Collaboration supports creative minds turning ideas into innovative community impact.
DALLAS (August 23, 2017) – Social innovators are now better equipped with the resources necessary to make an impact on the North Texas community thanks to Accenture’s support of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ GroundFloor program. The leading professional services company has committed $500,000 over two years, the largest corporate contribution yet for the initiative, to drive social innovation across North Texas.
Founded in 2013 by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, GroundFloor is an impact-accelerator that provides human capital funding innovative social ventures. Participating Fellows show promise of introducing the next big idea for preparing students to succeed after graduation, reducing poverty or improving health and wellbeing across the region.
“We are proud to strengthen our collaboration with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and GroundFloor,” said Jorge Corral, Accenture’s Dallas office managing director. “Together, we will bring more socially-impactful innovation to life, and in turn, help North Texas become an even better place to work and live.”
Over the last two years, Accenture’s senior business and technology consultants have served as volunteer mentors for the GroundFloor program’s social innovators as part of the company’s Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative.
And Accenture’s investment helped support the GroundFloor’s June Pitch event in which the 2017 cohort of Fellows competed for funding. Five winners out of nine received $260,000 in total awards. First3Years won the top prize of $100,000 to fund their system-changing approach to supporting infants and toddlers in the foster care system.
GroundFloor sparks, builds, and coordinates innovative solutions to complex community issues by drawing on the strength and vast network of United Way through corporate, nonprofit, education, and individual partners from across the community. GroundFloor provides a three-pronged investment approach:
- Financial capital for seed and early-stage ventures;
- Human capital from our world-class mentors representing leaders in the areas of entrepreneurship, academics, public policy and the social sectors; and
- Social capital through connecting GroundFloor Fellows with resources from more than 1,000 corporate partners and more than 100 service providers.
“Accenture’s involvement is a critical next step for the growth of GroundFloor and its mission of social innovation,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “The resources and expertise afforded our promising social entrepreneurs via this collaboration will provide the technology and mentorship necessary for some truly game-changing ideas to take root.”
GroundFloor provides a comprehensive investment to organizations that are striving to find solutions to pervasive community issues in new or innovative ways. GroundFloor Fellows are both start-up organizations (Entrepreneurs) and existing organizations that are establishing new programs (Intrapreneurs). Notable GroundFloor program alumni include Café Momentum, Akola Project and Bonton Farms. Twenty-six organizations have gone through the program since 2013.
The GroundFloor program includes:
Selection: GroundFloor Fellows are selected through an open business plan competition. Finalists are invited to Quick Pitch Selection Day, where teams present their innovative concept and tactical plan for execution. Applications for the GroundFloor 2018-2019 Cohort will open December 1, 2017. For more information, go to TheGroundFloor.org.
Grounded Bootcamp: Each selected GroundFloor Fellow participates in an intensive 40-hour Grounded Bootcamp, designed to test the Fellows’ business plans and refine their innovations. Topics covered include: business model validation, legal structure, marketing/communications, human resources and team building, board development, impact measurement, financial modeling, grants, stewardship, pitching, and leadership skills. Upon successful completion of Bootcamp, each Fellow receives $10,000.
Mentor Accelerator: A pool of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs volunteer time and talent to supporting GroundFloor Fellows. Each Fellow is paired with a mentor for five months of intensive coaching.
OneUp the Vote: Fellows have an opportunity to compete in OneUp the Vote, a four-week digital campaign running from August 30, 2017 to September 29, 2017, designed to build social media presence and infuse them with funding for continued growth.
OneUp the Pitch: On April 12, 2018, five qualified Fellows, including the winner of OneUp the Vote, will compete in a fast-paced evening of live pitches to a panel of celebrity judges. Competitors will work with business leaders from the five Dallas area chapters of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) to compete for $100,000.
About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas:
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas brings people and resources together to treat 360 degrees of need. We fight our community’s biggest social problems by surrounding them with efficient and impactful solutions. We encourage North Texans to get involved—by giving, volunteering or advocating—to help create a thriving community of healthy, educated and financially stable members. Since 2011, we’ve invested more than $147M in over 200 local programs. Because above all, we help those who want to do good, do great. Learn more at UnitedWayDallas.org.
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