Village Capital recently kicked off its first accelerator-for-accelerators program in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, supporting 12 regional organizations and driving effective support for local entrepreneurs.
Washington, DC (December 13, 2023) – Village Capital, in partnership with MetLife Foundation and with support from TIAA, launched a call for applications for “Adapt: Social Innovation for a More Resilient Future,” the second iteration of the accelerator program for startups helping communities and individuals build their capacity to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity by addressing health and wealth disparities in order to change the trajectory of economic mobility.
The accelerator will take place from February to May, 2024. Applications close on December 31st. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found here.
Worldwide challenges, such as the lack of economic mobility, wealth inequality, and health disparities, pose threats to the global population, especially to historically marginalized communities, further creating systemic barriers to long-term stability. The agile startup environment is where the solutions exist to build a more resilient, confident and financially healthy future for all.
For example, despite comprising nearly 12% of the US population, Black founders secured just 1% of the $215.9 billion in US venture capital funding in 2022. Similarly, Latino-founded companies received only 1.5% of total US venture capital funding in 2022 despite representing almost 19% of the nation’s population.
Following the successful US and LatAm launch of the ADAPT initiative in 2022, this year’s initiative will support 10 to 12 founders, proximate to the issues and communities they serve, that are building solutions that address Economic Inclusion, Financial Health, and Community Resilience impacting underserved and underrepresented communities in the US.
“Village Capital is thrilled to launch the ‘Adapt: Social Innovation for a More Resilient Future’ accelerator program, made possible by the generous support of MetLife Foundation and TIAA,” said Bryson Hearne, Program Manager at Village Capital. “We believe that startups have the potential to drive meaningful change addressing health and wealth disparities in order to change the trajectory of economic mobility, and we're committed to ensuring that founders proximate to the problems they serve have a voice and presence in this transformative landscape.”
The call for applications is open to startups in the US building solutions that address one or more of the following challenges:
From February to May 2024, the selected startups will participate in three online workshops and one in-person summit in New York City, as well as receive mentorship from potential strategic partners, investors, customers, and other founders and Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) in the US. Startups will also have an opportunity to have a one-on-one session with an investment analyst for feedback and support.
Two companies from each cohort will be selected by their peers and will receive USD $50,000 each from MetLife Foundation to further scale their solutions. All startups that apply to the program will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s free web app. Abaca includes Capital Explorer, which equips entrepreneurs to make strategic fundraising decisions that align with their mission and vision and identify relevant resources and capital providers. Abaca also helps entrepreneurs on a venture path to assess their investment readiness using a consistent set of Venture Investment Levels (1-9) and then plan and track progress toward their next level with the Milestone Planner.
For more information, reach out to Sofía Cándano at Village Capital (email@example.com).
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 the US since 2009 by running close to 50 accelerator programs. VilCap has supported more than 570 startups from over 43 states and 23 entrepreneur support organizations (ESO) working in sectors such as financial health, health equity, justice tech, and sustainability. Learn more at www.vilcap.com and follow @villagecapital.
About MetLife Foundation
At MetLife Foundation, we are committed to driving inclusive economic mobility for underserved and underrepresented communities around the world. 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 www.MetLife.org.
TIAA is a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions. It is the #1 not-for-profit retirement market provider(1), paid more than $5.6 billion in lifetime income to retired clients in 2022 and has $1.3 trillion in assets under management (as of 6/30/2023) (2).
1. As of July 21, 2022. Based on data in PLANSPONSOR's 403(b) 2022 DC Recordkeeping Survey, combined 457 and 403(b) data
2. As of June 30, 2023 assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams are $1,284 billion.