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Points of Light, Village Capital Launch First Accelerator Dedicated to For-Profit and Nonprofit Ventures that Put People at Center of Change

Inaugural Program Supported by PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Starbucks Foundation

10 Start-Ups Begin Intensive 12-Week Boot Camp Today, Vie for Two $50,000 Investments

ATLANTA, Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Points of Light and Village Capital today launched the first start-up accelerator dedicated solely to investing in civic ventures that inspire, equip or mobilize people to create positive change. 

Teams from 10 start-ups will gather this week in Atlanta for the start of an intensive 12-week boot camp focused on mentoring, entrepreneur education, peer support and networking. Each start-up has received a $10,000 investment. Two of the most promising ventures – as determined by the entrepreneurs themselves – will win $50,000 investments at the end of the 12 weeks.

PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Starbucks Foundation are supporting the unique accelerator.

"Supporting innovators whose ideas have the potential to break new ground and drive big impact with charitable purpose through scalable models is an important part of our giving philosophy," said Patricia Mulvaney, treasurer, PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. "We congratulate the 10 start-ups selected for the accelerator and look forward to seeing their individual plans to catalyze social change through innovation in the areas of education and humanitarianism."  

"At Starbucks, we believe strongly in the power of the entrepreneur and the opportunity for businesses to be the catalyst for change in their communities," said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks. "We are honored to support this program and look forward the success of these ventures." 

"Entrepreneurs are bringing new thinking and innovative business models to the critical work of helping others," said Ayesha Khanna, president of Points of Light's Civic Incubator. "We are pleased to help these 10 promising teams successfully launch civic ventures to drive social good in communities across the country."

"Over the next three months, these enterprises will get the best support and the toughest criticism they've ever received from their peers," said Ross Baird, executive director of Village Capital. "We'll focus on everything from customer validation to board-building to fundraising to financials, and we expect that the collaboration of these amazingly talented people will be a force multiplier for their success."

The 10 start-ups gathering at today's event include:

  • AltruHelp (Boston) is building a software solution and online community to increase volunteerism and millennial civic engagement.
  • Bould (Denver) connects students with the real-world experience necessary for green careers.
  • CareerVillage (Boston) helps working professionals provide career information and advice directly to students.
  • Generation Citizen (New York) empowers young people to become engaged and effective citizens.
  • GivKwik (San Francisco) is a social, mobile and web platform that inspires impulse philanthropy.
  • HopeMob (New York) unites strangers to rally behind people with pressing needs.
  • Moneythink (Chicago) makes financial literacy relevant and fun for urban 11th and 12th graders.
  • MyMaryland (Silver Spring, Md.) is democracy's first 24/7 online town hall.
  • Smallknot (New York) is a community crowd-funding platform for small business.
  • UBELONG (Washington, D.C.) provides high-impact, affordable international volunteering opportunities.

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 Village Capital
Village Capital uses the power of peer review and support to shape enterprises making an impact, and to change the way investment in them is made. Village Capital has operated 15 business acceleration programs with partners worldwide to over 250 entrepreneurs in six countries (US, UK, Kenya, India, Brazil, and China). Village Capital has also provided over $2 million in risk capital to participating enterprises through a peer-selected model.  For more information, go to www.vilcap.com.

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.

Anne O'Neill, Points of Light
[email protected]

SOURCE Points of Light

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