Zeroing in on problems
Our focus on growing companies in an orchestrated way around a problem sets us apart in crucial ways from accelerators that just grow companies. Basically, we have taken pages from accelerators and foundations and now sit at the intersection of the two. If a friend asks, sum up our approach like this: entrepreneurial acceleration meets collective impact.
We Accelerate Ventures
We help scale social ventures vertically by resourcing each entrepreneur and their team with mentors, funders, and customized training to help them scale their impact and secure additional funding.
We Connect Organizations
We focus on bringing organizations together horizontally to work side by side to tackle an issue—to build coordinated plans, access collective pools of capital, and be accountable to shared impact metrics.
Our approach is embedded in two hypotheses that leverage the DNA of an accelerator to show measurable impact around a specific social problem.
Accelerating ventures vertically that are tackling the same problem but from different angles will lead to more measurable progress against that problem than supporting ventures that are all tackling different problems.
We have run three programs with entrepreneurs who are all focused on tackling the same problem from different angles. Initial indications from the following programs show that by narrowing our selection criteria, we are able to 1) surround organizations with a more concentrated network of mentors and funders, 2) advance those ventures further than with a more diversified accelerator.
- Urban Poverty: We selected and helped scale organizations that are tackling urban poverty in U.S. cities
- Early Childhood Poverty: We selected and helped scale organizations that are working to break the cycle of poverty for children 0-5 years old
- Food Insecurity: We selected and helped scale organizations that are working to increase the access and consumption of healthy food into low-income neighborhoods.
In addition to growing ventures vertically, bringing ventures together to work together horizontally on the same problem will lead to problem-related impact outcomes.
We have started to convene the ventures and people best positioned to tackle a specific problem in one place to achieve specific impact metrics over a set period of time. Initial indications point to how this horizontal “collective impact” work can unify multiple organizations and funders behind one impact goal that wouldn’t be possible without the convening power of an organization like Uncharted.
- Food Insecurity: In 2017, we launched an initiative to convene a group of 3-5 organizations—all uniquely positioned to address food insecurity—and we’re helping them co-locate in one neighborhood and work together to reduce food insecurity over 2-4 years.