Calling Social Entrepreneurs: FastFWD Launches New Cycle

2013-10-30 09.38.57Entrepreneurs can change the world. We’ve seen this already through Wharton alumni launching disruptive ventures that scale or heading a social network that alters the way we communicate. But entrepreneurs can also shape the world through ideas and business practices that lead to lasting civic change.

This May, FastFWD – a collaboration among the City of Philadelphia, GoodCompany Group, and Wharton Social Impact Initiative – graduated nine companies from its public safety-focused social entrepreneurship accelerator.

Over 12 weeks, FastFWD’s chosen participants were armed with the tools to maximize their potential for market penetration, social impact, and scale. From a tablet-based educational program to lower recidivism to a high-tech “town watch” system, these ideas took an innovative approach to public safety and a few will be awarded pilot programs in the City of Philadelphia.

Now the program is accepting applications for its second cycle, seeking ideas to solve broader social issues related to public safety, what they are calling “community stability.”

“The first cycle of the FastFWD project brought to light the enormous opportunity for – and response to – innovation around public safety,” organizers explain. “As such, we are excited to continue to expand our view of public safety to include broader, more proactive stability of communities in FastFWD’s second cycle.”

cycle-2-scopeFocus areas for Cycle 2 include, but are not limited to, substance abuse, housing stability, and youth/ gang violence.

The top 10 applicants will receive a $10,000 stipend, an opportunity to refine their business models with strategy and finance experts from The Wharton School, inclusion in a cohort of world-class entrepreneurs, and access to $100,000 in pilot projects directly with the City of Philadelphia.

Applications are open now through July 18, and the accelerator resumes in September when the second cycle cohort assembles here in Philadelphia.

For more information, view our previous coverage or visit to learn more about the program and its new subject areas.