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Arbol and ThriveLink Were Peer-Selected to Receive an Equity-Free Grant from ADAPT: Social Innovation for a More Resilient Future, US 2024

Arbol and ThriveLink will receive an equity-free grant funding of USD 50K each to support their operations from MetLife Foundation, and all the participants will receive an equity-free grant funding of USD 3K from TIAA

Washington, DC, (May 28, 2024) – Village Capital announced that Arbol and ThriveLink were peer-selected to receive an equity-free grant funding as part of ADAPT: Social Innovation for a More Resilient Future. The program was launched in partnership with MetLife Foundation and with support from TIAA. 

The initiative supported 10 startups from seven states, with 50% of the cohort headquartered outside of the main tech hubs in the US (CA, MA, NY), 100% led by a proximate-founder or C-suite member and 80% led by a female founder or C-suite member.

Arbol and ThriveLink were selected for grant funding by a group of peer entrepreneurs on the final day of “ADAPT: Social Innovation for a More Resilient Future,” a four-month startup development program that wrapped up at a three-day in-person summit hosted by MetLife Foundation in New York City. The 10 participant startups evaluated each other through an investor lens, using eight specific investment criteria that leverage Village Capital’s venture investment levels. Arbol and ThriveLink were the top ranked by their peers and will receive equity-free grant funding of USD 50K each from MetLife Foundation to support their operations, and all the participant startups will receive USD 3K in grant capital for milestones from TIAA.

“It’s inspiring to see the amount of unique ideas and energy that is behind the big hairy problems that people sometimes are afraid to take on,” said David Gonzalez, Co-Founder and CEO of Arbol. “It was heartening to me to see folks willing to dedicate their time, energy, and money towards it. Joining ADAPT, peer due diligence has been one of the best exercises I’ve done in preparation for a fundraiser. It helps you empathize better with an investor’s point of view, which has helped me sharpen my pitch.” 

The peer-selected startups focus on the following:

  • Arbol (Buffalo, NY) helps universities improve retention by preventing financial disruption.
  • ThriveLink (Florissant, MO) is an AI voice-activated enrollment agent that enrolls users into programs like health insurance with no reading or smart device required.

For more information, reach out to Yireth Villaverde at Village Capital (

About Village Capital 

Village Capital is reinventing the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to supporting founders who are building solutions to emergent social, economic, and environmental challenges, VilCap unlocks critical social and financial capital for early-stage companies to maximize business and impact growth.

Village Capital has operated in Latin America since 2015 by running over 20 accelerator programs involving more than 20 countries in the region including Bolivia, Guatemala, and Paraguay. VilCap has supported more than 200 locally-based startups working in sectors such as economic mobility, financial health, and sustainable agriculture. Learn more at and follow @vilcap_latam. 

About MetLife Foundation

At MetLife Foundation, we are committed to driving inclusive economic mobility. We collaborate with nonprofit organizations and provide grants aligned to three strategic focus areas – economic inclusion, financial health and resilient communities – while engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its inception, MetLife Foundation has contributed over $1 billion to strengthen communities where MetLife has a presence. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit