Inaugural Growth Accelerator Graduates 15 Ventures, Awards $55,000 in Direct Investment

Propeller announces the graduates of its Growth Accelerator, its inaugural program supporting later-stage social ventures and its first to offer direct investment to accelerator entrepreneurs.

22 June 2016

Propeller announces the graduation of 15 ventures from its inaugural Growth Accelerator, a three-month program designed to grow established New Orleans social ventures with scalable solutions to food, water, health, and education. The Growth Accelerator’s graduating class brings the total number of Propeller-supported social ventures to over 100.

The program fills gaps in available services to later-stage businesses in New Orleans, serving ventures with previously demonstrated traction and/or the potential to scale and secure investment. Propeller provided ventures with one-on-one executive mentorship, a tailored curriculum, access to a network of 200+ professionals, and free co-working at Propeller’s Incubator Facility.

Propeller’s Growth Accelerator also offered direct investment to its ventures for the first time. Propeller partnered with Village Capital and the New Orleans Startup Fund to offer equity investment to three top Accelerator participants, determined by fellow Growth Accelerator participants through Village Capital’s peer-selection process.

Two for-profit ventures Whetstone Education and eNre each received a $25,000 investment to sustain their growth beyond Propeller’s program. One non-profit venture Youth Rebuilding New Orleans received a $5,000 grant to expand their service to New Orleanians.

For-profit education venture Whetstone Education builds technology that helps schools drive teacher growth with data-driven professional development. While in Propeller’s Growth Accelerator, Whetstone Education secured contracts for three new schools, and received verbal commitment from Washington D.C Public Schools, a district that includes 117 schools, for the Fall of 2016-17. 70% of Whetstone’s existing clients renewed their contracts for next year.

eNre, a for-profit health venture uses proprietary software to engage patients and streamline the recruitment process for clinic-based research trials. eNre specifically targets clinical trial research around cancer and chronic disease including obesity and diabetes, which disproportionately impact low-income communities. During Propeller’s Accelerator, eNre garnered interest from four significant national investors and secure a license agreement which provides the rights to commercialize their innovative solution.

Youth Rebuilding New Orleans purchases blighted homes, employs opportunity youth to supervise volunteer 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. During their time in the Accelerator, YRNO secured over $10,000 in funding from Baptist Community Ministries, hired two full-time employees, and supported over 300 volunteers on home construction projects.

As a class, Propeller’s 2016 Growth Accelerator ventures generated over $2 million in revenue and financing, creating 13 part-time and 10 full-time jobs, and paid over $600,000 in wages to New Orleanians.

Applications are now open for Propeller’s Startup Accelerator on a rolling basis through July 8, 2016.

Propeller’s 2016 Growth Accelerator Class

Clear Health Analytics
Grow Dat Youth Farm
Hanging Gardens
The Healthy School Food Collaborative
Hollygrove Market and Farm
Martin Ecosystems
Operation Spark
ORA Estuaries
Royal Castle Child Development Center
TrueSchool Studio
Whetstone Education
XS Martial Arts Dojo
Youth Rebuilding New Orleans