28 March 2016
NEW ORLEANS, LA (Mar. 29, 2016) – Propeller announces the 15 ventures joining its inaugural Growth Accelerator, a three-month program to help New Orleans social entrepreneurs grow and scale their solutions in the areas of food, water, health, and education with the goal of doubling both revenue and social impact over the next year.
Earlier this year, Propeller’s Startup Accelerator supported 28 early-stage Ventures. The newly launched Growth Accelerator supports 15 Ventures with demonstrated traction that are poised to scale and secure investment. Propeller will service nearly triple the number of Ventures in 2015-16 than it did the previous year.
Propeller’s Growth Accelerator is the organization’s first program to offer support for more established Ventures, with a greater emphasis on for-profits seeking investment. “New Orleans is a haven for starting ideas, but when it comes to making sure they succeed in the long-term, our entrepreneurs found there was still a major gap in available services,” said Propeller Executive Director Andrea Chen.
Propeller has partnered with Village Capital and the New Orleans Startup Fund to offer equity investment as part of program benefits, a first for Propeller’s accelerators. A total of $50,000 will be awarded to two for-profit Ventures, selected by fellow Growth Accelerator participants through Village Capital’s process of peer-selected investment. One non-profit Growth Venture will also be chosen by their peers to receive a $5,000 grant.
As part of the Growth Accelerator, Ventures will benefit from a tailored curriculum, access to a network of 200+ professionals, free co-working at Propeller’s Incubator Facility, and one-on-one executive mentorship. This year’s mentors include Kevin Wilkins, Founder of impact consulting firm trepWise; Mike Eckert, Chairman of the NO/LA Angel Network and co-founder of The Weather Channel/Weather.com; Rick Conway, whose experience spans 18 years with Fortune 50 PepsiCo system and 17 years in entrepreneurial ventures/leadership roles; Lisa Amoss, founding President of Broad Community Connections, and Jon Atkinson, Managing Director for South Coast Capital Management and Fund Executive for South Coast Angel Fund.
“This cohort is composed with some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the city,” said Lead Mentor Kevin Wilkins. “I am thrilled to work with each of these promising social ventures, and trepwise is excited to support their growth planning.”
Upon graduation of these 15 Growth Ventures in June 2016, Propeller will celebrate 5 years of support for over 100 Ventures working to solve issues in food, water, health, and education.
Propeller’s 2016 Growth Accelerator Ventures:
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
eNre's technology solutions improve the healthcare clinical research process, expedite the understanding of health conditions and best treatments options, and contribute to the creation of a learning health system.
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.
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 & Farm | 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.