2018 Urban Accelerator Philadelphia

In 2018, the American Heart Association awarded three EmPOWERED To Serve Business Accelerator™ grants in Philadelphia to combat social factors that contribute to poor community health:

  • 1st Place $30,000 Grant – Terry Gao, Philly Shares
  • 2nd Place $20,000 Grant – Tommy Caison, North Philly Peace Park
  • 3rd Place $10,000 Grant – Andrew Kucer and Amy Lackpour, Students Run Philly Style

 The EmPOWERED To Serve Business Accelerator (formerly the Urban Health Accelerator) is an eight-week MBA-style training and grant opportunity that challenges participants to apply innovative, community-based solutions to health problems caused by social determinants. They include access to:

  • Affordable, quality housing
  • Healthy food
  • Quality education
  • Public transportation
  • Green spaces
  • Well-paying jobs

The candidates explored solutions to problems affecting sections of Philadelphia:

  • Healthy food access
  • Clean water tech
  • Mobility
  • Mobile and voice tech
  • Urban planning
  • Affordable housing
  • Healthcare access
  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)/after school
  • Workforce training

After a four-week accelerator that focused on customer discovery, marketing, financing and brand message storytelling, the finalists presented their projects to a panel of judges at the Social Determinants of Health Conference at Temple University in Philadelphia.