The Opportunity

Veterans and their families face unique challenges in America. More than 50% of veterans experience a period of unemployment upon transition to civilian life, with more than 370,000 unemployed veterans across the country in 2017. Average student loan debts are also higher for veteran students. Without proper support mechanisms and resources, the barriers for veterans to have a successful transition to civilian employment can be overwhelming. With one million service men and women expected to transition to civilian life in the next four years, now is the time to scale innovative solutions that unleash veterans’ talent to their full potential, benefiting veterans and their families and communities at large.

How might we empower and equip veterans & their families with the skills and resources to succeed in the new economy and civilian life?

The Solution

The Civic Accelerator Veterans Solutions Lab, sponsored by the PwC Charitable Foundation Inc., is an 8-week startup boot camp and investment fund that will accelerate 8-12 innovative, scalable ventures empowering and equipping veterans, their spouses, and children, to build job-ready skills, find employment and successfully reintegrate into communities across the country through:

Education Alternatives

New pathways to education attainment, job-specific credentialing, and alternative education settings for veterans, spouses, and children

Financial Supports

Financial guidance to navigate the GI bill, manage student debt, and financial planning solutions for military families

Pathways to Employment

Workforce solutions for veterans and spouses, talent placement platforms for new economy jobs, and on-the-job mentoring and career counseling

Transition Support

Access to career coaching, mentoring, peer-to-peer networking and employer adaption to support the transition to civilian life

Why CivicX?

123

Ventures selected and graduated in 10 cohorts since 2012

38%

Alumni who are racial and ethnic minorities through unique selection model

54%

Female founders in our portfolio

1800+

Entrepreneurs screened with more than 500 applications reviewed

Schedule

The Civic Accelerator Veterans Solutions Lab, sponsored by the PwC Charitable Foundation, kicks off in San Francisco in June.

Key Veteran Solutions Lab Dates

  • May 4: Applications Due at 5:00 pm Eastern Time
  • May 11: Finalists Notified
  • May 14 – 16: Finalist Interviews
  • May 17: Selected Ventures Announced
  • June 4 – 8: Session 1 (San Francisco, CA; along with the Social Innovation Summit)
  • June 26 – 29: Session 2 (Washington, D.C.)
  • July 24 – 27: Session 3 (Chicago, IL)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the Civic Accelerator Veterans Solutions Lab?

The Civic Accelerator is seeking applications from early stage for-profit and nonprofit ventures that are enabling veterans and their spouses to build job-ready skills, find employment and successfully reintegrate into communities across the country.

Who is behind the Civic Accelerator program?

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator was founded with support from the PwC Charitable Foundation and the Starbucks Foundation, in partnership with Village Capital. Program sponsorship for this cohort is provided by the PwC Charitable Foundation.

Who will receive the $50,000 grants?

At the conclusion of the Civic Accelerator Veterans Solutions Lab program, two teams will be selected to receive $50,000 grants each, with the decision being made by the entrepreneurs themselves.

Does the Civic Accelerator support both for-profit and nonprofit ventures?

Yes. We are agnostic to legal structure and instead focus on the mission and impact that a social enterprise can have on the world.

Does the Veterans Solutions Lab cost anything?

No, there is no cost to participate in the Civic Accelerator Veterans Solutions Lab.  A limited air travel stipend (up to $1,200 total for the 8-week program) and hotel accommodations are available for selected ventures, and most meals during the program are provided by the program.

What are the logistics for the Veterans Solutions Lab program?

The Civic Accelerator Veterans Solutions Lab is an 8-week program, bringing together two- to three-person teams from across the U.S. We plan to convene the entire cohort of 8 to 12 teams for three four-day sessions or retreats over the course of the 8 weeks. In addition, teams will be grouped and will meet virtually during the times when they are not together as a single cohort.

How do I apply for the Veterans Solutions Lab program?

Applications for the Veterans Solutions Lab program are due Friday, May 4, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. ET. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Requirements and Eligibility

You should be able to answer “YES” to the following questions before you apply:
    • Is your venture registered in the U.S.? 
    • Is your venture empowering and equipping veterans and their families?
      We are looking for ventures that are empowering and equipping veterans and their families with the skills and resources to succeed in the new economy and civilian life.
    • Are you in the startup phase?
      We do not select ventures at the idea phase. You should have a prototype or have completed a pilot program prior to applying.
    • Have you recruited a minimum of two to three people to join your team?
      We believe that most successful startups are not the product of a lone entrepreneur, but rather the collective work of small teams. We will consider teams of two or more people and are very reluctant to accept one-person startups.
    • If your venture is a nonprofit, have you developed a means to generate earned revenue?
      We are interested in nonprofits that plan to supplement traditional grant and sponsorship revenue with earned revenue models.
    • Is your venture a social enterprise?
      A social enterprise is an organization that applies business strategies to achieving social or environmental goals and can be structured as a for-profit or nonprofit.
    • If accepted, will you be able to attend the entire Veterans Solutions Lab program?
      To be eligible, at least one member of your team must be able to attend all three sessions in full.

About the Civic Accelerator

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator program and investment fund in the country focused on civic ventures – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems.

About the PwC Charitable Foundation

The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) organization, makes contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism. The PwC Charitable Foundation’s investment in the Veterans Solutions Lab is part of the Foundation’s extended $10 million commitment to support US veterans and their families with a goal of helping 200,000 veterans, spouses and children overcome barriers they may face with education and career transition.