Jewish Federation partners with PresenTense to create JFACE Accelerator

Jewish Federation of St. Louis is launching a unique partnership with the global Jewish accelerator group PresenTense to form JFACE, a six-month St. Louis-based accelerator program that will target issues in the Jewish community.  JFACE, which stands for Jewish Federation of St. Louis Accelerating Community Entrepreneurs, seeks to assist social entrepreneurs with developing concepts or ventures for solving St. Louis Jewish community challenges. 

 The program will kick off with an “Idea Slam” Sept. 14, and will accept applications from that date to Oct. 28. After a round of speed interviews, JFACE will announce the selection of 12 to 15 JFACE Innovators in December. In 2017, Innovators will participate in seminars, one-on-one coaching and mentorship, and have the opportunity to apply for a small amount of prototype funding from Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Six Innovators will have the opportunity to share a co-working office space at the CIC-STL in St. Louis’ Cortex Innovation District.

 The program will culminate in the JFACE Launch Night in June 2017, a final celebration of innovation when the Innovators will pitch and present their ventures to the St. Louis community.

 “The idea for this accelerator grew out of Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ 2014 community study, which identified challenges in the St. Louis Jewish community,” said Emily Bornstein, Planning and Allocations Associate with Jewish Federation of St. Louis, in a news release. “The study found issues such as a significant portion of our community struggle financially, there is a geographic divide amongst more and less engaged Jewish households, and the community must do better when working to engage young families. We’re asking our Innovators to put their creative minds to beginning the task of solving these challenges.”

 The program will accept applications for the following:

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• Founders: You already have an idea to launch your own new Jewish venture or early stage initiative and want to combine your entrepreneurial passion with the help of PresenTense to get it going. The venture must be in idea or early stage.

• Changemakers: You do not have an idea yet, but you’re a problem solver who wants to work on areas that the Jewish Federation of St. Louis has identified as some of the priority challenges facing the St. Louis Jewish community.

 PresenTense is an international organization that equips passionate people with the entrepreneurial skills and support networks needed to further their community-minded ventures. 

For more information or to apply, visit JFedSTL.org/JFACE.