Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is EmPOWERED To Serve™?

EmPOWERED To Serve™ (ETS) is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s multicultural program and movement developed to build a sustainable culture of health in diverse communities across America. It also encourages people to get involved in their communities. ETS is designed to leverage the American Heart Association’s 2020 impact goal of improving health outcomes and reducing the gap in health disparities among minorities.

Why is the American Heart Association launching this accelerator?

There are many factors that affect a person’s health, including community environments. People living just five miles apart can have a life expectancy that differs by more than 20 years. Thus, the American Heart Association is working in communities and joining with alliances to address key factors that impact health and well-being: economic stability, education, societal influences, neighborhoods and healthcare. The accelerator is an opportunity for community-focused companies, non-profits and entrepreneurs to work with a team of marketing, branding and tech leaders to build a plan and begin implementing a solution that will positively impact urban community health. The overarching goals of your solution are to increase healthy living behaviors, enhance the chain of survival and cultivate community transformation.

The American Heart Association is a large organization with considerable funding. Why is it relying on external businesses, individuals, and organizations to assist in this effort?

We understand that the Association must collaborate with and value the knowledge of organizations and individuals who have deep community connections in order to affect meaningful change within the communities we serve. Tapping into and providing resources to community talent will give us the best opportunity to work together to devise solutions to address the social determinants of health.

EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health AcceleratorTM Guidelines and Expectations

What do you need to know before applying for the accelerator?

For a full description of the award process please read the Request for Award Terms and Conditions. We will be asking basic information about you and/or your company. There are some other items we want to know:

  • How are you solving a health problem within the communities you serve?
  • What project/problem would you like to improve/implement?
  • How will you measure success?

Will you accept multiple companies or startups working on the same idea?

Yes. Most big markets have room for several slightly different solutions. It’s unlikely that two startups would do precisely the same thing. If two teams are working on related ideas, we won’t discuss with one team what the other is doing.

We've already been working on our project for a while. Is the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator™ appropriate for us?

Absolutely. This process will help sharpen and expand what you’ve started. You can be at the idea stage, a start-up or an established company. There are no restrictions on the amount of revenue you may have already earned.

Who can enter?

You can enter as an individual or as a team. You must be a U.S. resident. You might be at the idea stage of the process or you might be a startup that has already taken the next step. You may be a non-profit organization or an established company. There are also no restrictions on the amount of revenue you have already earned. However, there are limitations which are described in the Request for Award Terms and Conditions.

What kind of help does the accelerator offer?

The accelerator consists of six weeks of coaching and training on topics that include digital marketing, messaging, market segmentation, customer discovery, brand experience and brand storytelling. The coaching and training will be delivered primarily through phone and/or video conferencing. Each team can expect to spend a minimum of eight to ten hours per work on a combination of individual work, coaching and video conference clinics. Teams will receive thousands of dollars’ worth of training, coaching, direct access to industry experts and PR/media exposure.

Community Impact Project Expectations

Our group has two ideas. Can we submit two applications?

We don’t recommend it. You should pick your favorite idea and apply with that one.

What are we looking for in a community impact project?

We expect you to have a clear understanding of the issues facing the communities in which you wish to have your ideas implemented. It is also important that we sense authenticity and passion towards your concept and why you want it to work, as well as clarity of scope. So, all submitted community impact project ideas must target the needs of a specific community and clearly express how you intend to implement the project successfully.

EmPOWERED To Serve™ Summit and Showcase Night Logistics

Will the American Heart Association cover travel costs?

If selected, you will be responsible for organizing and paying for your travel to the EmPOWERED To Serve™ Summit in Baltimore, Maryland. However, we will cover the cost of one room for you and a guest to share. Your team will also receive one meal from the Summit’s event menu.

What key attributes will the judges be considering during the Showcase event?

The panel of judges will review several factors when selecting which candidates will advance to share their stories onstage. The following attributes will be considered:

  • How well does the business model/concept address social determinants of health?
  • Does the concept have the potential to grow? Can it be easily introduced into other communities?
  • Does the candidate clearly define what success looks like and how the grant will be managed?
  • Does the candidate exude passion and enthusiasm toward the presented concept and its potential impact?

Disbursement of Funds

How are the funds dispersed if our team wins the grant?

Fifty percent of the grant money will be awarded after the EmPOWERED To Serve™ Summit, once the contract is signed. The remaining fifty percent will be released after 60 days pending verification that the proposed concept has been implemented and is delivering results.

Do you have questions about the accelerator?

We’re happy to answer any and all of your questions:

General Questions:
Michelle Raphael
Christa Chambers-Price

PR/Media Questions:
Marissa Alanis
Toiya Honore