October 30, 2017 | Accelerator

Our 2017 Cohort Is Ready for Impact

216 hours in person + 100 mentors + 29 inspirational speakers + 8 incredible Accelerator hosts + 288 pitch practices + 224 cups of coffee + 2 Demo Days = over $430,000 in funding unlocked for the tech nonprofit sector!

Every year we are blown away by the progress our cohort of tech nonprofits makes in 3 short months. Over the summer we spend our six 2-day sessions working on everything from workshopping pitches to fundraising, product roadmaps, and financial modeling. The real magic of the Accelerator comes from the community, though. 100 leaders from the tech and nonprofit communities attend accelerator sessions to mentor the teams, lead trainings, and share advice. Across the cohort, founders and team members realize they can be valuable assets to each other. The camaraderie and knowledge sharing is a signal to us that they’ve found their tribe.  

This summer we were fortunate to have 8 technology leaders host accelerator sessions at their offices and lend their employees for training sessions and mentorship. A huge thank you to BlackRock, Google.org, Zendesk, Intuit, HPE, Bloomberg, Twitter, and Box.org, for hosting our Accelerator sessions and Demo Days, and to Comcast NBCUniversal, and Omidyar Network for supporting our programs.

For the second year, we held two Demo Days. Google.org graciously hosted our San Francisco Demo Day, and Box.org generously hosted our Silicon Valley Demo Day. With nearly 500 members of the tech for good community in attendance across the two days, we ended the week inspired by all the excitement for the tech nonprofit sector!

The eight tech nonprofits in our 2017 cohort have built tech that solves problems like college persistence for 1st generation students, online harassment, and mental health. Each team achieved significant milestones over the summer, and this is only the beginning.

  • Beyond12 – Reached the final stages of development for the next version of their app, MyCoach, and built out custom content for 27 new university partners
  • Concrn – Began building their 1st mobile app for crisis responders, as well as a new app for crisis reporters
  • IssueVoter – Redesigned its issue-based voting platform to make it easier for individuals to send their opinions to congress, and secured a partnership with Rock the Vote
  • MindRight – Secured 3 new paid contracts, enabling MindRight to double the number of students served through its SMS platform for proactive mental health coaching
  • Online SOS – Launched its Facebook chat bot and integrated its triaging platform with the support of Zendesk
  • Onward – Secured a paid partnership with Kansas City Credit Union to support all Kansas City municipal employees
  • Raheem – Conducted a pilot with Berkeley and San Francisco. In 3 months the chat bot collected 2x the number of reports on police encounters as police typically collect in a year
  • Real Talk – Launched the beta version of their app in the App Store, which provides sex education for teens, presented as text message conversations

We couldn’t do this work, and our teams couldn’t make this much progress, without all of you: our partners, speakers, mentors, and tech for good community who support these tech nonprofits with time, money, and love.

If you couldn’t make it to Demo Day, you can still watch the teams’ pitches here on YouTube. Stay tuned for more updates on these entrepreneurs as they continue to scale!