Mission Edge Taps 10 Businesses for “Social Enterprise” Accelerator

Mission Edge, a nonprofit organization backed by the San Diego Foundation and three corporations, has chosen 10 companies and organizations to participate in a 12-week program intended to improve each entity’s financial performance, and thereby long-term sustainability.

Called the Social Enterprise Accelerator and Impact Lab (SAIL), the program has previously taken place twice. SAIL’s sponsors are wireless giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) and automotive software maker Mitchell, both of which are based in San Diego, and San Francisco-based Union Bank (NYSE: MUFG), which has more than 50 offices in the San Diego region.

Ken Davenport, CEO of San Diego-based Mission Edge, said the program is intended to help participants “test assumptions about their customers and market, develop a business canvas, and confirm whether the market will pay for some or all of what they provide,” and by doing so, encourage more innovative business models in the social sector.

The program, which will take place at the San Diego Foundation office, is slated to kick off Feb. 20. Participants will attend workshops and lectures on topics including business validation, financial modeling, communicating impact, and pitching professionally. Local professionals will act as mentors. The program will conclude in May with a Shark Tank-style pitch event at which participants will make the case for their businesses in front of judges and potential investors. Last year, Urban Street Angels, an organization that produces and sells soap made by young homeless people in San Diego, won the pitch competition, and received a prize of $4,500 in cash and an assortment of business services.

These organizations will participate:

The Akazi Project

Beta Institute of Technology

My Brain Test

Heritage Oasis

Hope Vision Foundation

—Making Meals Matter

Passion Purpose Academy

Rise Up Industries

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Wesley House Student Residence

Sarah de Crescenzo is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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