Similar to their for profit cousins, incubators in the social sector tend to have focus areas – like education and health access – as each industry demands its own expertise. They may also have size and possibly geographic emphases that should match your start up. Some prefer for the start up to be sufficiently far along with proof of concept and be ready to scale under the protection and guidance of the incubator. While others anticipate the likely ups and down of younger start ups.
Below is a list of resources for the impact minded start up:
- Acumen is a non-profit that raises charitable donations that allows their team to make patient long-term debt or equity investments in early-stage companies providing reliable and affordable access to agricultural inputs, quality education, clean energy, healthcare services, formal housing, and safe drinking water to low-income customers.
- Ananda Ventures is one of the leading venture capital investors for social enterprises in Europe.
- Ashoka has been a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship over the last 35 years—finding, selecting, and supporting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs called Ashoka Fellows. Ashoka invests in the people and patterns of collaborative entrepreneurship that are necessary in an ‘Everyone a Changemaker’ world.
- Michael and Susan Dell Foundation works with innovative organizations around the globe to identify, test, refine and grow non-obvious solutions to big, obvious problems. Since 1999, the Foundation has committed $1.32 billion to non-profits and social enterprises in the United States, India and South Africa, under the belief that through this work, they can transform the lives of children living in urban poverty today and improve the future for every generation.
- Echoing Green is a global nonprofit that works to find extraordinary individuals, who have influential ideas and original solutions. The organization unites this diverse group of innovators, instigators, pioneers, and rebels to form a fellowship of passionate, global leaders. With access to funding, grants, and strategic foundational support, Echoing Green accelerates the positive vision these leaders have for the world.
- Endeavor works to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide.
- Grameen Capital is a first-of-its-kind financial advisory firm with a mandate to catalyze inclusive growth and facilitate capital markets access for impact-focused enterprises across sectors. Their clients are microfinance institutions, affordable healthcare providers, low-cost education firms and other dynamic and sustainable organizations with a social development focus-from early-stage enterprises to established industry leaders. Grameen provides innovative debt and equity solutions, and other investment banking services to efficiently and effectively scale businesses. The firm also offers strategic advisory services to both enterprises and investors.
- Halcyon Incubator equips early-stage social entrepreneurs with the support they need to transform audacious ideas into scalable and sustainable ventures, and change the world.
- Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm. They create opportunity for people to improve their lives by investing in market-based efforts that catalyze economic and social change.
- Villgro inspires, immerses, incubates, and invests in early stage for profit social enterprises.
- Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year they invest a small amount of money ($120k) in a large number of startups (recently 105). The startups move to Silicon Valley for three months, during which they work intensively with them to get the company into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each cycle culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected, invite-only audience.
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