Work alongside committed Silicon Valley Mentors 

The GSBI Accelerator prepares trailblazing social enterprises to scale. 

We provide quality, in-depth mentoring delivered by Silicon Valley business executives. Our mentors coach, educate, and encourage you for 2-3 hours a week for 10 months. You work together with 2 Silicon Valley mentors to improve every aspect of your organization.

By the end, you will have developed a portfolio of materials including financial statements and strategic planning documents, plus information on governance and your board of directors. This due diligence folder will greatly speed the investment process.


GSBI Accelerator Program Structure

Phase 1: 

In the GSBI Accelerator’s initial phase -- from February to July -- you develop a strong working relationship with your 2 mentors. Together, you evaluate your enterprise’s business model, pathway to scaling, and strategy for attracting investment.

Through a video-based, online curriculum, you learn to speak the language of an investor, gain crucial business insights, and learn how to avoid common pitfalls. 

Phase 2:

During the in-residence part of the program, you will come to Santa Clara University for 9 days in August to meet your mentors face-to-face, learn from content experts, and present portions of your business plans to be critiqued by trusted experts and fellow social entrepreneurs.

Investor Showcase

The in-residence portion of the GSBI Accelerator culminates in an Investor Showcase. Here you pitch your enterprise plans to an audience of investors and members of the social enterprise community.  Private meetings arranged in advance with individual impact investors follow these presentations. See this year’s pitches here.

Phase 3:

During the third phase of the GSBI Accelerator, which takes place from September to November, you will continue to meet virtually with your mentors to implement the strategic initiatives and tactical steps. Throughout this final phase of the program, the GSBI team serves as a resource to address specific developmental needs, including support in closing financing deals. The GSBI Accelerator program ends with an online Gratitude Ceremony webinar in December. 

Participants in the 2015 GSBI Accelerator Program

African Clean Energy (ACE)

South Africa
Judith Joan Walker
African Clean Energy (ACE) is a Lesotho-based company that produces an efficient biomass cookstove.
Impact: Sold 25,000 stoves to date, and substantially improved the lives of an estimated 100,000 people.

Aquasafi Purification System

Pavin Pankajan
AquaSafi has established state-of-the-art water purification units across several villages in the Gadag district in Karnataka, India.
Impact: Established 101 water stores in 100 villages. Each store delivers water to a minimum 200 households. In total, the water stores provide clean drinking water to around 100,000 people every day. 

Banka BioLoo

Sanjay Banka
Banka BioLoo installs biotoilets (or bioloos) to treat human waste using bacterial culture, which eliminates the need for excreta disposal and treatment.
Impact: Installed over 570 public and private facilities with over 25,050 daily users. Approximately 1,252,500 kg of waste is treated per year and 115,000 liters of water are recycled daily. Moreover, they give employment to 70+ people to maintain the toilets. 

Carbon Roots International

Eric Sorensen
Carbon Roots International converts agricultural waste biomass to carbon char dust to produce renewable green charcoal cooking briquettes.
Impact: Created over 150 jobs, paid smallholder Haitian farmers over $40,000 in direct income for their raw materials, and produced over 200 tons of green charcoal. The charcoal saves over a kiloton of tree wood saved.  



Key Dates

  • Oct. 23, 2015: Applications are closed
  • Nov. 2-10, 2015: Interviews start
  • Nov. 25, 2015: Finalists notified
  • Feb. 2, 2016: Program starts
  • Aug. 11-19, 2016: In-residence at Santa Clara University
  • Dec. 14, 2016: Program ends

Who Should Apply: 

  • For-profit, non-profit, or hybrid enterprises
  • Social impact mission
  • Operational for 3+ years
  • Validated business model
  • Proven technology, product, or service
  • Preparing to scale impact 

What You Gain:

  • Silicon Valley mentorship
  • Due diligence folder
  • Financial plan for scaling
  • Organizational development
  • Talent management
  • Marketing strategy and execution
  • Operational excellence at scale

What you will Learn:

  • How to secure the right capital for your enterprise
  • Fundraising strategies
  • Better articulate your mission, impact model, and business plan
  • Reach more beneficiaries
  • Strengthen your business model
  • Streamline operations
  • Build and manage your team and management

2015 GSBI Accelerator Investment Profiles

GSBI Methodology White Paper

Learn more about how we do it in our recently published white paper.

For more information, email us at

Columba Leadership

South Africa
Rob Taylor
Columba Leadership is a youth development organization that has a proven values-based program to transform disadvantaged youth into agents of change and role models.
Impact: Since 2009, Columba Leadership has run 145 academies and produced over 2000 graduates. 

Empower Generation

Anya Cherneff
Empower Generation trains rural women as energy entrepreneurs and weaves a clean energy distribution network.
Impact: EG’s women-led distribution business includes 7 women-led businesses that employ a network of over 50 administrators, technicians, and sales agents. The network has made over 10,000 solar sales and gave over 34,000 people cleaner, safer, and less expensive homes.


Prashanth Venkataramana
Essmart builds an essential marketplace for life improving technologies in places where people already shop, local retail stores scattered throughout the rural landscape. These technologies move from manufacturers into the hands of people who most need them.
Impact: Operate 6 distribution centers and work with a network of over 510 local retail shops, some of which have improved their earnings by 10% since starting to work with Essmart. Sold over 6,500 life-improving technologies and impacted over 26,000 end users. 

ICT for Development

Jonathan Mativo
ICT for Development delivers community-based ICT and job training.
Impact: Trained 17,311 people in 3 countries in 3 years.

Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA)

Global - South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria
Kirsten Gagnaire
MAMA provides health messages tailored to the baby's age to expecting women and their families via their mobile phones.
Impact: In two years, reached nearly 2 million women with our own programs and close to 1 million more via organizations who use our content.

Naandi Community Water Services

Anoop Ratnaker Rao
Naandi Community Water Services builds and operates Community Water Centers (CWCs) with a promise to provide safe, reliable, and affordable water in rural India.
Impact: Gave access to safe drinking water to over 500,000 people, in 375 villages.

Naya Jeevan

Pakistan, Mexico
Dr. Asher Hasan
Naya Jeevan provides the working poor in Pakistan, earning $50-$250 per month, with an integrated health insurance plan, which includes access to a nationwide network of more than 250+ quality private hospitals, outpatient clinics, blood labs, and diagnostic imaging centers.
Impact: Enrolled more than 100 institutional clients, exceeding a cumulative enrollment of over 60,000 members over the past 5 years with nearly 14,000 active corporate members. Some of Naya Jeevan’s larger clients include Unilever, Sanofi, Philips and Pfizer.


Dr. Haywood Hall
PACE MD provides innovative solutions for community based training in emergency care and community health improving efficiency and quality of care.
Impact: Trained and certified over 30,000 health providers --10,000 obstetrics-- in emergency response protocols in Mexico. An additional 2,000+ have been trained in local community first aid protocols. 

Practice Makes Perfect

United States
Karim Abouelnaga
For students in low-income neighborhoods in New York who are most susceptible to the achievement gap, Practice Makes Perfect provides a summer enrichment program that eliminates the “summer slide” in five short weeks.
Impact: Served over 550 inner-city youth in New York City and Washington D.C.

Rangsutra Crafts India

Rahul Noble Singh
Rangsutra provides a trustworthy platform, access and exposure to a market for artisans and farmers, living in remote villages and facing tough gender biases.
Impact: Reached a base of approximately 3,000 artisans in remote villages, of which, 1,800 are shareholders of the company. Every artisan earns at least the state's minimum wage.

The Youth Banner

Wamuyu Mahinda
The Youth Banner (TYB) is addressing unemployment among youth by helping them develop skills in entrepreneurship and business development.
Impact: Trained 2,268 youth and established 700 youth enterprises, expanded 1,000 existing businesses, and created 600 jobs through graduates.