The BBVA Accelerator Program has welcomed a new class of socially driven entrepreneurs, and the two big winners — On the Road Lending and Skratch — are making a difference right here in Dallas.
BBVA Momentum is a program designed for companies with high social impacts in their communities. The five-month program’s final pitch took place on Nov. 7, and both the first and second place winners are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The big winner for the evening, Michelle Corson of On the Road Lending, walked away with $75,000. Her company aims to help finance reliable and fuel efficient cars for lower-skilled workers with weak credit, all under warranty. By providing, reliable transportation, the workers are able to gain access to better jobs — no matter how far away they may be. Plus, all of the vehicles are fuel efficient, so the program intends to improve the region’s air quality and give users more economic mobility.
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First runner-up went to Scott Bennett, co-founder of Skratch: An app that gives busy teenagers the chance to earn extra money by working odd jobs near their homes. Kids between the ages of 14 and 19 can pick their preferred tasks (like lawn mowing, dog walking, or tutoring) and those nearby can then register what they need to complete. The app is currently available in 30 Dallas-based zip codes, according to D Magazine, but the company hopes to expand even further. The second place prize was $35,000.
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“Our new wave of entrepreneurs are using their businesses to tackle some of the most challenging issues in our society,” BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility & Reputation Reymundo Ocañas said in a statement.
In order to be eligible, entrepreneurs must have an expanding business that provides innovative solutions to social or environmental issues. The program runs from June through November, offering online and in-person education through Corporate Learning Alliance and the University of Texas at Austin, respectively. This is the second year the competition has run in the U.S., with applicants were welcome to compete from all over the Sun-Belt.
To top it all off, this isn’t the first time Dallas-based entrepreneurs have walked away victorious from BBVA Momentum. The winner of the 2017 competition was Chad Houser, who runs Dallas-based Café Momentum — a restaurant that trains juvenile offenders.
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