Impact Accelerator: Startup Track

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

Applications are Open! 2015 Impact Accelerator: Startup Track

In celebration of four years of accelerator programming, 60 incubated social ventures, and impact on thousands of lives, we’re diving even deeper. Propeller’s 2015 Accelerator programs are designed to support entrepreneurs throughout the business lifecycle—from idea, to beta, to growth. Hands-on mentorship, access to high-level networks, pro bono technical support, and free office space, are just some of the benefits. If you’re an early-stage social venture, we hope you’ll jump on board.

Program Dates: September 12, 2015 – December 14, 2015
Application Feedback Deadline: June 9, 2015, 11:59pm CST
Final Application Deadline: July 31, 2015, 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

Impact Accelerator: Startup Track

This 3-month intensive program is for early-stage ventures with viable and innovative solutions to water, food security, healthcare, and education. Participants of our 12 week-program work with an expert-led team to receive personalized assessments and a tailored growth strategy that fits their needs. Needs could include market understanding, customer validation, organizational structuring, legal corporate set up, product development, prioritization, financial planning, go-to market strategies, and more. At the end of the program, Propeller will invite those participants who have a viable business model to receive deepened support in our “Impact Accelerator: Growth Track” (Feb 2016-June 2016, program details TBA).

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: Access, affordability, and consumption of healthy foods for underserved communities, local food economy
  • Educational Equity (Ages 0-24): Systems and supports 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
    Lead Coaches for our 2015 Startup Accelerator include: Mike Eckert (Water Management), Founder & former CEO of the Weather Channel; Neil Gibbons (Healthcare), Co-Founder and COO of Better Digestive Health LLC.; Janet Davas (Food Security), Founder of Hatch, LLC and Liberty’s Kitchen; and, Rayne Martin (Educational Equity), past Executive Director of Stand for Children-Louisiana.
  3. 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 and Charles Rice, CEO of Entergy. Utilize support from 180 pro bono members including PwC, Morgan Stanley, FSC Interactive, EMH Strategy, and more.
  4. Enjoy free office space at our co-working facility
    Collaborate with a community of 80 like-minded companies, while benefiting from free access to a shared desk, WiFi, printing, mailing address, conference rooms, 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, Los Angeles Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, GOOD, Forbes, and many others. Read Propeller’s press.


  • 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 (idea, pilot or development phase) that are pre-revenue or early revenue generating that are looking to bring their idea to market or build initial market traction.
  • You’ve existed for no more than 2 years with paid staff, OR have no more than 2 full-time employees. 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 security, healthcare, water management, and education.

Here’s what we look for

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

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

3) 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 20 hours per week towards their venture.

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 July 31, 2015 at 11:59pm CST. Applications submitted by June 9, 2015 at 11:59pm CST will receive feedback with the opportunity to resubmit by the final deadline.
  3. 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 May 1, 2015 and August 7, 2015.
  4. Selected 2015-16 Startup Ventures will be notified by August 19, 2015.


Q&A Sessions (times vary): April 28, May 12, May 25, June 3 — RSVP
Application Feedback Deadline: June 9, 2015, 11:59pm CST
Final Application Deadline: July 31, 2015, 11:59pm CST
Program Dates: September 12, 2015 – December 14, 2015

We achieve measurable results

  • 60 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 100 full- and part-time jobs created, contributing to an expanded workforce in New Orleans.
  • $20 million in external financing and revenue collectively generated by Propeller Fellows and Alumni.
  • $60,000 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.

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 overview program below.

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