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Launched in 2013, United Way’s GroundFloor is a mentor-driven social innovation fund and impact accelerator program that invests money and resources in promising social ventures focused on solutions that address challenges facing education, financial stability, and health.

Social innovation refers to new products, services, and ways of working that meet social needs and strengthen our community. The entrepreneurs behind these ideas recognize opportunity; they figure out what isn’t working and design new ways to solve problems.

The GroundFloor brings critical resources — funding, mentorship, and community connections — to entrepreneurs who tackle the challenges facing North Texas by accelerating the growth and stability of their innovative ventures.

While United Way proudly supports established non-profits that provide much needed products and services in our community, we realize it’s not always feasible or prudent for these organizations to change course or divert resources to explore a new initiative. With that in mind, the GroundFloor is unique in three key ways:

Innovation

The GroundFloor enables new or existing organizations to apply for funding for groundbreaking ventures that place social impact at the heart of their business model.

Timeframe

The open, competitive application process is completed quickly, saving precious time and resources that are scarce for an early stage venture.

Fellows

Recipients of funding may be both non-profit and for-profit organizations, intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial ventures.

SafeNight, a GroundFloor-funded initiative, is an app that assists family violence shelters with overcrowding

Drawing on the strength of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and supporters from across the community, the GroundFloor provides a three-pronged investment approach:

  • Financial capital for seed and early-stage ventures
  • Human capital from our world-class mentors, representing leaders in business, academics, public policy, and the social sector
  • Social capital through connections to more than 1000 corporate leaders and more than 100 local service providers

Since 2013, eight GroundFloor fellows received $610K in seed funding, which was leveraged to secure an additional $2 million in investor funding! Each GroundFloor fellow also received more than 50 hours of mentoring.

Learn more about the Mentor Program

View all GroundFloor Fellows

Here are just a few success stories from The GroundFloor:

Café Momentum

A restaurant that serves as a post-release paid internship for juvenile offenders.
It reduces recidivism and creates long-term sustainable employment.

SafeNight

A mobile app used to connect organizations that provide a safe haven for victims of family violence
and human trafficking with donors to pay for hotel rooms, providing a safe night’s rest when shelters are full.

Dallas Teacher Residency

A new approach to teacher training that equips aspiring inner-city teachers with 1000 hours of
classroom training with a mentor and a master’s degree before placing them in targeted, high-needs schools.

Acción Texas Promise Loans

A revolutionary small business loan product from an established micro lender that gives entrepreneurs
unable to secure funding through traditional avenues, access to capital using unconventional metrics.

Apply
Invest
Become a Mentor
Learn More

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