United Way Announces Its 2014-15 GroundFloor Fellows

We’re thrilled to hear that United Way of Metropolitan Dallas announced its newest GroundFloor Fellows yesterday!

United Way founded GroundFloor last year, with seed investment from AT&T, EY and a number of other individual donors.

Café Momentum, a culinary job-training program transforming the futures of at-risk youth, was the fund’s first recipient.

Our first group of GroundFloor recipients, including the incredibly successful Café Momentum, is proving these social innovation investments change lives in North Texas,” says John Stephens, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Board Chair and Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AT&T. “We are excited to fund this next group of startups, all creatively inventing new ways to achieve lasting impact throughout our community.”

This newest group of GroundFloor Fellows includes the following organizations:


  • 2ndSaturday is a non-profit/sustainable-business hybrid that seeks to address the lack of long-term employment and opportunity available to the numerous at-risk men of Dallas’ poorest neighborhoods, while simultaneously helping to restore the homes and dignity of disadvantaged senior, limited-income and disabled residents of the city.
  • Per Scholas is a national nonprofit organization offering free, high quality technology education, job training, placement, and career development opportunities to people in underserved communities.
  • Upswing is an organization focused on partnering with colleges to improve student success and retention through retention planning, online collaboration technology, and predictive data analytics.

GroundFloor provides its participants with a three-pronged investment:

  • Financial capital, for seed and early stage ventures;
  • Human capital, in the form of an intensive program led by mentors;
  • Social capital, by connecting The GroundFloor’s participants with resources from more than 1,000 United Way corporate partners and more than 80 service providers

This new class represents GroundFloor’s second year of operations. The four organizations in the inaugural class leveraged their mentoring, support and seed funding investments of $310,000 to raise an additional $1.85M to fund their impact work.

Applications for the GroundFloor’s 2016 programs will open in Summer 2015. More information about the GroundFloor and the application process is available on their website.

Read the full press release here.

Rachel Winstead

Rachel is a freelance writer and works at Soap Hope in downtown Dallas. She hates the term "disrupt," tweets about startups, and appreciates a well-crafted hashtag.