• The Rockefeller Foundation and Unreasonable Institute has launched the Future Cities Accelerator, a program that will fund 10 for-profit and nonprofit organizations who serve poor and vulnerable communities in urban areas.
  • The Accelerator is calling on organizations that tackle issues such as affordable housing, urban planning, clean energy and social justice.
  • The deadline to apply is September 25, and the 10 organizations that are chosen will receive $100,000 in grant funding as well as nine months of intense coaching and support.

We’re in the throws of the 2016 Presidential election, and one of the most important issues on the forefront of American minds is the widening wealth gap.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, net wages for the average U.S. worker has been quite stagnant since 1970, while the income for the top 1 percent has increased by a whopping 156 percent.

Furthermore, the gap gets even wider when race is factored into the picture. It would take black families 228 years to build the wealth of their white counterparts — and Latino families 84.

One of the ways people can create wealth is through access to affordable housing that lays the foundation for homeownership. But, many Americans are struggling to get the hand up that would lift their families out of poverty.

That’s where the Future Cities Accelerator comes in.

The program, which is backed by The Rockefeller Institute and Unreasonable Institute, aims to help poor and vulnerable urban communities grow through avenues such as affordable housing, effective urban planning, clean energy, urban farming and social justice activism.

The institutes are searching for 10 early-stage for-profit and nonprofit organizations that are up to the challenge of tackling these issues. The organizations will be judged and chosen based on four criteria:

  • Deep and lasting impact
  • A relentlessly dedicated team
  • The potential to reach 1 million lives
  • Fit with the support that Future Cities Accelerator is offering


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The organizations that are chosen will receive $100,000 in grant funding and nine months of intensive coaching that includes:

  • Six weeks of online training in rapid prototyping from Tom Chi, former Google X UX Lead
  • A five-day, in-person boot camp to help organizations prepare to scale, led by Unreasonable Institute
  • Six months of guidance from three to four mentors, an executive coach, and pro-bono financial modeling
  • Fundraising training and nine months of support from For Impact
  • Paid admission to SOCAP, one of the world’s largest gatherings of impact investors and entrepreneurs

The deadline to apply is September 25, and the ten finalists will be announced on January 4, 2017.

Email Marian McPherson

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