We Power the Innovators

Accelerating New Solutions for Mental Wellness

The Innovators Society, a program of Community First Foundation, invests in promising, but not yet proven, nonprofit innovations to increase awareness and change perceptions of mental health. We engage a network of committed nonprofit innovators, community leaders and community investors to accelerate new solutions for mental wellness.

The Experience

The Innovators Society selects nonprofit innovators to participate in an accelerator experience that includes initial funding, rigorous coaching, hands-on workshops and the chance to compete for more grant dollars in a pitch competition (Community Pitch Showdown). At the event, community leaders are empowered to award $450,000 in Community First Foundation grant dollars among the innovators to accelerate their innovations. After a period of high-impact coaching, one commendable nonprofit is chosen to receive a $50,000 grand prize.

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The Innovators Society 2.0

The Innovators Society 2.0 launched in November 2017 after the success of the inaugural Innovators Society.  The Innovators Society 2.0 invested in innovations that are changing public perceptions of mental health and mental illness while reducing mental health stigma.

The six selected innovators spent three months with a coach preparing to pitch their innovations at a Community Pitch Showdown. At the Showdown more than 100 audience members awarded $450,000 grant dollars among the nonprofits. The innovators then completed six months of high impact coaching to develop a solid plan for their innovation and vie for the $50,000 grand prize.

B.I.O.N.I.C. Wins $50,000 Grand Prize!

Congratulations to Sandy Austin and the B.I.O.N.I.C. Team for winning the $50,000 grand prize.  Sandy’s letters of support, personal statement, coach feedback and implementation plan earned her team the prize.

B.I.O.N.I.C. empowers young people to reach out to students facing challenging times so they know they are not alone.

Meet the other Innovators >