AHA heart and torch logoEmPOWERED To Serve

Business Accelerator

Photo of buildings in an urban city

General Overview

Each local program is unique.
Here you will find a general overview.

The American Heart Association is committed to making a difference in communities by finding innovative solutions to help close the gaps in health equity. We’re looking for people like YOU to join us in making a positive and immediate impact on the health of our communities.

Current Event:

The 2019 EmPOWERED To Serve Business Accelerator »

Are you ready to share your brilliant solutions? Our team of passionate experts is ready to help you put these ideas to work in communities that need them the most. We invite you to consider submitting your ideas, whether they are brand new or just need a little boost, to an EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator in your area.

Learn More

What is an EmPOWERED To Serve Business Accelerator

This is an 8-week intensive training designed to challenge you to apply innovative, community-based solutions to help bridge the health equity gap in your community. If you qualify, you will have access to a team of marketing, branding and tech leaders who are ready to join forces with you. Through their mentoring, training and coaching, you will move closer to qualifying to present your project at a Summit Meeting in your area and potentially receive grant awards.

Back to top

What does it cost?

This program is provided at no cost to you other than your time, dedication and the belief that the impossible can be possible.

Back to top

Who should apply?

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Social Entrepreneurs
  • Tech Entrepreneurs
  • Non-Profits*
  • Startups in ideation mode or that have been in business for 5 years or less*
  • Applicants and businesses must be in the United States.

*For those that are established businesses/organizations, you will need to pick one focus/project that you are already running or one that you would like to jump start for this application

Back to top

What are the minimum requirements?


Most of our interactions will happen virtually, so you will need to have consistent access to the internet. Occasionally, we will host video conferences and we’d love to see your face, so having access to a video camera and headphones will ensure an optimal experience. Your existing desktop or laptop video camera should be fine.


Plan to devote at least eight to ten hours per week to your individual work and any virtual group activities. We’ll coordinate calendars to find the best time to meet once we have a group identified.

Back to top

How can I position my idea to receive the grant?

Step One – Look Around and Identify Problems.

Are there health-related problems you know you can solve that will directly transform communities?

Consider these examples of gaps in health equity that need solutions:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Air Pollution
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clean Water
  • Healthcare
  • Health Insurance
  • Hunger
  • Internet Access
  • Lack of Access to Healthy Food
  • Obesity
  • Public Health
  • Public Transportation
  • Safe Streets
  • Smoking

Step Two – Commit to building and implementing a plan.

Wherever you are in the process of implementing your idea, our team will work with you to build a solid plan. During the accelerator you will be expected to start implementing your idea within the community in small or large ways. The point here is that this accelerator is action and results focused and oriented.

Step Three – Apply.

If there is a program in your area, it will be listed on this website and you can apply. If not, talk to your local American Heart Association affiliate about getting a program started. We are always excited and anxious to meet those with new and innovative ideas. The process is designed to help you stand out and help us get to know you better. You’ll have to answer general questions about yourself and your company. These questions will focus on your project/solution, the impact it will have on the community and how you will measure this impact.

Back to top

What is the schedule for the accelerator?

Because the process is intense, and we have to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time, we highly recommend that you review the following schedule before you apply.

6 to 8 weeks Applications are open.
1 to 2 weeks Qualified candidates are notified if they are invited to continue. (Everyone will receive notification, one way or the other.)
6 to 8 weeks Accelerator training begins.
Final Awards Summit and final showcase


Back to top

What can you expect from us?

  • Our expertise: We will offer you eight weeks of training and coaching on topics ranging from digital marketing to customer discovery and from brand experience to brand storytelling all provided by experts in the field.
  • Our network: We will not only connect you to other like-minded entrepreneurs, but also with a vast network of business leaders in the areas of marketing, PR and finance.
  • Our encouragement: We will offer our support to you throughout the process in the form of resources, people and our belief in you.

Back to top

What do we expect from you?

  • Your time: The training period will be intense and time-consuming. If you are serious about the process and the potential of being awarded the grant, you need to be prepared to dedicate eight weeks of your time to this project
  • Your dedication: You will need to fully commit to this project and the process, which includes hitting each deliverable on a tight timeline.
  • Your determination: You have to believe you can achieve the impossible under tight conditions.

Back to top

What can you tell me about confidentiality and intellectual property?

Confidentiality is not guaranteed in any way. However, the process is set up in such a way that during the training you will not be asked to share information about your project with other teams. In the same manner, we will not share information about your project with other teams during training. If a team wishes to keep elements of their concept or idea confidential, the team should not include that information when it presents during the Summit. There is no way for The American Heart Association or its organizers to enforce a prohibition of other candidates, audience members or judges who see or hear a pitch from sharing the concept, idea and/or materials with others.

By participating in the EmPOWERED To Serve Business Accelerator candidates agree that The American Heart Association, EmPOWERED To Serve and all related parties assume no liability, and shall have no liability or obligation whatsoever for disclosures of information provided by a candidate as part of a submission or otherwise during the course of the accelerator or Summit.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) between a candidate and the judges and/or audience members will not be required or allowed.

Back to top