Fast Forward 2018's Accelerator Cohort

July 2, 2018 | Accelerator

Say Hello To Fast Forward’s 2018 Accelerator Cohort

Ready to meet the tech nonprofits in Fast Forward’s 2018 Accelerator cohort? We sure hope so!

If you’ve taken part in Fast Forward’s journey over the past 4 years, you’ve likely had the incomparable experience of chatting with a tech nonprofit entrepreneur, or hearing one of them pitch at Demo Day. In these moments, you’ve certainly seen the spark that lights inside of that entrepreneur when they talk about what they’re building and why. Their passion and grit is evident as they speak about their commitment to their mission, and why they cannot help but do this work. You, like us, probably leave those moments completely inspired by the ways they are using technology as a building block for exponential social impact.  

Dost, Fast Forward's 2018 Accelerator Cohort
Photo credit: Dost

Selecting the entrepreneurs for our annual cohort is no easy task. This year we spent over 50 hours interviewing these incredible teams over Google Hangouts, and even more time caucusing internally after the calls.

What jumps out at us about this class, besides it being our biggest (!!!) cohort yet, is the fact that many of these teams have built tech solutions to the problems we are reading about in the news every day. You’ll see tech built for refugees, for DREAMers, for those being harassed in the workplace, and for veterans facing mental health issues. We do this work at Fast Forward because we believe technology is the fastest route to creating a more just world. And the entrepreneurs you’ll meet today are just as impatient for change as we are.

DREAMers Roadmap, Fast Forward's 2018 Accelerator Cohort
Photo credit: DREAMers Roadmap

But we won’t keep you waiting any longer! We’re ecstatic to introduce you to the 10 tech nonprofits in Fast Forward’s 2018 Accelerator cohort:

  • Dost Education: Mobile audio content that helps parents of any literacy level support their child’s early education success
  • DREAMers Roadmap: A mobile app connecting undocumented students to hard-to-find college scholarships
  • Empower Work: A real-time SMS hotline for workplace issues
  • Learning Equality: An offline platform making open education resources globally accessible
  • Objective Zero Foundation: An app providing 24/7 mental health interventions for active military and veterans
  • Peerlift: Platform connecting underserved high schoolers to exceptional college opportunities
  • Tarjimly:  A real-time translation app connecting the world’s 3 billion bilinguals to the 23 million refugees worldwide
  • UPchieve: Free, online, & on-demand STEM tutoring and college counseling for underserved high school students
  • Upsolve: TurboTax for personal bankruptcy
  • We Vote: A national, digital guide that leverages the power of networks to make voting easier

Beyond the critical issue areas these teams are focused on, we’re also excited about the diversity of this cohort. Every one of the teams have at least one founder who is a woman or a person of color, echoing our diversity report findings.

Through Fast Forward’s 2018 Accelerator, each of these promising teams will receive:

  • $25,000 philanthropic grant
  • 3 months of curated training
  • Meetings with over 100 mentors
  • Access to their peer community
  • 2 Demo Days, where they pitch to hundreds of philanthropists, funders, and CSR leaders

Peerlift, Fast Forward's 2018 Accelerator Cohort
Photo credit: Peerlift

Of course, we could not do this work without the support of our sustaining partners and Accelerator hosts. We have endless gratitude for our long time partnerships with Google.org, Omidyar Network, Comcast NBCUniversal, and BlackRock. Notably, BlackRock is hosting our first NYC Accelerator session this year and Google.org will be matching engineers with our teams for open source mapping. We’re also thrilled to partner again with Zendesk, Twilio, Bloomberg, and Box.org, and welcome in new Accelerator partners, Okta, GM, and AWS.

We’re already counting down to Accelerator kickoff July 18th, and hope you’ll follow along with us this summer on our blog, Twitter, and Facebook. We can’t wait to share all the Accelerator happenings with you!