The Propeller program for developing startup companies in New Orleans is going to a two-track system designed to more than double the number of social ventures it serves per year.
The program will support social entrepreneurs throughout the startup cycle: from the idea stage to beta to growth. It also will provide more tailored resources for ventures in four key sectors: food security, health care, educational equity and water management.
“Propeller’s vision is to build a critical mass of entrepreneurs tackling key challenges from multiple angles,” Propeller Executive Director Andrea Chen said. “We have shown that collaboration is essential to drive progress, and the more entrepreneurs we have working together, the faster and more effectively we can create measurable impact.”
A three-month “Startup Accelerator” kicks off in the fall for up to 10 idea-stage ventures, followed by a five-month “Growth Accelerator” in February for getting 15 to 20 ventures with viable business models going.
Propeller is accepting applications for its Startup Accelerator, with an emphasis on ideas to address its four key social sectors. Applicants should apply by June 9 to receive feedback to strengthen their proposal with the option to resubmit by the final deadline of July 31.
“By introducing this two-track program, Propeller is truly upping its game as it helps entrepreneurs to successfully bring their ideas to reality,” said Mike Eckert, former CEO of the Weather Channel who will lead the water sector as lead mentor.
“Most new jobs and innovations in our communities won’t come from major corporations; they will be generated by our smallest businesses,” said Neil Gibbons, cofounder and chief operating officer of Better Digestive Health LLC, who will head up the sectors of health care and food security.
Propeller’s services include pro bono support and free office space at the Propeller Incubator. Since the launch of Propeller’s accelerator programs in 2011, it has incubated 60 social ventures that have gone on to generate a combined $20 million in revenue and financing.