Impact Accelerator: Growth Track

Accelerating established and startup ventures in water, food, healthcare & education to grow and scale their ventures.

2016 Impact Accelerator: Growth Track

Propeller is thrilled to announce its Growth Accelerator, a three-month intensive program specifically designed to connect social entrepreneurs with the industry-specific resources they need to grow and scale their ventures. One-on-one mentorship, access to high-level networks and investors, pro bono resources, and free office space are just some of the benefits. If you’re a high-potential entrepreneur who wants to accelerate your venture’s growth, we hope you’ll jump on board and join our community of 104 incubated social ventures, working to impact thousands of lives right here in New Orleans.

Applications are now closed. Meet our 2016 Growth Accelerator Ventures.

Growth Track Program Dates: March 12th – June 7th
Application Deadline: February 7, 2016 11:59pm (Rolling acceptance from January 15th-February 7th. Early submissions are encouraged.)
Growth Ventures Selection: Announcement February 25, 2016

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

Download full program details

Impact Accelerator: Growth Track

This three-month long program offers tailored mentorship, resources and networks to help ventures working in water, food security, healthcare, and education to grow and scale. This program is designed for established and startup for-profit and non-profit ventures with proof of concept and/or a track record of success that find themselves at a strategic point of growth. During the program, participating ventures will be working towards scaling their impact, raising external investment (debt/equity), and increasing revenues, customers, and contracts.

This program is tailored to meet the needs of each of its participants. Based on your specific goals and priorities, Propeller’s seasoned Executive Mentors will work with you one-on-one to assist in the development and implementation of ambitious goals for the three-month program. Our goal is to accelerate your venture’s growth by connecting you with strategy experts, subject experts, high-level networks, investors and funders, and a like-minded community of successful entrepreneurs.

Through a partnership with the New Orleans Startup Fund, the top two for-profit participants of the Growth Accelerator will each receive $25,000, determined by fellow Accelerator participants through Village Capital’s peer-selected investment approach. All Accelerator participants will be trained using an award-winning curriculum in which entrepreneurs assess one another, provide feedback, and otherwise collaborate with each other and local experts.

Propeller will prioritize applications that specifically address the following issues within each of our 4 target sectors.

  • Water: Coastal restoration, urban water retention and quality, maritime industries and ports, and fisheries
  • Food Security and Local Food Economy: Access, affordability, and consumption of healthy foods for underserved communities; local growers, distributors, and value-add products that build the local food economy
  • Educational Equity (Ages 0-24): Systems and supports to improve educational outcomes for underserved populations in early childhood, K-12, and “Opportunity Youth”
  • Healthcare:  Access, affordability, and chronic diseases


  1. 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.
  2. Work directly with internationally successful executives and coaches
    Experienced coaches are committed to your Venture’s growth and to your personal leadership development. Coaches 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. Lead Mentors for the 2016 Growth Track will be announced at the conclusion of the Startup Track.
  3. Benefit from a robust network of experts and 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.


  • Open to for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid models that have identified a meaningful problem within Propeller’s four target sectors of water, food, education, and healthcare, and have a compelling solution with a sustainable revenue stream(s).
  • Established and startup for-profit and non-profit ventures with proof of concept and/or a track record of success that find themselves at a strategic point of growth.
  • You have a validated business model with strong evidence of positive user feedback and/or sales.
  • Priority will be given to solutions that target food security, healthcare, water management, and education.

Both ventures that are revenue generating and pre-revenue are encouraged to apply; however, the eligibility requirements differ accordingly:

  • Revenue-generating ventures: must have earned or raised a minimum of $50,000 within the last 12 months, and have at least one full-time employee in addition to the Founder(s).
  • Pre-revenue ventures: must have a finished prototype, significant positive user traction, “ready” to raise a round of financing, and at least one full-time team member (can include Founder).

What we’re looking for

1) Leadership & dedication
You have the vision to motivate, the experience to guide you, and the grit to get it done. Applicants must devote a minimum of 40 hours per week towards their venture.

2) Potential for financial growth and sustainability
You have the proven traction, resources, and strategy to move your venture forward and meet ambitious goals to grow and scale. Revenue-generating and pre-revenue ventures meet all respective eligibility requirements.

3) Potential for significant social impact
The challenge is clear; your strategy is sound; scalability is possible.

Application Process

  1. 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 Julia Stewart at
  2. Complete the online application by February 7, 2016 at 11:59pm CST.
  3. If you are selected for the second round, we will invite you to provide additional materials and to schedule an interview. .
  4. Selected 2015-16 Growth Ventures will be notified by February 25, 2015.


Q&A Sessions (times vary): January 5th — RSVP
Program Dates: March 12th – June 7th
Application Deadline: February 7th, 2016 11:59pm (Rolling acceptance from January 15th-February 7th. Early submissions are encouraged.)
Growth Ventures Selection Announcement: February 25, 2016

We achieve measurable results

  • 90 Impact Ventures launched since 2011 through Propeller’s accelerator programs, including a local food hub, a maternal health collective, an education design studio, and a wetland mitigation company.
  • 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.
  • $90,000 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.

Learn more

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.

Propeller has been our rock, our go-to place to help us with our host of development needs. But it also has been a home. We have been mentored, we have had support in key moments, and we have had a place to share our joys and frustrations. We have learned from the consultants, from the pro bono network, and from our peers. The Propeller staff has really nurtured us and our project, helped us believe in ourselves, and facilitated making our dreams come true.

Elizabeth Gard Townsend & Ron Gard
Co-Founders, Limited Times LLC (Propeller '14)


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

Accelerator Sponsors