Impact Accelerator: Startup Track

Accelerating early-stage social entrepreneurs in water, food, health, & education to turn ideas into viable solutions.

2016 Startup Accelerator

Propeller is thrilled to announce open applications for its four 2016 Startup Accelerators in Water, Food Access, Health, and Educational Equity. Each sector-based accelerator is a three-month intensive program specially designed to support entrepreneurs from idea, to beta, to growth. One-on-one weekly mentorship, access to high-level networks and investors, pro bono technical support, and free office space, are just some of the benefits.

We’ve incubated over 100 social ventures that have generated over $60mm in revenue and financing, working for collective impact in water, food access, health, and educational equity. If you’re a high-impact, early-stage social venture, we hope you’ll jump on board and join our community of changemakers.

Program Dates: 9/9/16 – 12/15/16
Early Application Feedback Deadline: June 17, 2016, 11:59pm CST
Final Application Deadline: July 8, 2016, 11:59pm CST

Not sure if our program is right for you? Register for one of our upcoming Q&A’s.

Download full program details


Potential for significant social impact
The challenge is clear; your strategy is sound; scalability is possible. The solution must seek to reduce or eliminate disparities for at-risk or underserved communities and/or address a significant environmental water challenge.

Financial sustainability
We expect reasonable and validated market analysis that supports your business model. Ventures with earned revenue streams receive priority in selection.

Leadership & dedication
You have the vision to motivate, the experience to guide you, and the grit to get it done. You have demonstrated expertise in your sector, and you have the ability to engage with and serve at-risk or underserved communities. Applicants must devote a minimum of 20 hours per week towards their venture.


Join New Orleans’ hub for social entrepreneurship
Propeller offers deep sector expertise and connections to a community whose knowledge, passion, and dedication is moving the needle for underserved populations. We’re eager to connect you with our network of customers, advocates, and strategic partners. Read more about Propeller’s impact.

Work directly with seasoned, executive-level consultants, and mentors
Experienced mentors are committed to your venture’s growth and development. Lead Mentors serve as a valuable thought partner and strategic advisor and are often willing to contribute their networks to ensure your success. Each week, they devote two hours of time to each venture. This includes a one-hour in-person meeting and one-hour of general follow up.

Benefit from a robust network of resources to help you reach your goals
Network and strategize with our team of 30+ Executive Mentors like John Elstrott, Chairman of the Board of Whole Foods Market, Charles Rice, CEO of Entergy, Dr. Pat Quinlan, CEO of Ochsner Clinic and Ochsner International Services, and Karen Carter Peterson, Louisiana State Senator and Chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Utilize support from contracted subject experts in high-need areas like financial modeling, legal advice, graphic design, marketing strategists, and PR specialists, as well as 180 pro bono professionals including PwC, Morgan Stanley, FSC Interactive, EMH Strategy, Baker Donelson, and more.

Enjoy free office space at our co-working facility
Collaborate with a community of 65+ like-minded companies, while benefiting from free access to desk space, WiFi, printing, mailing address, conference room meeting space, locker storage, and parking. See the space!

Receive increased visibility and attention from local and national thought leaders
Propeller and its Impact Ventures have received notable attention from The New York Times,TIME, WIRED, Fast Company, Los Angeles Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and many others. Read Propeller’s press.


  • 100 ventures launched since 2011 through Propeller’s accelerator programs, including a local food hub, a health clinic, an education software company, and a company building floating islands to prevent coastal erosion.
  • Over 250 full- and part-time jobs created, contributing to an expanded workforce in New Orleans.
  • $60 million in external financing and revenue collectively generated by Propeller Fellows and Alumni.
  • Over $100,000 in seed funding awarded to ventures through sector-based pitch competitions.
  • Collaborated to pass and implement state policy for universal school lunch participation and Benefit 
Corporation legislation providing an alternate corporate entity for social ventures.


  • Open to for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid models that have identified a meaningful problem, and have a compelling solution with a sustainable revenue stream(s).
  • Early-stage ventures and ideas that are pre-revenue or early revenue generating that are looking to bring their idea to market or build initial market traction.
  • You have fewer than three full-time employees OR have existed for less than two years with paid staff. An established organization may also apply if it has an entirely new product and/or service and meets all other criteria.
  • Priority will be given to solutions that target food access, health, water management, and educational equity.


Register for a Q&A session (dates listed below). We are also happy to provide coaching on all application questions, such as market analysis, budget development, and problem definition. Contact the Programs Team at

Q&A#1: 5/31/16, 12pm – 1pm
Q&A#2: 6/15/16, 12pm – 1pm
Q&A#3: 6/21/16, 5pm – 6pm
Q&A#4: 6/29/16, 4pm – 5pm

  1. Complete the online application by July 8, 2016 at 11:59pm CST. Applications submitted by June 17, 2016 at 11:59pm CST will receive feedback with the opportunity to resubmit by the final deadline.
  2. If you are selected for the second round, we will invite you to provide additional materials and to schedule an interview. Second-round interviews will take place on a rolling basis between June 17, 2016 and July 29, 2016.
  3. Selected 2016 Fellows will be notified by August 22, 2016.


Our Alumni: Read about the missions of our graduated entrepreneurs.
Testimonials: Hear what graduates have to say about the program.
Our Impact: Learn how we’ve moved the needle on the city’s toughest challenges.
All the Details: Download a complete program overview.

“Hands down, Where Y’Art would not be where it is today without the support of the Propeller staff and it’s network of rockstar professionals . . . Our experience has been extraordinary and I would recommend any social entrepreneur starting a business to apply. I am inspired by their generosity and willingness to go beyond what is expected of them. I am proud to call them advisors, believers and friends.”

Catherine Todd
Co-Founder, Where Y'Art ('15)


  1. To read more or determine eligibility, download the program overview below.

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