BBVA Momentum, the social enterprise accelerator program launched in Spain and Mexico in 2011, wrapped up its second year in the U.S. in November with 16 entrepreneur participants.
Over the course of the 5-month program, participants were mentored by BBVA Compass business experts and learned from international practitioners and renowned professors through a partnership between the Financial Times and IE Business School, Corporate Learning Alliance and University of Texas - Austin McCombs School of Business. The goal of the program is to help social entrepreneurs achieve scale and learn ways to further enhance their operations.
After its U.S. success in 2017, the bank expanded it to encompass interested participants from across its seven-state footprint, ending up with a field of 16. Three winners were selected from five finalists who presented their pitches in November:
- First place: Michelle Corson, received $75,000
On the Road Lending (Dallas) finances fuel-efficient and reliable cars, under warranty, for lower-skilled workers with weak credit. Workers are able to access the best job they can take, no matter how far, improving their economic mobility and the region’s air quality all at once.
- Second place: Scott Bennett, received $35,000
Skratch (Dallas) leverages a mobile platform that connects teens with individuals, organizations, and businesses in their neighborhood to accomplish task-based work.
- Third place: Helaine Blum, received $15,000
Pathlight HOME, (Orlando) uses a housing-first model by acquiring former hotel properties and structuring innovative financing models to create over 500 units for disabled individuals who are at-risk for chronic homelessness.
2018 winners of BBVA Momentum, the bank's five-month accelerator program aimed at creating the opportunity for social entrepreneurs to scale up and impact their communities. (Front row, left to right): First place winner Michelle Corson of On the Road Lending, second place winner Scott Bennett of Skratch, and third place winner Helaine Blum of Pathlight HOME.
Winners were also treated to a finale surprise announcement that they were invited to attend the BBVA Momentum global summit in Madrid, Spain in the Spring of 2019 with winners from other countries.