New Profit 2020 Catalyze Investments

December 20, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a national reckoning on racial equity, and other challenges, we made an unprecedented number of new Catalyze ($50-100K investments total over 1-2 years) investments. Our support for new social entrepreneurs in the portfolio aligned with our five-year strategy, which prioritizes investing in leaders of color and in organizations focused on systems change.

In addition to providing continued support to three organizations from our inaugural Civic Lab cohort and the second Unlocked Futures cohort, we invested in two new Catalyze cohorts representing an additional 28 entrepreneurs. Out of a total 39 Catalyze organizations, 72% are led by leaders of color.

Click the links above to read more about Civic Lab and Unlocked Futures, and keep reading for details about the two new Catalyze cohorts.

For more from the New Profit 2020 Annual Report, click here.

EdCatalyst: In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we selected a cohort of eight innovative organizations in K-12 education and adjacent areas including:

  • Basta, led by Sheila Sarem, seeks to create a bridge of opportunity between employers and first-generation college-goers of color to increase knowledge workforce diversity at all levels
  • Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), led by Daniel Zaharopol, aims to create pathways for underserved students to become STEM professionals
  • COOP, led by Kalani Leifer, is dedicated to overcoming underemployment through digital skills and peer connection for underrepresented college graduates
  • English Learners Success Forum (ELSF), led by Crystal Gonzales, seeks to improve the supply and accessibility of instructional materials that address the linguistic and cultural needs of English Learners
  • nXu, led by Yutaka Tamura, is a nonprofit youth organization with a mission to catalyze and equip youth and young adults to explore, articulate, and pursue their purpose
  • Profound Gentlemen, led by Jason Terrell, provides an effective retention-focused program for male educators of color so that they receive the support and resources they need to commit to a career in education year over year
  • The Calculus Project, led by Dr. Adrian Mims, addresses the achievement gap in mathematics that has historically plagued Black, Latino, and low-income students
  • The Center for Inclusive Innovation at Digital Promise, led by Kimberly Smith, is a startup endeavor that centers marginalized communities in creating solutions to their identified challenges

Postsecondary Innovation for Equity (PIE) Initiative: Launched in 2020, this initiative supports 20 social entrepreneurs who are connecting young adults from low-income backgrounds with postsecondary credentials and work experience they need to access upwardly mobile careers. The inaugural PIE cohort includes:

Postsecondary Institutions and Nonprofit Partners

K-12 School Systems and Nonprofit Partners

Nonprofits Creating Pathways to Employment

Employers Creating Pathways to Employment

For more from the New Profit 2020 Annual Report, click here.