Points of Light Civic Accelerator Launches Fall 2018 Class

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator invests in 13 civic ventures addressing the growing gaps in financial resilience across the country

ATLANTA, Sept. 24, 2018 – The Points of Light Civic Accelerator – the first national accelerator dedicated to investing in civic ventures – announced the 13 ventures selected to participate in its fall 2018 program. The ventures come from across the country and include early-stage for-profits and nonprofits that improve financial health, create opportunities for economic mobility and prepare families for financial success in the 21st-century economy.

The 13 teams will gather in Atlanta from Oct. 16-19 for the start of an intensive, 10-week entrepreneur boot camp that includes mentoring, education, peer support and networking. The teams will also meet in Chicago and Philadelphia during the program. Points of Light will offer two of the most promising ventures – as selected by the entrepreneurs themselves – a $50,000 investment following the conclusion of the program. 

“We are excited to support, along with our funders and partners, such promising ventures increasing financial resilience and economic mobility for individuals and families facing the most significant barriers,” said Ayesha Khanna, founder of the Points of Light Civic Accelerator. “Forty-three percent of U.S. households can’t afford a basic monthly budget to cover food, housing, health care, transportation and childcare costs, forcing families to make difficult trade-offs. In addition, 50 percent of Americans have little or no savings and are unable to invest in their future, let alone withstand financial shock. Our ventures provide a wide range of solutions from financial education and pathways to building wealth, to access to affordable credit and banking services. We need these ventures to scale their bold solutions so that all can participate and succeed in the innovation economy.”

With founding supporters the PwC Charitable Foundation Inc. and Starbucks Foundation, along with Capital One, Dentons, Singing for Change, and hotel sponsor Hilton, this is the 12th cohort of the Civic Accelerator since its founding in 2012.

Application and selection committees reviewed more than 100 curated applications before selecting the finalists. The selected cohort of ventures represents various sectors and solutions to increase financial knowledge, access to services, income and employment for youth and adults across gender, class, race and geography. Eighty-five percent of the ventures are led or co-led by racial or ethnic minorities, and 62 percent are led or co-led by females.

The civic startups participating in the Civic Accelerator fall 2018 cohort include: 

CapWay For-profit (Austin, Texas) – provides opportunity and access to financial content and services for unbanked, underbanked and working poor millennials.

DACA Time Nonprofit (Columbus, Ohio) – makes immigration paperwork easier, cheaper and more accurate.

FreeFrom Nonprofit (Los Angeles) – creates pathways to financial security and long-term safety for survivors of gender-based violence.

FundingU For-profit (Atlanta) – proffers college completion loans to academically successful students who can't access “last gap” bank loans due to low credit scores or lack of a co-signer.

Girls Going Global Nonprofit (Atlanta) – empowers underserved girls, ages 13-17, by providing the tools, mentorship and educational experiences to be global citizens.

Holberg Financial  For-profit (Chicago) – helps employees reach their financial goals and reduce financial stress through health benefits companies offer to their employees.

Hopeworks Nonprofit (Camden, New Jersey) – creates technology solutions for businesses that provide opportunities and pathways to success for youth.

Jenny Life Inc. For-profit (Seattle) – protects the more than 28 million moms currently without mortality protection, as a women-focused life insurance provider.

Medean For-profit (Chicago) – provides guidance and incentives for millennials to improve their financial well-being through a budgeting app using gamification and peer comparison.

Next Steps Network Nonprofit (Louisville, Kentucky) – is changing the market system of how manufactured homes are built, sold and financed, while preparing and supporting homebuyers.

Piecewise For-profit (New York) – helps student loan borrowers pay down their debt based on data generated by financial behavior.

Solve For-profit (Chicago) – makes it easier for community-based organizations to connect individuals to jobs and social services.

Tassel Turn Nonprofit (Chicago) – matches youth in foster care to personalized, evidence-informed, online education coaching to help them achieve economic independence.

About Points of Light 

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities across 37 countries and in partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 20 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

About the Points of Light Civic Accelerator 

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator program and investment fund in the country focused on civic ventures – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. The three-month, boot camp-style program convenes 10-15 teams in person and online with the goal of equipping each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovation. CivicX was launched in 2012, with founding support from PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation, and in partnership with Village Capital. In addition, we receive support from Capital One, Dentons, Singing for Change and official hotel sponsor Hilton. Visit cvcx.org for more information or follow the accelerator on Twitter at @civicacceleratr and across social media at #CIVICX.