While United Way proudly supports established non-profits that provide much needed products and services in our community, we realize it’s not always feasible or prudent for these organizations to change course or divert resources to explore a new initiative. With that in mind, the GroundFloor is unique in three key ways:
- Innovation: GroundFloor enables new or existing organizations to apply for funding for groundbreaking ventures that place social impact at the heart of their business model.
- Timeframe: The open, competitive application process is completed quickly, saving precious time and resources that are scarce for an early stage venture.
- Fellows: Recipients of funding may be both non-profit and for-profit organizations, intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial ventures.
Drawing on the strength of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and supporters 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 business, academia, public policy, and the social sector.
- Social capital through connections to more than 1,000 corporate leaders and more than 100 local service providers.
At United Way, we know that innovation can come from many different places. That’s why GroundFloor is designed to support innovation from both new organizations and from within established non-profits.
GroundFloor looks for ideas that fill gaps in our community landscape. Fellows are problem-solvers whose innovations will help us move toward our 10-year community goals. Our investment in these organizations provides wrap-around support to help innovators refine their solutions to be more sustainable and impactful.
Our 2017 Accelerator Class will be bigger and better than ever. The program is comprised of three components:
- Grounded Bootcamp
- Mentor Accelerator
- Multiplier Pitch
Up to ten organizations – more than ever before – will be invited to become GroundFloor Fellows. Each Fellow will receive all aspects of GroundFloor investment at each stage of the program.
|Human Capital||Social Capital||Financial Capital|
|Grounded Bootcamp||Intensive expert instruction to help you refine your business plan and set milestone goals||Publicity as GroundFloor Fellows||$10,000 for completion|
|Mentor Accelerator||One-on-one mentoring and coaching with a GroundFloor Mentor||Connections and resources through the United Way network||$5,000 for the completion of each of three milestones|
|Multiplier Pitch||Expert preparation and feedback as you make your big pitch||Increased visibility as your present at this public event||up $100,000 in additional seed funding (a 5X multiplier) possible|
- Mentorship: Our experienced mentors are paired with Fellows based on expertise and need. Mentoring can range from providing an overall sounding board to strategic problem solving in specific areas.
- Peer Learning: GroundFloor Fellows navigate the Accelerator as a group and benefit by learning and sharing with each other. An important component of the program is building a camaraderie with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who serve as support and a valuable resource.
- Seed Funding: Fellows can earn up to $125,000 in seed funding by completing program elements and prevailing in the final Multiplier Pitch.
- Networking & Education Events: GroundFloor hosts a series of events that cover topics that are valuable to early-stage ventures. These topics can include: pitching, marketing, legal structure, social media strategy, accounting, and measuring impact. These events will be hosted with community partners to introduce fellows to other companies working in the community.
- Increased Visibility: The social capital of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas helps to increase visibility of GroundFloor Fellows through media coverage and participation in community-wide events.
- GroundFloor Staff: After an initial assessment of your organization, we work with you to establish short and long-term goals that we work to achieve during the 5-month program. Staff provides accountability and creates forward momentum for our Fellows.