Here’s What Ventures Get

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$100,000 in funding

Each venture receives a $100,000 grant from Uncharted

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Rapid prototyping

Online training in rapid prototyping from former UX Lead at Google X

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In-Person Bootcamp

5-day, in-person bootcamp in Denver, focused on building a plan for scale

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Mentorship Team

1:1 mentor meetings, and 3-4 mentors committed to 6-12 months of formal advising

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Social Capital Markets

Access to a customized funder event at SOCAP, the world's largest impact investor gathering

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Financial Modeling

20 hours of pro bono financial model building from a professional financial architect

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Executive Coach

1:1 executive leadership coaching for 3-6 months to help each entrepreneur grow as a leader

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Fundraising Coach

1:1 fundraising coach for 9 months from For Impact, an org that's raised over $2 billion

Applications

Closed! Read about the selected ventures in Fast Company and CNN Money.

 

 

 

Impact Snapshot

In March 2017, we ran the five-day bootcamp portion of this program. As we continue to collect data, here is an in-depth look at two of our ventures. (Remember: These are early results, and more exciting outcomes will emerge in the coming months!)

Learn Fresh is an NBA-based board game which has helped 30,000 kids grow 2.8x in math skills compared to control groups. Their partners include The NBA and Hasbro.

What they took away:

  • Our fundraising workshop, and bi-weekly meetings with a fundraising coach from For-Impact, were exactly what he needed at the right time. CEO Khalil Fuller made his first $1M ask, while working on a $3.5 million Philanthropic Series A round
  • He also secured two new Board of Advisor members, including Charles Best, CEO of Donors Choose, and Mike Feinberg, Co-Founder of KIPP
  • Their team completed their financial model with finance architect David Sudduth

“The quality of connections I’ve made here is 2x better than any other program I’ve participated in.” – Khalil Fuller

 
 

CommonLit provides digital tools to make teachers more effective and customized in their literacy instruction. Currently, over 1 million kids are benefiting from their tools!

What they took away:

  • Michelle Brown, CommonLit’s CEO, met Mike Feinberg, the founder of KIPP, who helped her team create a plan to improve staff culture and has continued to make introductions in the education sector
  • Mike also invited their team to present at KIPP’s annual teacher summit
  • The team also connected with Chris Maliwat, the Chief Product Officer at artnet and former Head of Product Management at Warby Parker, who helped them build structures to conduct strategic user-testing and enable them to become a more customer-facing organization
  • Michelle left with a long-term commitment from a fundraising coach

“In the 3 years since I founded CommonLit, I have participated in five accelerator programs. The Future Cities Accelerator Program is far and away the best accelerator in terms of getting us connected to the right people and resources that we need to bring our solution to scale.” — Michelle Brown, CEO CommonLit

 

Watch our program in action!

Our mentors

Meet the mentors who are currently advising our 10 selected startup ventures!

Ime Archibong
Ime Archibong

VP Partnerships, Facebook

Ime Archibong

Ime Archibong

VP Partnerships, Facebook

Ime is focused on unlocking new business opportunities and driving Facebook’s product strategy through product/platform integrations and global programs. In this role, Ime has supported a variety of Facebook initiatives, including the Developer Platform, Music and Video products, Messenger, Internet.org, and Facebook’s K-12 and CS Education efforts. Prior to joining Facebook, Ime was an Advanced Technology Business Development Professional at IBM. He started his career at IBM as a software engineer in the Systems and Technology Group, before doing a stint on the corporate strategy team, and eventually settling in business development. Ime holds a Bachelor¹s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Jennifer Dulski
Jennifer Dulski

President, Change.org

Jennifer Dulski

Jennifer Dulski

President, Change.org

Jennifer Dulski is president of Change.org, the world’s largest social change platform, with more than 150 million members in 196 countries who start, support and win campaigns on causes that matter to them Change.org is a Certified Benefit Corporation, a new class of companies dedicated to positive impact. The company has raised more than $50 million in investment, from a group of tech and business luminaries, including Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and the founders of eBay, Twitter and Yahoo!, among others.

An accomplished leader and entrepreneur, with more than 17 years of experience in both successful startups and big-brand internet companies, Jennifer was an early Yahoo! employee, holding a number of roles over her 9-year tenure there, ultimately serving as Group VP and General Manager of Local & Commerce, one of Yahoo’s six business units. In 2007, Jennifer left Yahoo! to become co-founder and CEO of The Dealmap, a mobile, location-based deals company that Google acquired in 2011, making Jennifer the first female entrepreneur to sell a company to Google. She stayed at Google for nearly 2 years as a senior executive leading the global, business for Google Shopping & Product Listing Ads.

A thought leader in Silicon Valley, Jennifer is featured regularly in the media including CNN, The New York Times, Forbes, Businessweek, and The Wall St. Journal and writes frequently about leadership, management, and entrepreneurship for LinkedIn Influencers, Fortune, Huffington Post, and other outlets. She also currently serves on the boards of TEGNA (NYSE:TGNA), Little Passports and She++.

Tom Chi
Tom Chi

Former UX Lead at Google X

Tom Chi

Tom Chi

Former UX Lead at Google X

Tom has worked in a wide range of disciplines from astrophysical research to F500 consulting to developing new hardware and software (web & client) products and services. He’s worked on large projects of global scale (Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Search), and scaled new projects from conception to significance (Yahoo Answers from 0 to 90 million users).

Tom has pioneered and practiced a unique approach to rapid prototyping, visioning, and data-driven design that has allowed him to both get new things off the ground and move large organizations at unprecedented speeds. Tom describes this rapid innovation process to create the earliest iterations of Google Glass in this TEDx talkhere.

Paul Polak
Paul Polak

Helped lift over 20M people out of poverty

Paul Polak

Paul Polak

Helped lift over 20M people out of poverty

Dr. Paul Polak is Founder and CEO of Windhorse International and Paul Polak Enterprises, two corporations that will serve as a platform for the formation of new frontier multinationals. Dr. Polak is starting these new social ventures with the mission of inspiring and leading a revolution in how companies design, price, market and distribute products to benefit the 2.6 billion customers who live on less than $2 a day, combining radically affordable technology with radically decentralized supply chains to earn profits serving bottom billion customers.
The first division of Windhorse International, Spring Health Water (India), sells affordable safe drinking water to rural Indians through local kiosk owners using a simple electro-chlorination technology. Spring Health aims, within ten years, to reach at least 100 million customers who live on less than $2 a day.
The first division of Paul Polak Enterprises is SunWater, a company that is lowering the cost of photovoltaics by 80% in order to develop a solar pumping system that is competitive with 5 hp diesel pumps of which there are about 20 million currently used in India alone.
Prior to founding Windhorse International and Paul Polak Enterprises, Dr. Polak founded D-Rev: Design Revolution, a non-profit design incubator for technologies that serve customers living on less than $4 a day. In 1981, Dr. Polak founded International Development Enterprises (IDE), a non-profit organization that has brought nearly 20 million of the world’s poorest people out of poverty by making radically affordable irrigation technology available to farmers through local small-scale entrepreneurs, and opening private sector access to markets for their crops.
Dr. Polak has been recognized by Scientific American as one of the world’s leading 50 contributors to science, he was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the western states, and received the Florence Monito Del Giardino award for environmental preservation in 2008. His work has been featured in articles in Business Week, the Economist, the New York Times, Forbes, and National Geographic. In 2009, he was named one of the world’s “Brave Thinkers by Atlantic Monthly, along with Barack Obama and Steve Jobs, for being willing to “risk careers, reputations, and fortunes to advance ideas that upend an established order.”
Dr. Polak’s first book, Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail, has become a renowned resource for practical solutions to global poverty. His second book, The Business Solution to Poverty, published in 2013 with co-author, Mal Warwick has been adopted as a leading guide to profitable solutions to ending poverty on a truly large scale. Bill Clinton called The Business Solution to Poverty “one of the most hopeful propositions to come along in a long time.”
Vien Truong
Vien Truong

Director, Green for All (helped pass the US's first Green Jobs Act)

Vien Truong

Vien Truong

Director, Green for All (helped pass the US's first Green Jobs Act)

Vien Truong is one of the country’s experts and strategists on building an equitable green economy. She leads Green For All, a national initiative that puts communities of color at the forefront of the climate movement and equality at the center of environmental solutions. Green For All created the country’s first Green Jobs Act (2007), which was signed into law by President George W. Bush, and has advised on state policies across the country. It has since passed over a dozen state policies, created nationally recognized local programs, and formed collaborations with celebrities, artists, clergy, elected officials, businesses and civil rights leaders.

Vien has developed numerous energy, environmental, and economic policies and programs at the state, federal and local levels. She has advised on billions of dollars in public investments for energy and community development programs. Most recently, Vien co-led a coalition to pass and implement California’s landmark Senate Bill 535 (de Leon), a law that created the biggest fund in history for the poorest and most polluted communities — to date it has reinvested over $800 million in disadvantaged communities most harmed by fossil fuel pollution. She also co-led Charge Ahead California, which will place one million electric vehicles to California in 10 years, especially ensuring that low income communities most impacted by pollution will benefit from zero tailpipe emissions.

She is a board member of US Climate Action Network, Clean Energy Works, and MegaPhone Strategies. She previously led The Greenlining Institute’s Environmental Equity program, Chaired the City of Oakland’s Planning Commission, and taught New Business Practicum at UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law.

Vien recently received the White House Champion of Change award for her work on climate equity. Vien has also received numerous congressional, state, regional and local awards for her work advocating on behalf of those most vulnerable to climate change. She was featured in the SF Chronicle as one of San Francisco’s “Top Women Leaders,” received California League of Conservation Voters’ “Environmental Leadership Award”; and Transform’s “Leadership, Innovation, Vision, Equity” award. She also received YBCA 100 which recognizes the creative minds that who are making the provocations that will shape the future of culture and was recognized as a “Power Shifter” on the Grist 50.

Vien is a first-generation resident of Oakland, where she continues to live and invest in. She holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Jamie Van Leeuwen
Jamie Van Leeuwen

Led Denver's 10 Year Campaign to End Homelessness

Jamie Van Leeuwen

Jamie Van Leeuwen

Led Denver's 10 Year Campaign to End Homelessness

Jamie Van Leeuwen currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Governor Hickenlooper after working as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Community Partnerships during the first term.

In 2006, he was appointed by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to head up Denver’s Road Home, the city’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.  In this role, he oversaw leadership staff, fundraising, public relations and evaluation for Denver’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.  In the first five years of the initiative, Denver’s Road Home generated over $50 million in new resources for the homeless, developed over 2,000 new units of affordable housing, prevented over 3,500 families from becoming homeless, reduced chronic homelessness by 70 percent and was recognized by HUD as one of the top six homeless programs in the country.  In 2007, Jamie was appointed to chair the Drug Strategy Commission and oversee the Office of Drug Strategy.  The office launched a major community-wide strategic plan in 2008 to close the unmet treatment gap in Denver.  In the first two years the plan created over $500 thousand in new treatment services and generated $3.5 million in-kind media annually.  Denver’s Road Home and the Office of Drug Strategy combined in a new division on Jamie’s oversight called the Office of Community Impact.

Mike Feinberg
Mike Feinberg

Co-founder of KIPP Schools

Mike Feinberg

Mike Feinberg

Co-founder of KIPP Schools

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Mike joined Teach For America where he was a fifth grade bilingual teacher in Houston, Texas, for three years. In 1994, he co-founded the Knowledge is Power Program with Dave Levin, and the next year went on to found KIPP Academy in Houston. Mike now supports KIPP regions and global development for the KIPP Foundation, along with continuing a board leadership role within KIPP Houston.

Mike and Dave have been awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, our nation’s second highest presidential award for a private citizen; Thomas Fordham Foundation Prize for Valor; the National Jefferson Award for Distinguished Public Service by a Private Citizen; the Charles Bronfman Prize; the Ashoka Fellowship; the McGraw Hill Prize, an honorary degree from Duke University and Yale University; and the National Community Service Award from Spelman College.

Mike and Dave’s work is the subject of the best-selling book by Jay Matthews, Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created America’s Most Promising Schools. Additionally, KIPP’s ground-breaking work on character development is featured in Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed:  Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.

Lisbeth Shepherd
Lisbeth Shepherd

Founder, Green City Force

Lisbeth Shepherd

Lisbeth Shepherd

Founder, Green City Force

Lisbeth founded Green City Force (GCF) in 2009 to address the dual imperatives of urban youth unemployment and climate change through service. Named “NYC’s Most Innovative Nonprofit” in 2013, GCF has engaged 300+ young adults residing in public housing with an 80% graduation and 80% placement in employment or college. GCF coated or cleaned over 1 million square feet of rooftop with the NYC ˚CoolRoofs campaign, built NYC’s first urban farm in public housing with the NYC Housing Authority and Added Value, and educated thousands of public housing residents about changing energy consumption behaviors in their homes, through the Love Where You Live Challenge. From 2007-8, Lisbeth chaired the Clean Energy Corps Working Group at Green for All, working with Van Jones and leaders in the green jobs movement on a policy proposal for a national Clean Energy Corps. Lisbeth previously founded Unis-Cité, the leading national youth service program in France which engages over 2,000 annual corps members and inspired national legislation affecting 75,000 young adults. She is an Echoing Green and Draper Richards Kaplan alum, New Profit Inc. Accelerator Entrepreneur, Audubon “Woman Greening the City,” Yale graduate and mother of two.

Nick Fellers
Nick Fellers

Raised $125 million for causes in 30 countries

Nick Fellers

Nick Fellers

Raised $125 million for causes in 30 countries

Nick is the co-founder of For Impact and president of The Suddes Group. In the last 10 years, he’s raised over $125 Million for causes in 30 countries and trained leaders from over 1000 organizations in how to use a sales process to maximize funding opportunities.

An entrepreneur, Nick started his first business while a student at the University of Notre Dame. Studying biology and philosophy, Nick would leave the labs early to make sales calls for his business – the first-of-its-kind student social network (and a precursor to Facebook). Upon graduation, Nick and his business partners sold their business to focus on ‘scaled impact in the social sector.’

Nick is passionate about family, social entrepreneurship, running, and all things web. An avid runner, Nick is currently working on running marathons in all 50 states. He and his wife, Anna, live in Columbus, Ohio, with their children, Will, Molly, and Rosie.

Brian Dixon
Brian Dixon

Investment Partner at Kapor Capital

Brian Dixon

Brian Dixon

Investment Partner at Kapor Capital

Brian Dixon focuses on identifying and evaluating early-stage investments along with helping portfolio companies grow effectively. Brian joined Kapor Capital in 2011 after spending two summers as an MBA intern, and was promoted to partner in November 2015. He is committed to making sure entrepreneurs of all backgrounds have access to advice and capital in order to make their business succeed.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science from Northeastern University and an MBA from F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and has been selected as a Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellow, Babson Fellow, and Springworks Scholar.

Prior to business school, Brian started his career as a software engineer at Citigroup through their selective IT analyst training program and has worked as a product and project manager at Education First and Babyzone (Acquired by Disney Inc.). He has founded multiple technology start-up companies and enjoys working with founders and accelerator programs.

Amira Bliss
Amira Bliss

Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation

Amira Bliss

Amira Bliss

Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation

Amira Bliss joined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2010. As Associate Director, Amira designs and implements a strategy to catalyze innovation at the Foundation and in the social sector more broadly. She currently manages grants and relationships to build innovation capacity through tools like social innovation labs, and by leading programs such as The Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellowship on Social Innovation. She also leads the innovation workstream of the Food Waste and Spoilage initiative, aiming to surface and scale innovative solutions to post-harvest food loss affecting the livelihoods of African smallholder farmers. Amira has previously worked on Foundation initiatives to support more equitable and sustainable transportation—exploring global transportation mobility and accessibility—and developing sustainable employment strategies in the recycling and water management sectors in the United States. Prior to joining The Rockefeller Foundation, Amira served as the assistant director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP). She has also worked at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF). Amira Bliss received a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and an executive master’s of public policy and administration degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Will Seamans
Will Seamans

Former Chief of Staff of Teach For America

Will Seamans

Will Seamans

Former Chief of Staff of Teach For America

Will grew up in a low-income family in rural Colorado, and became the first in his family to attend college. While in college, Will was fortunate enough to discover his two life passions: entrepreneurship and education. During his senior year he founded a start-up aimed at making college more affordable for students like himself, and led that organization as CEO for the next 5 years, growing the company from 3 to 15 employees, and revenues 2.4x each year on average. He then joined the staff of Teach For America, where he held a number of leadership roles as the organization grew from impacting 80,000 students nationwide to over 500,000 students nationwide during his tenure. While at Teach For America Will solidified his belief that solving socio-economic disparity is the root solution to a majority of the problems in our society. He also discovered a unique strength in helping others reach their full potential, and has been coaching and mentoring management teams and CEOs to create the conditions for success in their organizations ever since.

Josh Horwitz
Josh Horwitz

Lean start-up entrepreneur and enterprise software executive

Josh Horwitz

Josh Horwitz

Lean start-up entrepreneur and enterprise software executive

Joshua Horwitz is a lean start-up entrepreneur and enterprise software executive with 25+ years experience.  He founded, built, and eventually led the exit of Boulder Logic, a B2B customer marketing company based in Boulder.  Prior to founding his company, Joshua held senior technology and sales positions with both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He is currently advising start-ups, non-profits, and social enterprises.

Marianne Berkovich
Marianne Berkovich

User researcher who has helped Google & Adobe

Marianne Berkovich

Marianne Berkovich

User researcher who has helped Google & Adobe

Marianne Berkovich is a user researcher who has helped Google, Adobe, and Lockheed Martin among dozens of social entrepreneurs understand their customers needs in order to build great products. She is currently equipping entrepreneurs with user research skills to understand their customers’ needs.

Becky Margiotta
Becky Margiotta

Co-Founder Billions Institute (helped over 100K homeless people into housing)

Becky Margiotta

Becky Margiotta

Co-Founder Billions Institute (helped over 100K homeless people into housing)

Becky Kanis Margiotta co-foundedThe Billions Institute with her friend Joe McCannon to answer one question: how do we spread solutions to the world’s most pressing problems to everyone who could benefit as quickly as possible? Previously, Becky led the100,000 Homes Campaign for Community Solutions. Featured on60 Minutes, the Campaign was a nationwide large-scale change effort to find and house 100,000 of the most long-term and medically vulnerable homeless people in America by July 2014. Before that, she commanded two Special Operations companies in the US Army. She graduated from West Point and holds a masters degree from The New School. Becky was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change in 2013 and by the Schwab Foundation as a Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015.

Alex Hernandez
Alex Hernandez

Led over $100M investments in education

Alex Hernandez

Alex Hernandez

Led over $100M investments in education

The Charter School Growth Fund is a nonprofit that supports the growth of the nation’s best public charter schools. He has led over $100M in investments and built the organization’s Next Generation Schools practice, establishing CSGF as a national leader in school innovation. He now leads CSGF’s Impact Team that provides direct services to portfolio schools to help them scale better and reach higher levels of performance faster. Alex is a former Area Superintendent at Aspire Public Schools where he managed schools in the California Central Valley region. He taught high school math in South Los Angeles and later served as a Broad Fellow at Portland Public Schools. Before that, Alex worked for several years with JP Morgan and Disney’s venture capital arm, Steamboat Ventures. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College, has an MBA and Masters of Education from Stanford University, and is a Pahara-Aspen fellow for leaders dedicated to transforming public education. He is a board member of DSST Public Schools, Ednovate, Rocketship Education and 4pt0 Schools. Alex lives near Boulder, Colorado with his wife Michelle and twin sons.

Nate Shultz
Nate Shultz

Manager at Colorado Housing & Finance Authority

Nate Shultz

Nate Shultz

Manager at Colorado Housing & Finance Authority

Nate Shultz is the Business Development Manager for the Home Finance Division of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). He is responsible for the the growth of CHFA’s single family business line, including program and product development, expansion and management of CHFA’s participating lender network, and oversight of CHFA-sponsored homebuyer education throughout Colorado. In 2016, CHFA purchased mortgages totaling more than $1.3 billion, making homeownership possible for over 6,000 Colorado households.

Prior to coming to CHFA, Shultz held a variety of roles at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/Federal Housing Administration, including Deputy Director of the office that oversees FHA’s 3,000+ approved lenders, and Senior Policy Advisor to the Federal Housing Commissioner, where he advised the Commissioner and other senior HUD leaders on a wide range of policies and programs associated with housing and community development.

Prior to his tenure at HUD, Shultz spent a number of years working with at-risk youth and in workforce development. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado Christian University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado.

Luisa Molano
Luisa Molano

HR Director, Arrow Electronics (Colorado's largest employer)

Luisa Molano

Luisa Molano

HR Director, Arrow Electronics (Colorado's largest employer)

Luisa’s began as branch manager for a Los Angeles staffing agency where she discovered a passion for connecting people to next career move. Within a few years, she transitioned to the world of corporate HR with Sage Software and discovered a passion for the process and technology aspects of HR. Despite record unemployment, no network, and even absent a college degree, she secured a position with Colorado’s largest employer, Arrow Electronics. For the past seven years she has held a series of progressively challenging roles with Arrow and currently serves as the Director of North American Recruiting where she oversees more than 2,100 annual hires. In 2016, Luisa was selected as one of 21 participants in the inaugural Colorado Governor’s Fellowship program.

Charlie Coglianese
Charlie Coglianese

Founder & CEO of Schoolrunner

Charlie Coglianese

Charlie Coglianese

Founder & CEO of Schoolrunner

Charlie Coglianese is the Founder & CEO of Schoolrunner, a Denver-based K-12 EdTech startup that helps teachers help kids using data. He formerly created similar solutions for hedge funds and other financial institutions in New York City. Charlie is focused on enabling professionals to make better decisions by presenting them the right information at the right time.

Chris Maliwat
Chris Maliwat

Former Product Manager for Netflix and Facebook

Chris Maliwat

Chris Maliwat

Former Product Manager for Netflix and Facebook

Chris is a seasoned product lead, business strategist, and interface designer with proven ability to transform concepts into award-winning, robust products. He has helped successfully launch internet and software projects including e-commerce solutions, content management systems, collaborative environments, network monitoring, streaming media, and personal finance software.

Jessica Cole
Jessica Cole

Former Outreach Director at Panorama Education

Jessica Cole

Jessica Cole

Former Outreach Director at Panorama Education

Jessica is a builder and a civic organizer. She believes that technology, at its best, creates neighborhoods out of people. She served as Director of Outreach at Panorama Education to bring perception data to 6500 public schools, organized civic retreats, and instigated field trips across Yale and Boston.

David Kyle
David Kyle

Former COO, Acumen

David Kyle

David Kyle

Former COO, Acumen

David founded Impact Business Leaders, which is focused on placing experienced professionals looking for career change in full time roles with social enterprises around the world. Prior to starting IBL David was at the Calvert Foundation in Bethesda, Maryland as COO. Prior to joining Calvert Foundation David lived in Hyderabad, India for three years where he was the Founder and CEO of the Indian School Finance Company www.isfc.in, a for-profit finance company that provides medium term debt capital to private schools serving very low-income families. As COO and Chief Investment Officer of Acumen Fund, he built local operations in East Africa, India, Pakistan and New York from 2003-07. Prior to beginning his career in social enterprise in 2001 David spent 20 years in the corporate and investment bank of Citibank working successively in Brazil, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Portugal and the UK.

Erine Gray
Erine Gray

CEO of Aunt Bertha (enabling 2 million+ marginalized people to access public assistance)

Erine Gray

Erine Gray

CEO of Aunt Bertha (enabling 2 million+ marginalized people to access public assistance)

Erine has been working on business and technology consulting projects for more than 12 years. His current company (Aunt Bertha) is making it easy for people to find food, health, housing and education programs. Aunt Bertha’s mission is to make human service program information more accessible to both people and programs. Prior to founding Aunt Bertha, he directed more than 60 employees within a project responsible for administering the application process for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. He delivered more than 40 software and operational improvement projects that saved the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) more than $5 million dollars per year in operating expenses.

Caitlin Leibert
Caitlin Leibert

Head of Sustainability for Chipotle Mexican Grill

Caitlin Leibert

Caitlin Leibert

Head of Sustainability for Chipotle Mexican Grill

As Head of Sustainability for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Caitlin is responsible for creating and implementing the company’s sustainability vision and strategy in more than 2,200 restaurants worldwide. From waste reduction to energy management, to water stewardship, Caitlin works to minimize Chipotle’s impact as a company and plays a key role in developing new practices. Caitlin started her career at Chipotle in 2007 as a marketing strategist in northern Ohio and later went on to oversee marketing in New England before moving to Denver, Colorado in 2011 for her current role. Caitlin received her BA in journalism from the University of New Hampshire where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She then went on to earn her Masters in Sustainability Leadership from the University of Cambridge in the UK in 2016. She is currently serving a two-year term on the Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Council for the City of Denver.

Luis Duarte
Luis Duarte

Leading $250M fund to serve low-income children

Luis Duarte

Luis Duarte

Leading $250M fund to serve low-income children

Luis serves as investment director at Gary Community Investments (GCI) where he leads the areas of impact investing and innovation. Prior to joining GCI, Luis was a serial entrepreneur. His last venture continues to increase recycling rates in Mexico. Before that, Luis worked for the private and public sector, where he performed as consultant and engineer for the plastics and construction industry and led a 200 staff organization for the public health sector in Mexico. Luis is currently a director of WeeSchool and serves as a board member for Accion and Mental Health Center of Denver. He is a Colorado Governors Fellow, and was also a Fellow at the Unreasonable Institute. He holds a BS, cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from Tec de Monterrey and an MBA, cum laude, from Babson College. He lives in Denver with his wife and two sons.
Ray Weston
Ray Weston

VP of International Business at Yum Brands

Ray Weston

Ray Weston

VP of International Business at Yum Brands

As an international lawyer and business executive at a Fortune 500 company, Ray’s experience centers upon licensing, franchising, intellectual property, M&A, and launching/growing international businesses, including the use of joint ventures and other M&A to launch and expand businesses in developing countries (Brazil, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Nigeria) and developed countries (U.S., Canada, Belgium, France, England). For ten years Ray coached licensees in Latin America, Eastern & Western Europe, Israel, and Africa how to start, operate, and grow businesses in support of global US brands.

Toni Maraviglia
Toni Maraviglia

Providing 2 million+ Kenyan children with tutoring and materials via mobile phones

Toni Maraviglia

Toni Maraviglia

Providing 2 million+ Kenyan children with tutoring and materials via mobile phones

Toni is a teacher turned tech entrepreneur. She’s most passionate about improving access to information and financial services through the use of mobile technology and data science. She has a background in leadership, management, strategy, business development, fundraising, product management, mobile-first user experience, data collection and analysis, public speaking, financial modeling, community organizing, and anything tech or edtech in the international market, especially in developing countries.

George Deriso
George Deriso

10+ years at Apple

George Deriso

George Deriso

10+ years at Apple

George spent over a decade at Apple. Six startups later, he now is Assistant Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Leeds School of Business, helping startups and coaching founders. As a consultant and member of many boards, George brings years of experience to solving intractable problems. He’s raised capital, sold companies, negotiated strategic deals, filled strategic gaps, and improved client businesses.

 

Chris Yeh
Chris Yeh

Invested in 50+ companies

Chris Yeh

Chris Yeh

Invested in 50+ companies

Chris Yeh has been building Internet businesses since 1995. He is the VP Marketing for PBworks, which provides highly vertical collaboration solutions that help businesses work more efficiently and effectively. Its products serve markets such as advertising and marketing agencies, law firms, and education, as well as the broader business market. Chris is also a General Partner at Wasabi Ventures, a global venture fund, startup incubator, and consulting firm, where he leads the firm’s investment committee.
Previously, he was the first investor in and interim CEO of Ustream.TV, which provides an open and distributable platform for live interactive online video. He also helped start numerous other companies, including Symphoniq Corporation, TargetFirst, and Juno Online Services and FarSight Financial Services (divisions of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P.).
Chris is an active angel investor and advisor to a wide array of startups. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Harvard Business School Technology Alumni Association.
Chris earned two degrees from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar.
David Ngo
David Ngo

Designing human behavior for good

David Ngo

David Ngo

Designing human behavior for good

David Ngo is an expert at designing products and services for the people that use them.

Kerry Suddes
Kerry Suddes

Director of Training, For Impact (which has raised $2B+)

Kerry Suddes

Kerry Suddes

Director of Training, For Impact (which has raised $2B+)

Kerry started in the for-profit training world where she built and facilitated world-class teams programs for Fortune 500 companies, including J.P. Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance, Merck and Sherwin-Williams. She has a degree in Speech Communications and Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego.

In 2005, Kerry joined the For Impact team as Director of Live Experiences and Coach. She has since coached and trained thousands of organizations — including The American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, several YM and YWCA organizations, and many private schools, social service agencies and social ventures — through successful funding efforts ranging from $100K to $30M.

In addition to working in the field on funding initiatives, Kerry leads the team in designing and delivering all live experiences – Speaking, Boot Camps and Workshops.

She is an avid (but amateur) cyclist, two-time Half Ironman finisher and known as Aunt Kiki to seven nieces and nephews. She is a YPO forum member and a mentor at the Unreasonable Institute. Kerry lives in Jackson, Wyoming, with her husband, Chris.

 

Our Leadership Development Coaches

Meet the people who provide 1:1 coaching to help our entrepreneurs become better leaders.

Andy Robbins
Andy Robbins

Leadership development coach

Andy Robbins

Andy Robbins

Leadership development coach

Trish Silber
Trish Silber

Leadership development coach

Trish Silber

Trish Silber

Leadership development coach

Wayne Caskey
Wayne Caskey

Leadership development coach

Wayne Caskey

Wayne Caskey

Leadership development coach

Tess Horan
Tess Horan

Leadership development coach

Tess Horan

Tess Horan

Leadership development coach

Scott Blessing
Scott Blessing

Leadership development coach

Scott Blessing

Scott Blessing

Leadership development coach

Terri Sinclair
Terri Sinclair

Leadership development coach

Terri Sinclair

Terri Sinclair

Leadership development coach

Newell Eaton
Newell Eaton

Leadership development coach

Newell Eaton

Newell Eaton

Leadership development coach

Renee Freedman
Renee Freedman

Leadership development coach

Renee Freedman

Renee Freedman

Leadership development coach

John Lazar
John Lazar

Leadership development coach

John Lazar

John Lazar

Leadership development coach

Hilda Fainsod
Hilda Fainsod

Leadership development coach

Hilda Fainsod

Hilda Fainsod

Leadership development coach

Jesus Maximoff
Jesus Maximoff

Leadership development coach

Jesus Maximoff

Jesus Maximoff

Leadership development coach

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Future Cities Accelerator is the brainchild of The Rockefeller Foundation. Because over 75% of human beings will live in cities by the year 2050, The Rockefeller Foundation, as evidenced by their 100 Resilient Cities initiative, has developed a strong focus on making cities more inclusive and resilient to major social and environmental challenges.

    In early April 2016, The Rockefeller Foundation reached out to Uncharted, one of its grantees from 2013. Founded in 2009, Uncharted equips early-stage startups (whether for-profit or non-profit) to get the mentorship and funding they need to scale their impact. It has done this through accelerator programs, which it now runs in over 24 countries. 93% of its first 112 ventures are active and funded, having raised over $100 million and benefitting over 8 million lives. Because The Rockefeller Foundation aimed to support highly innovative, early-stage organizations through this initiative, Uncharted experience working with early-stage organizations seemed like a perfect fit for the program objectives.

    The Rockefeller Foundation recruited SKDK, a New York-based communications firm, and Blue State Digital, a DC and New York based social media firm, to help promote the initiative. Uncharted brought in Unreasonable Media, a video production firm.

    And that’s how The Future Cities Accelerator was born! Now that you know, you should apply.

  • More than 80% of Americans live in urban centers. While these areas of the country are centers of commerce, finance and innovation, some urban populations face disproportionate rates of poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment. Future Cities Accelerator is working to address these inequities by supporting next generation leaders who together can unleash a wave of change with their innovative ideas.

  • Absolutely! We want to help poor or vulnerable populations in U.S. cities at scale and are open to any route to get there.

  • Future Cities Accelerator supports early-stage organizations with the potential to create deep and lasting impact for poor or vulnerable populations in U.S. cities at scale. Theses organizations work in a wide variety of sectors, from social justice to clean tech. The criteria for selection are:

    (1) Deep and lasting impact. We want to know if your product or service fundamentally changes the quality of life of your intended beneficiaries in a way that endures for years. For example, providing someone a job would be what we consider deep and lasting impact. Showing someone a want ad would not be.

    Critical to creating this kind of impact, in our view, is identifying a “hair on fire problem”, that leads to rapid adoption of your solution by your intended customers or beneficiaries , especially when that solution is affordable to them.

    (2) A relentlessly dedicated team. Because we’re looking at early-stage organizations for this program who may not have much traction yet, we’ll look heavily at the people on your team. Specifically, we want to understand how committed you are to solving the problem you’re taking on, which we evaluate by how much time and energy you’ve spent understanding it. We also want to understand how cohesive your team is. 65% of startups fail due to co-founder conflict. We want to understand if your team can stick together through the difficult work of starting and growing an organization. Lastly, we want to see a team of people who are formidable, who will do whatever it takes to address the problem they’re trying to solve.

    (3) The potential to reach 1,000,000 lives. We know it’s early days for your organization. But we want to hear about your plans to help a lot of poor or vulnerable people in U.S. cities. The best approach to thinking about scaling your impact comes from this article by Kevin Starr, Executive Director of Mulago Foundation, and a mentor for the Future Cities Accelerator. In it, Kevin explains that to go to scale, you can either: (1) grow a big organization, (2) create a model so profitable that other for-profits copy it, (3) teach or otherwise equip other non-profits to reproduce your model, or (4) get the government to reproduce your model. Whichever route is right for you, we want to hear about how you’re making it viable!

    We’ll look for rigorous logic and / or evidence that you can pursue one of the above four routes to scale. For example, “our business model is really profitable” is evidence that either you can fuel your growth to becoming a large enough organization to scale your impact and that other businesses will want to imitate your model. “We’ve partnered with the US Department of Education” offers evidence that the government may scale your impact.

    (4) Fit with what we’re offering. We want to work with organizations we truly believe we can help. We’ll want to know how much of a gamechanger $100,000 is for your organization and why. We’ll want to know if you’re open to challenging feedback from mentors, who can coach you in growing your organization. We want to know if you understand the key needs of your organization and where you need help to grow it. Because if you have an amazing team that can create deep and lasting impact at scale for poor or vulnerable people in U.S. cities and we can really help, we want to work with you!

  • No! Funding comes in the form of a a grant for both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

  • There is no cost to you if you’re selected to attend this program. In fact, we’ll deliver you all of the services described on this website for free; provide you a $100,000 grant; and cover your airfare, food, and lodging for your time in Denver, Colorado (March 20 – 24, 2017) and your time in San Francisco for SOCAP (October 2017).

    All we ask in exchange is that you fill us in your impact on poor and vulnerable populations in U.S. cities every six months up to five years after the end of the program.

  • The 10 chosen organizations will participate in a six week online course from January 23 – March 3, 2017.

    From March 20 – 24, 2017, we’ll run a a 5-day in-person bootcamp in Denver, Colorado (all expenses paid for chosen organizations).

    In October 2017 (exact dates TBD), the 10 chosen organizations will be flown to San Francisco, California, where they’ll present at and participate in the SOCAP conference, a gathering of thousands of funders and entrepreneurs in the impact sector.

  • According to Tim Ferriss, an entrepreneur should ignore most of the advice he or she hears. However, the best advice an entrepreneur will come from those that have done what that entrepreneur aspires to do at the scale at which they aspire to do it.

    Therefore, we look for mentors who have either (1) created impact for poor or vulnerable populations in U.S cities at scale or (2) who have mastered critical skills that our chosen organizations can learn from. While we choose some mentors before starting our recruitment and selection process, we’ll also recruit additional mentors after announcing the 10 winners. We’ll spend time understanding their bright spots and their needs through diagnostic calls. With this information, we’ll recruit additional mentors who have expertise where our 10 chosen organizations face challenge. Altogether, we aim to convene around 35 mentors at the in-person bootcamp portion of the Future Cities Accelerator, taking place in Denver between March 20 – 24, 2017.

Our Partners

We have an amazing team of partners working together to pull off this program!