Points of Light Foundation Selects City Connect Detroit and The Grow Detroit’s Young Talent Program for Its Civic Accelerator

With founding partners PwC Charitable Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation, along with the Ford Motor Company Fund, Hilton Worldwide, Dentons, and Singing for Change, the Points of Light Civic Accelerator will provide City Connect Detroit’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program with resources to grow.  

DETROIT, MI (October 18th, 2016) – The Points of Light Civic Accelerator – the first national accelerator dedicated to investing in civic ventures – recently announced the 15 ventures selected to participate in its Fall 2016 program. These civic start-ups include for-profits and nonprofits focused on increasing educational outcomes and workforce success for youth in the Detroit and Great Lakes region. Among the ventures selected to participate is City Connect Detroit’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program.

The 15 teams gathered in Detroit on October 11 for the start of an intensive, 10-week entrepreneur boot camp that includes mentoring, education, peer support, and networking. 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. This will be the eighth cohort of the Civic Accelerator since its founding in 2012.

Application and selection committees screened more than 200 social ventures from across the country and reviewed 58 curated applications before selecting the 15 ventures in this cohort. They represent a range of sectors and approaches to education and workforce development for disconnected youth in Detroit, the Great Lakes, and from across the U.S. The solutions are diverse – including alternative learning models, youth education and technical skills training, and tech-enabled workforce development platforms – to help young people achieve educational success, living wage jobs, and economic mobility.

“We believe our invitation to participate in the Civic Accelerator is both a great recognition of the quality of the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program, as well as an opportunity to further develop the sustainability and capacity of our work,” said Dierk Hall, President and CEO of City Connect Detroit. “Our team has already brought back numerous insights from the first week of the program, and we are very much looking forward to integrating in more lessons and critical feedback in the weeks ahead.”

The civic startups participating in the Civic Accelerator Fall 2016 program represent California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York. They are:

ALEX (Boston, MA, For-profit), Anyone’s Learning Experience is a marketplace of college courses for career advancement.

Atlantic Impact (Detroit, MI, Nonprofit) uses local and global travel to improve outcomes for students attending high poverty schools.

BLOC (Franklin Lakes, NJ, For-profit) is a professional network that unites black college students so that they can collectively rise.

Detroit Food & Entrepreneurship Academy (Detroit, MI, Nonprofit) develops Detroit high school students as leaders through entrepreneurship rooted in food.

Detroit Training Center (Detroit, MI, For-profit) teaches the skills necessary to match students with high paying jobs through customized, hands-on vocational programs of study.

Fletch (Chicago, IL, For-profit) helps colleges increase utilization of student support services including tutoring, advising, and financial aid.

Flying Classroom (Opa-Locka, FL, For-profit) is a real Magic School Bus offering expeditions around the globe and making it easy for teachers to engage students with STEM+ learning.

GenFKD (New York, NY, Nonprofit) prepares students to thrive in the 21st century through on-campus skill development programs.

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (Detroit, MI, Nonprofit) provides Detroit youth with paid summer employment and training opportunities.

Henry Ford Learning Institute (Dearborn, MI, Nonprofit) empowers young people to be more innovative and creative in how they think and learn.

The Impact Lab (Chicago, IL, For-profit) provides open source data and analytics to connect action to outcomes for service providers and funders in the social sector.

JOURNi (Detroit, MI, Nonprofit) empowers underrepresented and underserved Detroiters through coding and software development instruction.

Overgrad (Chicago, IL, For-profit) is a web platform for high school students and the people that support them.

Skill Scout (Chicago, IL, For-profit) transforms how companies and candidates experience each other through video job posts and engaging work sample applications.

WeThrive (Santa Monica, CA, Nonprofit) is an entrepreneurial mentoring program that pairs college students to middle school students in under-resourced communities.

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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 and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year – we put people at the center of change. 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 solve social problems by including people as part of the solution. 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. The Civic Accelerator was launched in 2012, in partnership with Village Capital, and receives generous support from founding partners PwC Charitable Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation, and from the Ford Motor Company Fund, U.S. Small Business Administration, Dentons US LLP, Singing for Change and official hotel sponsor, Hilton Worldwide. Visit cvcx.org for more information or follow the accelerator on Twitter at @civicacceleratr and across social media at #CIVICX.

About PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.
The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) organization, makes charitable contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship, and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 24,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit our stores or online at news.starbucks.com and Starbucks.com.

About Ford Motor Company Fund

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services (Ford Fund) is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Established in 1949, Ford Fund is a charitable, nonprofit corporation financed by contributions from Ford Motor Company. Ford Fund has invested $1.5 billion in nonprofits and civic organizations worldwide, expanding on the company’s 113-year legacy of corporate citizenship by helping build stronger communities with a focus on Community Life, Education, Safe Driving and Volunteerism.

For more information on City Connect Detroit or the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program, contact Shuna Hayward at 313-967-5641 or shuna@cityconnectdetroit.org.