7 January 2016
New Orleans social innovation hub Propeller announced today that the New Orleans Startup Fund will invest a total of $50,000 in the top two participants of its Growth Accelerator, a 12-week program to connect the region’s best high-growth social ventures with the industry resources they need to grow and scale. Applications are open through the extended deadline of February 1st and will be considered on a rolling basis.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this additional level of support to the ventures in our Growth Accelerator,” says Propeller Executive Director Andrea Chen. “Connecting entrepreneurs to investment capital is a crucial step forward in Propeller’s strategic plan, as we seek to create lasting solutions to New Orleans’ gaps in food, water, health, and education. Through this partnership, we will bring investment to New Orleans’s fastest growing, highest impact ventures.”
The Accelerator’s two funding recipients will receive $25,000 each and will be determined by their fellow Accelerator participants through Village Capital’s peer-selected investment approach. All Accelerator participants will be trained using an award-winning curriculum and through intensive workshops in which entrepreneurs assess one another, provide feedback, and otherwise collaborate with each other and local experts.
According to Leslie Jacobs, CEO and President of the New Orleans Startup Fund: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the New Orleans Startup Fund to provide early stage capital to two high growth startups and support an innovative investment approach that has previously worked with companies like Kickboard. We are especially excited to partner with Propeller, which is home to so many ventures that are solving the most pressing challenges in our community.”
This partnership establishes New Orleans as the first pioneer partner in VilCap Communities, a national initiative launched with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center, and Rise of the Rest, an initiative launched by AOL founder Steve Case and his venture firm, Revolution.
Through this new effort, local ecosystem leaders like Propeller are building more effective communities of entrepreneurs, supporting more investment-ready ventures, and collaborating with local investors such as the New Orleans Startup Fund to make peer-selected investments. Village Capital will be selecting an elite group of pioneer partners this spring from communities across America; the full group of pioneer partners will be announced in March 18, 2016, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“We launched our first Village Capital program in New Orleans in 2010, and we’re excited to come back and debut another new chapter,” said Village Capital Executive Director Ross Baird. “Partnering with Propeller will be an important first step in democratizing entrepreneurship across the US. By putting entrepreneurs at the center of startup investment, we can make progress in ensuring every great entrepreneur in America has a shot to succeed.”
Propeller’s Growth Accelerator will run from March 12th to June 7th 2016.
New Orleans Startup Fund: