ATLANTA, Feb. 7, 2014 – The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today awarded Points of Light a $100,000 grant to fund the Points of Light Civic Accelerator, the first accelerator program and investment fund in the nation focused on “civic ventures” – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems.
The grant is part of a series of grants, totaling $1.6 million, that were made through the second annual Blackstone Organizational Grants Program, which targets organizations that focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Through this program, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is helping innovative organizations that directly support entrepreneurs to pilot, expand or replicate projects or programs that will catalyze the growth of successful businesses, industries, and communities.
“At Blackstone, we believe that a robust global economy depends upon a pipeline of creative, talented, and inspired entrepreneurs,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “Through this program, we are able to direct the Foundation’s resources towards helping entrepreneurship flourish across the nation and globally, and support entrepreneurs on a path toward innovation and discovery.”
The grantees were selected through a request for proposals issued by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation as part of its five-year, $50 million Entrepreneurship Initiative.
The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is a three-month, boot camp-style program that convenes 10 to 15 teams in person and online. Each startup receives tools and mentoring to expand their innovative work aimed at helping communities. At the end of each boot camp, the participating ventures themselves select two enterprises that will receive $50,000 investments.
“We’re honored to receive a grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, which is known for its significant support of and investment in entrepreneurs,” said Alyesha Khanna, president of the Points of Light Civic Incubator, “and we’re particularly excited, as part of our national program, to build the pipeline and ecosystem for civic entrepreneurs in the southeastern United States. We’re based in Atlanta, so it’s a great fit!”
About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of The Blackstone Group’s Initial Public Offering in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas hardest hit by the global economic crisis. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities. (For more information, see www.blackstone.com/CharitableFoundation.htm.)
About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.