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Accelerator | Unbundle Policing: Reimagine Public Safety Challenge

How can we decrease unnecessary and adverse law enforcement encounters in order to promote community health and well-being in the US?

Submissions are Closed

FAQ

Table of Contents

What does Unbundle Policing mean?

What is the Accelerator?

What's the Challenge timeline?

Who can apply to the Stand Together Challenge?

How are we Crowdsolving the Stand Together Challenge?

What type of solutions will be accepted to the Stand Together Challenge?

Do I need to be part of a registered organization in order to apply?

How will my solution be evaluated?

What about IP?

What's expected of me?

What support will be offered during the Accelerator?

Is there any post-Accelerator support?

Who's involved?

Glossary

What does Unbundle Policing mean?

Police work is a bundle of services, and much of it is beyond the scope of preventing and solving violent crime. Law enforcement has often become a backstop for much of society’s ills, sometimes being stretched thin while dealing with domestic disputes or providing safety for schools. Unbundling policing means separating out the many roles the police are asked to play–patrolling for traffic violations and showing up at accidents, responding to calls for mental health interventions, addressing homelessness–and distributing these to  alternative responders, like unarmed traffic managers and social workers. The goal of this approach is to connect individuals to the best resources to address their needs at first touchpoint.

What is the Accelerator?

A six-month wraparound support program that will provide an immediate $50,000 per accepted team to deploy or scale much-needed solutions that reduce adverse law enforcement encounters across the United States. Select teams may receive additional funding or investment post-Accelerator from the $1 million+ funds allocated to this purpose.

What's the Challenge timeline?

The Accelerator kicks off in mid-Q1 2022 and runs through mid-Q3 2022.

Who can apply to the Stand Together Challenge?

  1. Applications will be open to teams that did not participate in the Stand Together Incubator although participating teams will be preferred.

  2. At least one team member is working close to full-time during the Accelerator and, ideally, the whole team has part-time commitments or less elsewhere.

Applicants can be individual students, entrepreneurs, teams, or established start-ups. If you have a relevant solution, we hope you’ll apply! We seek a diverse mix of applicants including designers, social activists, technologists, criminal justice professionals and justice system-involved individuals. Solutions can be for-profit, nonprofit, or hybrid models.

How are we CrowdSolving the Stand Together Challenge?

  1. SOURCING SOLUTIONS Anyone who meets the criteria above can participate in the Stand Together Challenge and submit a solution. Whether you’re working on a prototype or have an existing product, we’re looking for innovators and entrepreneurs with the best solutions.
  2. SELECTING SOLUTIONS Once the submission deadlines pass, judging begins. After an initial screening by Stand Together and Solve staff, Stand Together Challenge judges select the most promising solutions as Finalists. These Finalists will be invited to pitch their solutions at a Stand Together Challenge Pitch Event, and judges will then select the winners.

What type of solutions will be accepted to the Stand Together Challenge?

The Stand Together Challenge considers solutions at various stages of development. 

  • Concept: An idea being explored for its feasibility to build a product, service, or business model based on that idea. Please note that concept solutions will not be selected; you have until the application deadline to prototype and experiment with your idea! 
  • Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model. If for-profit, a new company getting off the ground that has raised little or no institutional capital (less than $500,000) in pre-seed fundraising. 
  • Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community. If for-profit, a young company that is working to gain traction and that has raised less than $2 million in institutional capital in seed funding. 
  • Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth in multiple communities or countries. If for-profit, an early-stage company that has established a track record and is seeking to raise a round of roughly $2 million to $15 million in institutional capital in a Series A or potentially B round. 
  • Scale: A sustainable enterprise working in several communities or countries that is looking to scale significantly, focusing on increased efficiency. If for-profit, a successful company that is scaling its operations and seeks to raise a round of more than $15 million in institutional capital.

The most important thing is that your solution addresses the focus of the Stand Together Challenge.

Through open innovation, the Stand Together Challenge is looking for a diverse portfolio of solutions across stages of development and team members’ gender and background. We believe that there is no one solution to the world’s most complex challenges—and encourage people of all backgrounds to submit their applications.

Do I need to be part of a registered organization in order to apply?

You do not need to be part of a registered organization in order to apply, but if accepted, you will need to register your organization to receive funds. 

How will my solution be evaluated?

The judging committee for the Stand Together Challenge will be comprised of experts and leaders from across industries. After an initial screening by Stand Together and Solve staff, the judges will score the screened solutions based on the following criteria: 

  • Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge of decreasing unnecessary and adverse law enforcement encounters by improving public safety and policing in the US
  • Team: The team is passionate about their solution driving change, and has the diversity of experiences, skills, and perspectives necessary 
  • Scalability: The team has clear intent to scale the solution to achieve systemic change and/or is solving a common problem with a solution that the market seems likely to adopt and replicate 
  • Market Opportunity: There is a clear understanding of long-term market potential based on: a detailed understanding of customers and/or end recipients, evidence that those customers and/or end recipients need a solution, a compelling product, and sound positioning against the competition. 
  • Potential for Impact: The planned solution implementation has the potential to impact the intended population
  • Innovative Approach: This is a new solution, a new application of a solution, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge, and the team clearly identifies its competitive advantages (e.g. intellectual property)
  • Inclusive Human-Centered Design: The solution is designed with and for communities that have lived experiences with the problem the Challenge is designed to solve, and addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion through their solution
  • Financial Viability: The team has a plan and viable path to financial viability, including funding startup costs and long-term operations (whether through sustained donations and grants, selling products or services, raising investment capital, or a combination of all)

What about IP? 

All Accelerator participants will retain their IP. 

What's expected of me?

Accelerator participants should: 

  • Commit to a six-month program where at least one team member is dedicated full-time to solution deployment. The CEO or Executive Director of a team should expect to devote a rough minimum of 15 hours per month to take advantage of the Accelerator’s workshops, resources, and connections over the course of the 6 month period. 
  • Engage with product support, coaches, communities, business mentors, and other partners (through Stand Together Ventures Lab relationships) in order to launch or scale your solution

What support will be offered during the Accelerator?

Stand Together Ventures Lab's objective is to customize the approach with each selected team based on their needs. The vast majority of time spent on Accelerator related work should be directly in line with a team’s organizational goals and priorities. Programming will depend on the workplan developed with each team, and may include: 

  • Group workshops on areas of common need
  • Deep dives on a particular area of an individual venture through an ongoing engagement with a subject matter expert/consultant, such as product development, market research, sales strategy, or impact measurement 
  • Curated introductions to potential investors, partners, and/or customers depending on each venture’s need and interest
  • Cohort-wide community-building events and peer feedback sessions planned collaboratively with Accelerator participants

Is there any post-Accelerator support?

Stand Together Ventures Lab has $1M+ for potential additional investment in Accelerator participants. There is no current set mechanism for how these funds will be allocated and no guarantees of a minimum amount as decisions will be made on a case by case basis. Additionally, STVL anticipate showcasing Accelerator teams to other potential funders near the end of the program via a pitch event. Teams that receive additional funding will become part of the “portfolio” of Ventures Lab investees that receive ongoing advice and support for the life of their venture. If no additional funding is made immediately available, there is the possibility of future support and we plan to continue to be a resource for as many teams as capacity allows.

Who’s involved?

Stand Together Ventures Lab: Stand Together Ventures Lab is the core organization putting on the Unbundle Policing Challenge and running the Incubator and Accelerator. Stand Together Ventures Lab (through STVL3, LLC and STVL6, LLC) is part of the Stand Together community, a group of foundations and organizations dedicated to empowering people in every community to improve their lives. The Lab originates, incubates, and funds ventures that leverage disruptive business models or unique applications of technology to solve core societal challenges.

MIT Solve: MIT Solve is powering the Unbundle Policing Challenge and supporting aspects of the Unbundle Policing Accelerator. Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to solve world challenges. Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation Challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world.  

Glossary:

Alternative Policing Services: Can include mental health services, traffic services, investigation/detective services, bylaw enforcement, parking services, etc.

Public Safety: We take an expanded view of public safety that not only prioritizes a protection definition (protecting individuals from violent harm), but the acknowledgement that being safe depends on much more: food, clean water and air, housing, a basic income and the means to obtain it--an education and a job. It might include health care, health insurance, and the freedom from discrimination.

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