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Propeller's Fearless Programming Wins Notice from Case Foundation

The New Orleans social-enterprise incubator is highlighted by the Case Foundation's Be Fearless campaign for re-imagining their work for greater results. 

In its fourth year, the Case Foundation’s Be Fearless campaign champions principles that tackle today’s social issues in boundary-pushing ways. By embracing risk and accepting that failure can happen, it “calls on individuals and organizations to Be Fearless in their vision, efforts and commitment to their cause.”
One such organization is Propeller.
Propeller’s vision is to build a critical mass of entrepreneurs working to solve pressing social issues in New Orleans in order to make significant change for underserved individuals in that city.
Since June 2011, its Impact Accelerator program has accelerated 104 ventures, including a health-focused School Food Authority, Louisiana’s first regional food hub, a wetland mitigation bank, and a maternal health collective.
However, Andrea Chen, executive director of Propeller and Forward Cities council member, recognized that their efforts were not doing enough to help New Orleans post-Katrina. By embracing the Be Fearless principles of letting failure matter and allowing urgency to conquer fear, she and her team pushed Propeller to help its program participants achieve greater results.
To do this, Propeller restructured its core program to more quickly move the needle on outcomes for food, water, health and education in New Orleans.
Changes included running a pilot accelerator program on the water management sector and creating two tracks for their program – a “Startup Track” for 10 early-stage ventures and a “Growth Track” that supports promising ventures from beta to launch. 
Their work is already paying off, with results including:
  • Over 250 full- and part-time jobs created, contributing to an expanded workforce in New Orleans.
  • Over $60 million in external financing and revenue collectively generated by Propeller Ventures and Alumni.
  • $90,000+ in seed funding awarded to ventures through sector-based PitchNOLA competitions.
For their hard work and fearless experimentation, Propeller is now a featured case study of Be Fearless. Download the full case study to learn how and why their new accelerator program is helping transform New Orleans.

Propeller has now expanded this program into its other core sectors and will soon begin accepting applications. 
Learn more about the Case Foundation’s Be Fearless campaign at the new and improved Be Fearless Hub that shares case studies, free resources, tools and the Framework for Action – a step-by-step guide for leaders and organizations that want to be fearless and create transformative change.
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