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Future Cities Accelerator Receives More Than 600 Proposals, Marking Close of Application Period for the Urban Challenge

The Accelerator, Powered by The Rockefeller Foundation & Unreasonable Institute, Seeks to Address Urban Challenges

Applicants From Dozens of Cities Across the US Have The Opportunity to Win $100,000 Each to Scale Programs Improving Lives of Poor or Vulnerable in Cities

BOULDER, CO—The Future Cities Accelerator, powered by The Rockefeller Foundation and Unreasonable Institute, has received more than 600 proposals from dozens of cities around the country. Over the next several months, Unreasonable Institute and select mentors will evaluate applications beginning with an analysis of their proposal, followed by phone interviews with a smaller subset of applicants and will culminate with in-person site visits for applicant finalists.  The 10 winners will receive $100,000 in funding, nine months of support, guidance from world-renowned mentors including Tom Chi, formerly of Google X and Co-Founder of Google Glass; Dan Rosen, Founder and President of Mosaic; Becky Margiotta, Co-Founder of The Billions Institute along with others, and attendance to a five-day intensive bootcamp led by Unreasonable Institute in Denver. Winners will be announced in early January 2017.

Proposals have been submitted from all corners of the United States including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and more. Each proposal highlights the innovation and ingenuity next generation startups are prepared to deliver in pursuit of solving the most urgent and pressing problems facing cities today.

Proposals range from after school education and leadership opportunities for disadvantaged youth in Philadelphia, to a multi-lingual app developed in Denver that seeks to bridge the language barrier between teachers and parents who speak a foreign language and are interested in staying up-to-date on their children’s education. Other proposals address issues that have become constant stresses in cities around the United States, such as one proposal that seeks to address the opioid epidemic through a data-based approach to addiction and recovery. On a similar scale, another proposal attempts to address the challenge of food waste by creating a virtual marketplace where those with excess food can make a donation and those in need can claim the excess food.

“The outpouring of interest in this challenge is proof positive there are countless individuals and organizations with creative solutions to the challenges confronting our cities,” said Joshua Murphy, Senior Program Associate at The Rockefeller Foundation. “It is clear that the future of philanthropy has a robust pipeline of innovative leaders with ideas that will undoubtedly transform our cities for the better. We are all eager to review these proposals in detail.”

“How we approach the challenges facing our cities today will determine what their tomorrow looks like. As debates rage over racial discrimination, immigration, pay equity, climate change and more, applicants to the Future Cities Accelerator have identified real solutions that will deliver the future they would like to see for their cities,” said Teju Ravilochan, Co-Founder and CEO of Unreasonable Institute. “It has been a privilege to partner with The Rockefeller Foundation to bring such an important initiative to life, and I look forward to reviewing each application.”

The Unreasonable Institute is looking for applicants’ proposals to have scalability, deep and lasting impact, and for applicants themselves to have a certain level of expertise on the subject necessary to execute any plan they put into action.

To learn more about  Futures Cities Accelerator visit