COMMUNITAS VENTURES ACCELERATOR

Communitas Ventures is a 3-month social venture accelerator program in the Bronx. This program is designed for social changemakers who have big ideas on how to positively impact the Bronx and ultimately the world. Are you an Entrepreneur of color and/or a woman? Are you from the Bronx and/or passionate about sparking change in the Bronx? Chance to win $10K for your startup!

 

Applications for Cohort 6 are now Live! 

Deadline: February 27, 2021, 11:59 PM (EST)

Apply Here Through:

Gust 

or

Apply Here Through:

 Google Forms

1/1

Selection Criteria

Communitas Ventures Accelerator Program is open to all changemakers who are transforming their communities through inclusive economic impact and social entrepreneurship. Communitas America highly encourages Women and POC community leaders and entrepreneurs to apply.

 

We are looking for a candidate who has: 

  1. Community Commitment 

    • Empathetic, knowledgeable, and committed to addressing local community issues, preferably in the underserved community

    • Strong passion to creating social impact and demonstrating existing impact of/by/for the community

    • Give-back mentality with the desire to 'uplift as we climb’

  2. Changemaker Potential 

    • A high potential community leader

    • A strong alignment with the values of Communitas Ventures accelerator program and their local communities

    • Clear on what they can expect from an accelerator program

  3. Impact Creation 

    • Understanding of the urgent needs across the sectors in education, healthcare and economic justice

    • Dedicated and passionate about their social venture

    • Potential for their social ventures to become resources within their own communities

  4. Sustainable Business Model

    • Realistic about their business goals

    • Open to having their business assumptions challenged by a Communitas America team member, exploring innovative ideas outside of their comfort zone and pivoting if necessary

    • Strong commitment to social entrepreneurship with sustainable business model and positive impact 

Selection Criteria

Communitas Ventures Accelerator Program is open to all changemakers who are transforming their communities through inclusive economic impact and social entrepreneurship. Communitas America highly encourages Women and POC community leaders and entrepreneurs to apply.

 

We are looking for a candidate who has: 

  1. Community Commitment 

    • Empathetic, knowledgeable, and committed to addressing local community issues, preferably in the underserved community

    • Strong passion to creating social impact and demonstrating existing impact of/by/for the community

    • Give-back mentality with the desire to 'uplift as we climb’

  2. Changemaker Potential 

    • A high potential community leader

    • A strong alignment with the values of Communitas Ventures accelerator program and their local communities

    • Clear on what they can expect from an accelerator program

  3. Impact Creation 

    • Understanding of the urgent needs across the sectors in education, healthcare and economic justice

    • Dedicated and passionate about their social venture

    • Potential for their social ventures to become resources within their own communities

  4. Sustainable Business Model

    • Realistic about their business goals

    • Open to having their business assumptions challenged by a Communitas America team member, exploring innovative ideas outside of their comfort zone and pivoting if necessary

    • Strong commitment to social entrepreneurship with sustainable business model and positive impact 

The Selection Process

  • February 27, 2021 11:59 PM (EST): Application for Cohort 6 Deadline

  • March 1, 2021: Finalist are chosen for interviews those

  • March 15, 2021: Those Selected are notified (They have 72 hours to accept)

  • April 1, 2021 6:30 PM (EST): The virtual accelerator program beings

The Application Questions

Hello Changemaker! 

 

Thank you for your interest in our cohort 6 social impact accelerator program called Communitas Ventures! Our impact accelerator is designed to connect changemakers with like-minded peers, invest in their leadership skills and build an impact community to foster innovative ideas, share resources, and launch social ventures. Cohort 6 will run from April 1 - June 11 on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00PM -7:30PM virtually including a tentative in-person demo day.

 

All applications must be submitted through the designated platforms by February 27, 2021, 11:59PM (EST). Perspective candidates will be invited to interview on a rolling basis beginning. Final interviews will begin Feb 21 and decisions will be sent out by March 15. 

Apply Here Through:

Gust 

or

Apply Here Through:

 Google Forms

About your Social Venture Idea

  • What broad category does your startup idea tackle?

    • Education

    • Health/Wellness

    • Financial Empowerment

    • Other

  • Describe the problem you are trying to solve?

  • What is your venture and business idea?

  • How do you think your startup might financially grow over the next 3 years?

  • What is your impact creation plan in the next 3 years?

  • If you have already started your venture let us know how your progress has been?

  • If you have a link/website of your organization please let me know.

About you, the Changemaker

  • Why are you passionate to be a social entrepreneur?

  • What makes you the best candidate for this accelerator program?

  • Any specific topics you would like to learn about in this program?

Winner hugs panel judge

Why

Social Impact?

A transformative cohort-based accelerator program that develops changemakers who are creating a more just, equitable New York City.

We place impact at the core of the entrepreneurial journey and identifies changemakers at an early stage through an impact lens, invests in their growth, and supports them into the future.

Changemakers are the foundation for thriving communities and their innovative approaches to solving real problems is critical for economic development, living wages, and job creation. However, the innovation economy is not accessible for all.  Communitas Ventures helps to make social entrepreneurship accessible and empowers changemakers to develop innovative ideas, challenge structures, combat social ills, and tackle entrenched inequalities that impede economic inclusion. 

Too many Bronx entrepreneurs remain disconnected from networks and resources they need to thrive in today’s technology driven economy. By 2044, the United States will be majority people of color, creating the need for a more inclusive economy.  Given the Bronx’s increasingly diverse population, the borough has an opportunity to build a robust impact ecosystem that creates new pathways for economic inclusion and mobility. 

Communitas believes that by equipping NYC changemakers and providing them with the knowledge, skills and opportunities to generate progress in their communities, large scale social and economic change is inevitable. A 2016 report by JPMorgan Chase and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) found that women and minorities are significantly underrepresented in high-tech incubators and accelerators, and cited intentional exclusivity, a lack of outreach and inherent biases in the selection process as the strongest barriers to diversity. ICIC also reported that small businesses in America’s inner cities are the primary drivers of job creation and employment rates.

 

Women and minority-owned small businesses are critical to revitalize local economies. Communitas Ventures mission driven approach intentionally provides access for women and minority changemakers thus ensuring that our accelerator is inclusive and truly representative of the Bronx. For our 4 completed cohorts 92% of our social entrepreneurs have been of color and 50% have been women entrepreneurs. 
 

Impact Issues that we're accepting applications for:

HEALTH

According to county health rankings, the Bronx came in last out of 62 counties 30% of adults are obese with 17% being smokers.

EDUCATION

The Bronx has a 28% dropout rate compared to the 13% of the United States only 19% have a Bachelors compared to 31% of the United States

FINANCE

The household poverty rate of 28.4% was much higher than the citywide rate of 18.4%

Entrepreneurs Get:

STARTUP CURRICULUM

3-month 10 session curriculum back on the lean startup method focused on the Bronx. 

MENTORSHIP

Connection to mentors who are experts in their field who can give you feedback on your startup

FUNDING

One startup will win 10k.

MEET OUR SPEAKERS

FAQ

1. WHAT IS A SOCIAL VENTURE?

A Social Venture is a for-profit or non-profit that seeks both social impact and financial returns through its business model.

2. WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR IN AN APPLICATION?

We look for three things: Problems, Solutions, and Entrepreneurs.

 

The entrepreneurs need to know and understand the problem inside and out. The entrepreneurs should have experienced this problem and are passionate about solving it. We also look for entrepreneurs who care about the Bronx and who are either from the community or have a strong connection to it. 

 

We like to see that the problem is something that is facing the community and the world around us. We want to know that you understand the facts about the problem as well and are not simply going off of your feeling. 

 

Finally, we want to know that your idea is unique, innovative and realistic; It has to have the potential to become a startup and work towards solving the issue in your community.   

 

3. WHAT DAYS AND TIMES DOES THE PROGRAM RUN?

The program will run Wednesdays and Thursdays evening of the week from 6:30-8:00pm  There are 10 sessions and a demo day. You must complete nine of ten sessions to be eligible for the $10K Grant.

4. WHATS'S THE END GOAL FOR THE STARTUPS THAT ENTER INTO COMMUNITAS VENTURES?

We want the entrepreneurs to enter into Communitas Ventures with an idea on how to solve their problem and turn that into a startup. By the end of the program, we want the entrepreneur to have a clear understanding of the various parts of their business and how to hit the ground running and make money while making an impact.
Our goal is to have the business idea to be viable and operational within 6 months of the completion of the program. 

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NEW YORK, NY 10036

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