You may know the Points of Light Civic Accelerator as the national, 12-week social entrepreneur boot camp and investment fund, based here in Atlanta. Or perhaps you know some of their local “tech” alumni: Authentity, Pentorship, SparkMarket, Village Defense or WorkReadyGrad. However you have heard about “CivicX” and their impact, you’ll have an opportunity to get to know their innovation team through a recently launched series of Rapid Innovation Summits. These offer anyone with a desire to solve problems a chance to use design thinking and lean startup tools to create and test solutions. With their series of 2-day, hands-on boot camps this fall, in Houston on Oct. 17-18, Atlanta on Nov. 12-13 and New Orleans on Dec. 10-11 they’re catering to social innovators — entrepreneurs, business, nonprofit & community leaders — to learn about and use innovation best practices to make better decisions, test solutions and solve problems more effectively.
Innovate Atlanta will cover design thinking, lean startup principles and business model design using the business model canvas.
“Using design thinking strategies and rapid start-up methodologies, project teams, organizations and emerging business units can test their assumptions, explore innovative concepts and learn to iterate effectively to reach a conclusive decision – To Go or Not to Go,” said Ayesha Khanna, Founder of Civic Accelerator.
Khanna notes that the topics covered during the two-day boot camp are relevant to any organization, regardless of their mission. Their partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta should encourage nonprofits to take note with the opportunity to obtain a grant to fund their participation.
“We are excited about bringing these approaches to Atlanta and to a broader audience. We have seen them in practice in our work with over 150 entrepreneurs and our portfolio of 74 civic ventures which are scaling their impact across the country. Through customer discovery and real-time feedback, teams and individuals can test creative ideas to launch an earned income strategy, engage new donors or test a new program idea. Our goal is to help build the capacity of social impact leaders and organizations to be innovative and to offer new tools to high performing teams as they go through the training together,” said Khanna.
She added that the ability to respond effectively to policy, demographic, technology or other changes are crucial components that could be strengthened by learning rapid iteration techniques that will be covered during the summit.
The Summit also features a VIP Reception hosted by Google on Thursday, November 12, that will include local innovators and funders, and feature alumni and partners who’ve benefited from rapid innovation and design thinking principles to disrupt and solve social issues in Atlanta and beyond.