EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator™:
Bay Area

Striving to improve heart and brain health for all people in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Bridge

The accelerator supports social entrepreneurs and organizations by funding local solutions to social determinants of health. Together, with our proud sponsor Shifamed, we strive to improve heart and brain health for all people in the Bay Area by training high-potential, aspiring community innovators primed to bring their solutions to scale.

Congratulations to the
Bay Area Business Accelerator 2022 Grant Recipients

Honorable Mentions

Kimberly Habi, Hummingbird Haven Inc.   |   Jennifer Dhillon, Generation Bounce Back

Why an accelerator in the Bay Area?

In the Bay Area, nearly 1 in 4 adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and 1 in 4 residents use food stamps. During the COVID-19 pandemic, half the renters in San Francisco and the East Bay reported losing income, with about 1 in 10 renters and homeowners falling behind on payments — a blow felt hardest among people in under-resourced communities.

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Black, Latino and Pacific Islanders, people who are most at risk of poor health. This has amplified barriers that existed prior to the pandemic and further affected access to quality health care, resources, nutritious foods, safe and affordable housing, economic opportunity and other social determinants of health.

In the Bay Area, we’re also facing a growing crisis of climate-driven disasters — causing overlapping emergencies that disproportionately impact the health and well-being of people in communities most affected by health inequities.

Aerial view of Oakland, California
Woman wearing a mask on a bus

The American Heart Association believes that everyone deserves an optimal and just opportunity to be healthy—including those at greatest risk of poor health. No one should be disadvantaged from achieving their potential because of social position or other socially defined circumstances. That’s why the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator-Bay Area supports local idea, start-up and early-stage nonprofit and for-profit companies and organizations that are addressing health disparities.

We invest in those best positioned to create innovative and impactful solutions that will positively impact people in communities most affected by health inequities. Participants in the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator-Bay Area will receive intensive MBA-style business development training and a chance at grants of $35,000 and $20,000. Event participants will vote on a fan favorite who will receive a $5,000 grant. All final candidates will receive $500.

Application Information

Application Criteria

  • Entrepreneurs or innovators
  • Age 18 or older
  • Must be the founder, CEO or someone authorized to make changes to the business or project.
  • Living in and/or serving communities in the Bay Area
  • May not be in current litigation or have a current patent infringement claim
  • Idea, start-up and early-stage nonprofit and for-profit companies are encouraged to apply
  • Download sample application (PDF)
  • Terms and Conditions

Timeline

  • Application cycle: May 2-June 19
  • Review period: June 20-July 10
  • Top candidates notified by: July 11
  • Training: July 12-August 21
  • Local finale event: September 29
  • National finale: October 20

Woman in an urban garden

Shifamed

Shifamed is a proud local supporter of the American Heart Association's Empowered to Serve Business Accelerator-Bay Area.

Shifamed