Mission Throttle Awards Derq $20,000 Prize for Social Impact at Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition

Mission Throttle today announced Derq as the recipient of the $20,000 Prize for Social Impact at Accelerate Michigan’s ninth annual Innovation Competition. Sponsors awarded a total of $1 million in cash and in-kind prizes to eight innovative startups that were selected from 24 semi-finalists. Nearly 400 top investors, entrepreneurs and community leaders attended the event.

Derq is a Dubai & Detroit based MIT spin-off and Techstars alum with a mission to eliminate road accidents and save lives by using artificial intelligence. Derq can predict and prevent car accidents before anyone else on the road.

“Derq exists to make roads safer and to reduce the 1.25M lives lost due to crashes each year. A huge thank you to Mission Throttle for naming Derq as the first ever AccelerateMichigan Social Impact prize winner, and for recognizing our commitment to helping achieve ‘VisionZero!'” — Derq

Accelerate Michigan enables entrepreneurs to showcase their companies and meet one-on-one with fellow entrepreneurs, investors, business acceleration resources, and experts in their specific sector during carefully curated meetings. Since its launch in 2010, grand prize awardees of Accelerate Michigan have hired over a 1,000 people and attracted more than $650 million in additional investment.

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Mission Throttle Featured at National Minority Supplier Development Council Conference

The NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Fair is the nation’s premier forum on minority supplier development. For four days in mid-October, more than 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives and supplier diversity professionals from top multinational companies, as well as leading Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business owners convened in Austin, TX. Susan Gordon, Managing Director of Mission Throttle, presented Using Profit To Fund Purpose – The Importance of Diversified Funding Strategies and Creating Operational Excellence.

Susan’s remarks focused on how  mission-driven organizations and funders can work together to develop sustainable business models that withstand fluctuations in donative capital and included:

  • Why foundations and other funders are are seeking new ways to strengthen the infrastructure of the mission-driven organizations they support.
  • Ways entrepreneurs, investors, foundations, mission-driven organizations and intermediaries are embracing new, more sustainable strategies that promote the financial sustainability, growth and scale of mission-driven organizations.
  • How mission-driven organizations are uniquely positioned to deliver high-impact social change that exponentially improves lives.

Learn more about the NMSDC Conference

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Focus: HOPE develops half-century strategic plan

Working with nonprofit consultancy and investment firm Mission Throttle, Anthony said, Focus: Hope developed a strong strategic plan to assure it can stabilize the benefits of the restructuring process and build a future that is “measurable, impactful and consistent with its mission and new vision of empowerment and education.” While the nonprofit has been focused on programs for many years, Anthony said they also need to look at other issues that affect area residents.

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Mission Throttle Teams with Yad Ezra to Combat Hunger in the Jewish Community

Yad Ezra has selected Mission Throttle to develop an enhanced business strategy that supports its long-term ability to provide kosher food to families in need in Southeast Michigan.

 While federal programs help provide safety nets and other critical assistance to those at risk of hunger, these programs do not reach everyone in need, and food banks remain a critical component of the fight against hunger.  Yad Ezra opened its doors in 1990 to provide food-insecure Jewish families with kosher food that was unavailable through other programs. By distributing groceries to families in need, Yad Ezra works to alleviate some of its clients’ financial burdens. In 1990, Yad Ezra served an average of 250 families monthly; current statistics indicate that it now provides approximately 1,300 impoverished families (almost 3,000 individuals) with food, health care items, and household goods on a monthly basis.

While the problem of hunger in the Jewish community and beyond still remains, Yad Ezra will continue to play a critical role in supporting struggling families. The organization is uniquely positioned to respond to this persistent problem and expand its services to those in need by building on its already successful programs.

Mission Throttle and Yad Ezra will work in partnership to

  • Identify key organizational assets
  • Establish clear goals based on organizational strengths and aspirations
  • Consider market gaps to pursue
  • Determine market demand for its primary service offering and potential additional offerings
  • Identify national best practices for comparable models with potentially marketable revenue streams

 

About Mission Throttle

Mission Throttle is a social impact strategy firm dedicated to accelerating philanthropic innovation in communities. We advise, invest in, and support mission-driven organizations that seek to use market-based strategies to address social and environmental challenges.  We are deeply passionate about our work and believe that merging business solutions and philanthropic values is critical to sustain and scale social impact for those in need.

 About Yad Ezra

Yad Ezra opened its doors in 1990 with the purpose of providing kosher food to needy Jewish families in Southeastern Michigan. The founders of Yad Ezra learned that there were impoverished Jews living in the community who relied heavily on government assistance programs, including food stamps.

Mission Throttle and Detroit Future City Collaborate to Transform Vacant Land in Detroit

Detroit Future City (DFC) has selected Mission Throttle to help assess opportunities to accelerate its Green Stormwater Infrastructure initiative through social enterprise.

There are more than 120,000 vacant lots — comprising 24 square miles— across Detroit.  While vacant land can be found in every neighborhood and has an impact on every resident, 72% of the city’s vacant lots are located in areas of concentrated poverty.  Detroit also has an aging water system that is often overwhelmed by frequent and intense weather events, leading to severe flooding and further damaging quality of life for residents in vulnerable areas. In urban areas, green stormwater infrastructures can reduce flooding and sewer overflows by absorbing large amounts of stormwater, replenishing the groundwater supply, and reducing the use of sewers.

By effectively utilizing open spaces and greenways throughout the city, DFC’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is uniquely positioned to transform vacant land, and improve quality of life for Detroiters.  While this social enterprise is expected to create an earned revenue strategy for DFC, it will also create a path for Detroit’s environmental sustainability and ultimately, support economic growth. “Detroiters are critical partners in guiding vacant land transformation and assuring that land is an asset that promotes economic, environmental and social quality of life for residents in all neighborhoods” says Anika Goss-Foster, Executive Director, DFC.

Mission Throttle and DFC will work in partnership to determine market demand and capacity for GSI; identify national best practices for community education and GSI implementation that can be deployed in Detroit; and develop a sustainable funding model including earned revenue opportunities that will accelerate GSI adoption throughout the city. “We applaud DFC’s commitment to seeking both financial sustainability for itself and environmental sustainability for our community, and we are eager to collaborate to identify new market-based opportunities for growth” says Susan Gordon, Managing Director of Advisory Services for Mission Throttle.

About Mission Throttle
Mission Throttle is a social impact strategy firm dedicated to accelerating philanthropic innovation in communities. We advise, invest in, and support mission-driven organizations that seek to use market-based strategies to address social and environmental challenges.  We are deeply passionate about our work and believe that merging business solutions and philanthropic values is critical to sustain and scale social impact for those in need.

About Detroit Future City
DFC is a nonprofit charged with catalyzing implementation of the DFC Strategic Framework, a 50-year vision for the City of Detroit developed with input from more than 100,000 Detroiters. Its role is to steward equitable implementation of the recommendations made in the Strategic Framework.  DFC will accomplish this in partnership with residents and public and private stakeholders, and through data-driven strategies that promote the advancement of land use and sustainability, and community and economic development.

 

Women’s business competition EmpowerHER names its winners

Three businesses owned by women have won cash in a “Shark Tank”-style competition dubbed EmpowerHER run by the Michigan Women’s Foundation and underwritten by the Ford Motor Co. Fund. The Ford fund put up the prize money and an additional $90,000 for entrepreneur workshops and training. Motor City STEAM and Women Who Weld of Detroit each won $7,500 in services from Mission Throttle.

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Women social entrepreneurs compete for cash in ‘Shark Tank’-style competition

A dozen women-owned companies seeking investment for their business ideas and startups are vying for a slice of the $50,000 prize money in a pitch competition Wednesday night at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn.

The “Shark Tank”-style competition — dubbed EmpowerHER — is a project run by the Michigan Women’s Foundation and underwritten by the Ford Motor Co. Fund, which put up the prize money and an additional $90,000 for entrepreneur workshops and training. The finalists —  all from metro Detroit, except one from East Lansing — will pitch their ideas  in front of a panel of judges, that include Susan Gordon, managing director at Mission Throttle and Pamela Alexander, the director of community development for the Ford Motor Co. Fund.

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A Holiday Message from our Founder

As the holidays approach, many of us look forward to spending time with loved ones, and to sharing stories and remembrances of the past. Many of us also look to what “can be” going forward and make personal pledges to assist those in need, change our behavior, or enhance our own value to our community. At this time of year, I often ask myself: “Is there a better, more sustainable way to fund social change beyond making  donations?” I encourage you to do the same, and consider increasing your philanthropic engagement by investing in or supporting social enterprises. Why not create a true double bottom-line impact that moves the needle on both community and financial returns? If you are not sure how to do that, there are a myriad of resources available to help, including these guides from our friends at Mission Investors Exchange and The Case Foundation.

I also urge you to consider how recent federal tax reform will affect social impact organizations, and if you are fortunate enough to realize savings from the recently passed tax bill, to invest a portion of those savings in your community.

We hope you will join us in finding new ways to create fulfillment and success for others in the coming year, and we look forward to sharing our learnings and accomplishments  from the past year with you in early 2018.

On behalf of the entire Mission Throttle team, happy holidays and a joyful New Year!

 

 

Phillip Wm. Fisher