Contact: Ruth Banta
Turned their in-house curriculum into an online training and certification program for public schools. Raised >$200,000 on graduation night. They have fully prototyped their project and have secured their first paying customer.
“All of us nonprofits are struggling to find different ways to accomplish our mission in changing environments with tightening budgets – just like entrepreneurs! There is a lot we can learn from each other. We have found Paul to be an enthusiastic teacher, coach and partner.”
Contact: Pierre Joseph
On graduation night secured funding for their program to help the economically disadvantaged create their own businesses and bootstrap their wealth. Secured seed funding on gradation night and have since launched their project.
“Ideas are the currency of progress and good ideas have the potential to change the world. Coming from government and being new to philanthropy, at first, I was deeply skeptical of applying startup methodologies for social change. However, innovation is built on ideas, feedback, moments of failure and breakthroughs. Through lean, Paul turned a skeptic into a believer. Halfway through the course, I discovered my project needed to pivot quickly. Paul helped me identify the gaps in my analysis, refine my pitch, and create a project that inspires and improves communities.”
Contact: Sue Stubbs
Working in collaboration with Dan Harper from Eliza's Watch, their team is creating a wearable device that monitors vital signs to help prevent future overdose deaths. They secured $25k in seed funding as a result of the course.
"By focusing on collecting data from actual real-live potential customers, Innovation Accelerator's frameworks helped us settle product design debates quickly and efficiently, saving us significant time, money, and stress."
Contact: Sue West
Grew their food service program to extend to other markets within Western MA.
"Paul and Kelly’s energy and belief in the power of innovation have inspired our team to think differently about our work. The Pioneer Valley is fortunate to benefit from the wealth of their knowledge and ability to bring the best minds together with a common goal of building a vibrant, healthier community."
Contact: Bill Cole
Living Local is a Western Mass grassroots movement that promotes locally owned business & educates communities on how and why we need to eat, shop and live local. As a result of the accelerator they pivoted their entire model to expand to local municipalities with an eye on what town legislators need to continue to build robust communities.
"Understanding our customer was key. We are now taking advantage of the IA funder and mentor network. There is great value in this type of mentorship both in class and beyond. Mentors are eager to stay connected and are truly interested to hear about the next steps."
Contact: Becca Coolong
When the COVID lockdowns went into effect, HSF's entire revenue model, based on in-person events, was rendered obsolete. Meanwhile the human service nonprofits they served faced unprecedented levels of challenge. In a matter of weeks they pivoted their entire way of operating online.
"Our organization would not be here if we had not been able to pivot! The knowledge, decision making process and the contacts we developed in the Accelerator gave us the courage to know we could do it!"
Contact: Carla Gauette
By understanding their corporate partners better the team identified numerous ways to fund a successful pilot program capable of helping ten times as many disabled people find fulfilling careers and financial independence. Along the way their staff developed core skills applicable in their main business.
“Multiple staff have been promoted within the organization. This process is not only a necessity for nonprofits to consider, additionally it develops people who go through the process. Very grateful!”
Contact: Colleen Holmes
18 Degrees took bold steps to explore a social venture for their organization. Innovation Accelerator worked solely with their group for six weeks rather than the typical six months. During that time they identified an idea, potential customers and made strong connections with leaders from their community.