Center of Creativity is. Give up? It's in the Financial District--right at 55 Broad Street. It says so right on their website. In fact, it is "well-known internationally as the original home of New York's technology community.". I'll bet you didn't know that--mostly because it never was.

Remind Me Why I Love You? (Why “In Person” is Everything)

Both Sides of the Table

Because you have a unitary focus on financing your company or you die you seem not to miss a beat in thinking about the last meeting and the funder has been whipsawed in 20 directions. You had an amazing meeting with an investor. Your product demo crushed. The dialog was great. They told you how much they loved your space. The meeting was only supposed to last 45 minutes but you ran 90. The assistant tried to end the meeting twice but was shoooshed away.

Seven Recommendations for Rapid Response Grantmaking

Surdna Foundation

With so many communities around the world suddenly facing urgent, unexpected need, funders quickly realized they needed to pivot and add rapid-response tactics to their grant portfolio in order to quickly support their grantees. Casey Pechan of Fluxx Labs recently told the story of how Surdna shifted its grantmaking strategy to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the needs of our grantees.

The Glue that Makes a Community Stick

This is going to be BIG.

These folks could become clients, funders, or good places to connect and work over the long term. The other day, I was out at MCU Park in Coney Island, where the Brooklyn Cyclones play. I was chatting with the GM of the team up on the party deck. We turned away from the game to face Brooklyn, and look down at the streetscape below. There were a lot of empty lots and buildings in need of renovation.