Announcing Propeller’s 2016 Growth Accelerator Ventures

15 ventures tackling key issues in food, water, health, and education join Propeller’s inaugural Growth Accelerator, designed to help established and startup ventures to grow and scale.

10 March 2016

Propeller is proud to announce the 15 ventures tackling key issues in food, water, health and education joining Propeller's inaugural Growth Accelerator, a three-month program designed to help established and startup ventures to grow and scale.

Growth Accelerator ventures will connect with strategy experts, subject experts, high-level networks, investors and funders, and a like-minded community of successful entrepreneurs, all while working one-on-one with Propeller Executive Mentors to develop tailored workplans to scale their impact, raise external investment (debt/equity), and increase revenues, customers, and contracts. 

Program benefits including free workspace and access to capital through Propeller's equity fund, a partnership with the New Orleans Startup Fund that will award $25,000 each to the Growth Accelerator's top two for-profit participants, determined by fellow Accelerator entrepreneurs 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 around our city's most pressing issues. 


Introducing our 2016 Growth Accelerator Ventures:

Educational Equity

Operation Spark  (Nonprofit)  |
Operation Spark is a code school offering programming to prepare primarily low-income individuals for employment in the Greater New Orleans area's technology sector, connecting graduates with opportunities from entry-level internships to full time careers as software engineers.

Royal Castle Child Development Center  (Nonprofit)  |
Royal Castle is a five-star, National Association for the Education of Young Children accredited childcare center providing high quality education and care to 100 diverse infants and young children through a holistic approach that encourages parental involvement.

TrueSchool Studio  (For-profit)  |

TrueSchool Studio focuses on people as the key lever for change in education. Partnering with schools, districts, and organizations, TrueSchool engages frontline educators in a student-centered design process to create solutions to pressing challenges in their schools. Over 1,100 educators have participated in programs to date, impacting 50,000+ students in New Orleans, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Whetstone Education  (For-profit)  |
Whetstone Education builds technology to drive teacher growth. Whetstone's classroom observation platform is where schools capture, track, and analyze teacher data in order to personalize professional development with targeted feedback, resources, and goal-setting.

Youth Rebuilding New Orleans  (Non-profit)  |
YRNO purchases blighted homes, employs opportunity youth to supervise youth in the homes’ renovation, and sells the constructed homes to teachers at a significant discount in exchange for their continued service to the educational system. Youth outcomes include high quality job training, career readiness, and economic self sufficiency.

XS Martial Arts Dojo & Save One Now Acquisition (XSMAD)  (For-profit)  |
XS Martial Arts Dojo enhances positive leadership, crime prevention/intervention, life skills, bully awareness/prevention, self-esteem, character building and discipline for youth and adults by offering martial arts training through after school programming, all day camps, physical education programs in schools, and a Leadership Training Academy for military veterans and former athletes.



Clear Health Analytics  (For-profit)  |
Clear Health Analytics empowers consumers to make smarter health insurance decisions by providing clear and unbiased cost comparison information. Their web-based tool, also available through EnrollAmerica, estimates typical annual health care usage for 27 common illnesses and chronic diseases, ultimately providing the consumer with an  estimate on out-of-pocket costs for each potential health plan.

eNre  (For-profit) information not available at this time


Water Management

Martin Ecosystems  (For-profit)  |
Martin Ecosystems is an environmental technology company that manufactures and supplies BioHaven® Floating Technology and EcoShield™. Their products provide cost-effective solutions for a variety of environmental challenges including stormwater and wastewater treatment, shoreline protection, and habitat restoration

ORA Estuaries  (For-profit)  |
ORA Estuaries grows oyster reefs into living coastal protection infrastructure by deploying innovative technology designed to break waves and grow faster than sea level rise. Since 2010, ORA Estuaries' work has resulted in over 3 miles of oyster reef shoreline.

Hanging Gardens  (For-profit)  |
Hanging Gardens constructs cradle to grave green infrastructure systems that are net-zero for potable water consumption for local property owners, developers, and municipal entities such as the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. Since inception, Hanging Gardens, LLC has designed, engineered and provided products to capture approximately 1.2 million gallons of stormwater is various regions across the United States.


Food Security

Grow Dat Youth Farm  (Nonprofit)  |
Grow Dat Youth Farm nurtures a diverse group of young leaders through the meaningful work of growing food. Since inception in July of 2010, Grow Dat staff and youth in our programs have converted a 7-acre portion of the former North Golf Course in City Park into the largest urban farm in New Orleans and engages 50 young adults annual to farm 2.5 acres of land, harvesting around 20,000 pounds of food each year.

Healthy School Food Collaborative (HSFC)  (For-profit)  |
The Healthy School Food Collaborative is a consulting company that specializes in knowledge of National School Lunch Program meal pattern requirements, providing schools and organizations with services including: food vendor management, State and Federal regulation compliance support, procurement, and assistance to become school food authorities (SFA). These services relieve schools from administrative and compliance burdens related to standards and regulations of the USDA and ultimately aim to decrease obesity rates through the provision of healthier foods options.

Hollygrove Market  (For-profit)  |
Hollygrove Market & Farm (HMF) brings fresh, nutritious food to the New Orleans market while supporting the local economy, local farmers and increasing environmental sustainability through the sourcing of local produce and value-added grocery items. HMF purchases from over 150 local family farms and value added producers annually and offers home delivery service, as well as discounts for students, SNAP, and neighborhood residents to help offset the costs of healthful eating.

Sankofa  (Nonprofit)  |
Sankofa provides locally grown whole foods through community-based fresh markets to improve access to healthy food and support positive cultural norms for health and wellness.

Ventures mentioned in this post

Youth Rebuilding New Orleans

Youth Rebuilding New Orleans

William Stoudt

Areas of focus: Education
Clear Health Analytics

Clear Health Analytics

Kathryn Wollan and Jennifer Sclar

Areas of focus: Health


Amy Vreeland

Areas of focus: Education
Healthy School Food Collaborative

Healthy School Food Collaborative

James Graham

Areas of focus: Food