CHICAGO, September 5, 2013 — Mission-focused accelerator Impact Engine invited eight early stage companies to participate in its second program focused on businesses creating societal and environmental change. This year’s class includes startups using technology to address a wide range of issues, from recidivism to local food initiatives to civic engagement.

Managed by the founder of OpenTable, Chuck Templeton, Impact Engine is a 16-week accelerator program that provides entrepreneurs with the resources and tools they need to build companies that improve the human condition. Participating companies receive one-on-one mentorship, free workspace in Chicago’s startup hub 1871, access to world-class investors, $25,000 of upfront funding, and more.

“We are excited to begin the next chapter of Impact Engine. All eight teams are coming into the program with great early traction and momentum.” Templeton said. “I look forward to supporting our incoming class over the next four months and beyond. The more impact entrepreneurs we help, the more we can change the world.”

The program runs from September 30, 2013 to January 30, 2014. Impact Engine received nearly 200 applications from across the globe for its second cohort. The accelerator graduated its first class in December, and to date, five out of eight companies have raised a total of $2.9 million in seed funding.

Impact Engine’s second class, known as Impact 2, includes:

Civic ArtWorks – Civic ArtWorks makes community planning and design more accessible by helping the public suggest and react to new civic projects from beginning to end, creating stronger local communities.

Jail Education Solutions (JES) – More than 10 million people cycle through the nation’s jail system annually, and more than half return upon release. JES is revolutionizing the jail experience by converting the TV into a medium for change that educates, informs, and inspires.

Learnmetrics – Learnmetrics develops applications that break educational data sets free from silos to help educators discover trends, explore patterns, and communicate insights faster and easier than ever before, helping all children reach their potential.

Meal Sharing – Meal Sharing enables travelers and locals to connect with each other over home-cooked meals. The online application builds community, promotes cultural exchange, and encourages people to live healthier lives through the delicious world of food. – More than 90 percent of all products with a resale value are either thrown away or forgotten. makes it easy to find and catalogue the products you have purchased online, calculate their resale value, and sell them with just a few clicks.

Smart Gardener – Smart Gardener is an online platform that helps gardeners and communities plan, grow, and harvest healthy hyper-local food.

Youtopia – Youtopia is a student engagement platform that provides instant access to plug-and-play gamification tools that incentivize students to become more involved in their classes, schools, and communities.

Zero Percent – Zero Percent is an online food donation marketplace that helps businesses move surplus, edible food to nearby soup kitchens and shelters, reducing both hunger and waste.

Co-founders Linda Darragh and Jamie Jones of the Kellogg School of Management launched Impact Engine in 2011 to build a community for impact investing both locally and nationally.

About Impact Engine
Impact Engine is a 16-week accelerator program that supports for-profit businesses addressing today’s societal or environmental challenges. It empowers entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors to make a collective impact on society by applying smart business principles to the world’s greatest problems. Impact Engine’s 2013 sponsors include INVENTABLES, Inc., Quarles & Brady LLP, SRAM Corporation, and Synergy Law Group LLC.

For more information, please contact:
Elizabeth Riley