About Us

Propeller is a New Orleans-based nonprofit organization founded in 2009.

Who We Are

Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting social innovation in New Orleans. Our mission is to grow and support entrepreneurs to tackle social and environmental disparities. We envision a powerful community of diverse entrepreneurs and stakeholders working together for a more equitable future where everyone can lead healthy, fulfilling lives free of racism, poverty, and other systems of oppression.

Our strategy is to build a critical mass of entrepreneurs working to solve key challenges in our issue areas of food access, water management, health, and educational equity in order to make significant change for underserved individuals.

What We Do

At the heart of Propeller’s mission lies our Impact Accelerator programs, designed to support social entrepreneurs throughout the business lifecycle—from idea, to beta, to growth. Since June 2011, Propeller has accelerated 100+ ventures. Read more about our impact.

Our 10,000 s.f. Propeller Incubator offers a collaborative workspace and meeting place for community innovators and Impact Ventures. More than 70 organizations and over 200 individuals are members. This unique space is also available to rent for events, and can accommodate events and gatherings of all sizes.

How It Works

Sector Analysis

We conduct detailed analyses in each of our sectors to identify New Orleans’ most pressing environmental and societal challenges and market-based opportunities.

Pipeline Building & Convening

We host sector-focused pitch competitions, events, panels, and convenings to catalyze new ideas and to support social ventures in removing policy obstacles.

Incubation & Acceleration

Our sector-specific accelerator programs provide mentorship, access to networks, and pro bono resources to support social ventures in achieving financial sustainability and social impact.

Policy work

We advocate and mobilize policy makers and influencers to re-assess and remove barriers keeping entrepreneurs from solutions to systemic change.

Access to Capital

Provide direct equity investments and connections to debt capital to Propeller-incubated ventures and companies in our sectors of interest.

Support Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Provide affordable event and office space, events, and workshops to social entrepreneurs citywide.

Timeline

2006: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Andrea and a group of friends revive the volunteer-run Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans.

2009: Propeller is founded and begins mobilizing people, telling their stories, and offering support to social entrepreneurs.

2011: Propeller launches its first accelerator program, supporting nine entrepreneurs making social and environmental impact.

2012: Propeller expands into a 10,000 square foot space, creating a co-working space for social entrepreneurs. Located at a “crossroads” intersection at the heart of the city, the space is part of a larger effort to breathe life back into an area that stagnated long before the hurricane hit. Learn more about the Broadmoor redevelopment in this short video here.

2014: More than 65 organizations and 100 people work out of Propeller on a daily basis; Propeller’s fourth accelerator class begins, bringing the total number of accelerated ventures to 60.

2015: Propeller expands its accelerator programming, providing more focused sector support and more than doubling the number of social ventures it serves per year, totaling 90 ventures launched.