United Way to Host Virtual ‘Pitch’ | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas


Organization also announces Fellows for Social Innovation Accelerator Class of 2021

final pitch competitors

(DALLAS) – United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) will host its fourth annual The Pitch, presented by AT&T, for finalists of its Social Innovation Accelerator program in collaboration with Accenture, which encourages bold new solutions to issues of health, income and education in North Texas. The online event will be held on Wed., Oct. 28, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., and viewers can vote for one of the finalists with the purchase of a ticket. Other sponsors of the event include The Kleinert Family, Santander, Sara and Gary Ahr, The Satori Foundation, and Toyota.

“The United Way Social Innovation Accelerator (SIA) in collaboration with Accenture provides entrepreneurs with the critical resources—funding, mentorship and community connections—to accelerate the growth and stability of their innovative ventures,” said Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of United Way Dallas. “United Way leads social innovation in the region, exemplified by the design, development and implementation of United Way-led initiatives such as Southern Dallas Thrives, as well as our Social Innovator Accelerator. Social innovation is key to achieving our Aspire United 2030 community goals, which aim to put opportunity in the hands of all North Texans.”

The five social entrepreneurs in The Pitch will compete for a total of $235,000 in funding as they present their ideas to strengthen education, income and health in the North Texas community. Each Fellow will receive $40,000 for reaching the finals, and a $15,000 Judges Prize will be awarded to the Social Innovator of the Year. In addition, the Audience Choice Award presented by Toyota includes a $10,000 prize. The Satori Foundation has also announced $10,000 to fund the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for the finalist who most inspires others to go out and create positive change in the world, as determined by our judges. Event judges will evaluate and score each pitch based on impact, innovation, sustainability and presentation. Anne Chow, CEO, AT&T Business and United Way’s campaign chair, will once again serve as the event emcee. This year’s panel of judges includes LaTisha Brandon, Sr. Manager of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Celanese Corporation, Jorge Corral, Dallas Office Managing Director, Accenture, Chris Kleinert, CEO, Hunt Investment Holdings, and Amber Venz-Box, Co-founder of rewardStyle and founding member of Cherry.

“At Accenture, we believe when we put our greatest minds and creative ideas together, we can solve even the most pressing challenges in our community,” said Jorge Corral, Dallas Office Managing Director, Accenture. “We’re proud of our collaboration with United Way, and each year at The Pitch, I look forward to witnessing the energy and passion of local innovators who are working to make a difference in the lives of North Texans.”

Anne Chow added, “Especially in these challenging and dynamic times, innovation is required to drive lasting impact in education, income and health, which are the building blocks that put opportunity in the hands of all North Texans. By identifying high-potential entrepreneurs with high-impact solutions, the Social Innovation Accelerator is another way that United Way is amplifying the work of the organization and its partners throughout the North Texas region.”

The Pitch finalists include:

  • Better Block Foundation, which is launching a workforce development program that teaches students how to use digital fabrication to reshape their communities while earning a living wage.
  • Carson’s Village, which helps families navigate the challenging decisions they face after the sudden death of a loved one.
  • EdCor Health, which is working alongside a Southern Dallas community providing access to health and hope over decades of challenges that often plague disinvested communities of color.
  • The Home Visit Project, which trains teachers to engage and partner with families to build authentic, trusting relationships through home visits to ensure every child is socially, emotionally and academically successful.
  • Trey Athletes, which empowers athletes to become lifelong leaders, unlocking their potential to serve as societal changemakers, representative role models, and influential voices for underserved communities.


In addition to The Pitch event, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas also announced the 2021 Fellows selected to participate in the Social Innovation Accelerator:

  • Agape Resource & Assistance Center, a scalable and replicable affordable housing solution that supports residents to sustain or attain economic stability.
  • The Concilio, whose innovative “talk pedometer” helps parents understand the importance of and increases their children’s exposure to early-language learning.
  • Connected Mind, a mental health triage tool that identifies up to six of the most troubling mental health conditions and provide school counselors with an instant mental health risk in minutes.
  • Cornbread Hustle, the first-ever staffing agency for second chances, which changes lives by helping people with criminal records find meaningful employment.
  • Dwell With Dignity, a retail pop-up thrift shop where high-end furniture, art, and accessories are sold at deep discount to fund the homes where domestic abuse survivors and their families can thrive.
  • Kimiya International, whose Fight Club has an interdisciplinary approach to addressing mental health care for women who are survivors of trauma, by integrating boxing, yoga, group talk therapy and/or journaling, and individual counseling.
  • To Be Like Me, an innovative disability awareness program, currently targeted to schools, that aims to build more inclusive communities through education and purposeful interactions.
  • Trusted World, which streamlines the labor-intensive work of accepting donations of food, clothing and personal care products for the nonprofit community with no-cost service and online inventory.
  • The Welman Project, which gives teachers the tools and the creativity needed to provide equal education regardless of school funding by connecting educators in need of supplies and companies with surplus goods to make better use of the resources already available in our community.

During The Pitch event, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas will be announcing a new partnership with Cherry, an on-demand technology platform that connects clients with independent nail technicians for manicure services. This innovative service provides much-needed flexibility not only for Cherry clients, but also for Cherry pros, the nail technicians, who earn higher pay, can set their own schedules, and avoid harmful chemical exposure in nail shops.

“Partnering with United Way has helped Cherry focus on our social mission of enabling female entrepreneurs to independently develop their career path,” said Amber Venz-Box, founding member of Cherry.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Kleinert Family Foundation, United Way is supporting Cherry’s operations, in addition to serving as an impact advisor to ensure the economic advancement for some of the most marginalized women in our community through customized resources to improve opportunities related to professional development, financial stability, and transportation.

Cherry Nails Logo

Our Investment in Cherry

Cherry Nails Logo

• Social impact investment that supports economic mobility for underserved and marginalized populations.

• Program creates a path for economic mobility for low-skilled, low-income women and their families.

• On-demand platform that connects clients with independent nail technicians who perform mobile manicure services.

• Created by founders of rewardStyle and Bumble.

• Current markets of Austin, Dallas and Houston, with planned future expansion.

Daughter on shoulders of father Live United

About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Daughter on shoulders of father Live United

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based social change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all North Texans. Working with our determined supporters, we lead the charge to improve education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity. We invite all change-seekers in our community to Live United to achieve lasting results right here at home.

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This article was published on: Oct 22, 2020