CHICAGO, May 15, 2013 — Impact Engine, a 16-week accelerator program that supports for-profit businesses making the world a better place, is now accepting applications for its second class, Impact 2, through June 30th. The program, which is geared towards early stage startups addressing societal and environmental challenges, will run from September 30, 2013 through January 31, 2014.
The Chicago-based accelerator seeks Internet-based, service, and products-focused companies across a variety of sectors, including clean energy, sanitation, robotics, synthetic biology, and health, just to name few. Impact Engine is designed to provide mission-focused entrepreneurs with the capital, business resources, and network they need to build successful companies that positively impact the world. If accepted, startups will receive the following in exchange for 7 percent of the company:
- Seed Funding — $25,000 of upfront cash
- Diverse Network — One-on-one mentorship and connections with experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders.
- Workshops + Seminars — Effective tools and principles—from user-centered design training to lean methodology—for starting and growing an impact business.
- Investor Day – Opportunity to pitch to hundreds of qualified angel and venture investors at the program’s capstone event in January.
- Co-working Space — Free office space in Chicago’s startup hub 1871, with easy access to professional services, public transit, Chicago culture, and more.
- Fundraising Support — Guidance through the hard and time-consuming process of fundraising.
Impact 2 companies will also receive free legal help from Synergy Law Group, engineering support from SRAM Corporation, and access to an impact maker lab powered by INVENTABLES, Inc.
To date, five out of eight graduates from Impact Engine’s first class have raised a total of $2.5 million in seed funding. Most recently, Pangea secured more than $1 million in an oversubscribed round that included OCA Ventures, Origin Ventures, i2A Fund, Firestarter Fund, and local angel investors. The success of its first class shows that more entrepreneurs and investors are seeing the competitive and financial advantages of mission-focused businesses.
“Not having an impact strategy today is like not having an Internet strategy five years ago,” said managing director Chuck Templeton (founder of OpenTable). “You might get by for a while, but eventually you will become uncompetitive and irrelevant as your competitors pass you by.”
Co-founders Linda Darragh and Jamie Jones of the Kellogg School of Management launched Impact Engine in 2011 as one of the nation’s few accelerators focused on impact investing.
“It’s been amazing to see Impact Engine take a central role in growing and shaping the community of impact entrepreneurs over the past few years,” said Jones. “It started as a small group of individuals seeking to aggregate efforts and evolved into a transformative and centralizing organization. What a ride it’s been. I can’t wait for Impact 2.”
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:
Program Manager, Impact Engine