We believe that economies are easily shaped and influenced in their infancy, so we start by supporting entrepreneurs and the ecosystems around them. We do this by engaging participants and organizations through a mix of innovation programming (hackathons, incubators, accelerators), supporting ecosystem development, and designing and distributing investment funds.
Our process of understanding innovation ecosystems is based on deep and purposeful engagement with actors within each ecosystem. We do this by applying a mixed-method approach that draws on sociological, anthropological and design research techniques. These efforts result in a “diagnosis” of the ecosystem, identifying both strengths as well as opportunities to leverage additional value within the community of innovation. Once an underlying picture of the ecosystem emerges, we then collaborate with actors within the ecosystem to design programs aimed at strengthening the innovation community. These programs — designed to meet the unique needs of each ecosystem — employ a range of tools and strategies targeted across the full spectrum of innovation.
We design, develop and implement a mix of innovative programming that spans sectors, but as a whole, seeks to benefit people and protect the planet. Our programming includes everything from The Incubation Network, where we’re focused on ending plastic pollution to GET Cities, where we aim to accelerate female representation in the tech industry, to NASA Space Apps Challenge, where we foster solutions to address real-world problems on Earth and in space.
Explore all of our active programs below:
Rooted and Rising Collective
The Movember “Rooted and Rising Collective” Social Impact Accelerator for Black Men is a 3-month program designed to equip its participants with inspiration, techniques, and tools to create sustainable and profitable businesses while cultivating impactful content that encourages mental wellbeing and self-care. The influential Black men who are selected for the Rooted and Rising Collective will become role models by demonstrating healthy expressions of manhood and self-care through dynamic and engaging storytelling, and impart lasting change on their communities and future generations of young black men.
For ClimateTech initiative is supported by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and focuses on building a global community of innovators, entrepreneurs, corporate partners, and investors who are elevating ClimateTech founders working to solve the climate crisis. Together with NextCorps, our initiative aims to help growth-stage innovators scale and to support early-stage innovators to jumpstart their climate tech companies.
Gender Equality in Tech (GET) Cities is working to develop inclusive tech hubs across the United States. We believe that national change can be accelerated when we start at the local level. Over the next five years, GET Cities will focus on three U.S. cities — which started with Chicago in 2020 and Washington DC in 2021.
Headstream Accelerator is uniting a community to build social technologies that actively support teens’ pressing needs for wellbeing and their desires to create, learn, and engage, rather than passively consume. Our Headstream innovators have the ability to inspire and spark a much larger community to harness and shape the future of social technologies.
The Incubation Network
The Incubation Network is a catalyst for action and investment in the circular economy that aims to prevent the flow of plastic waste into the world’s ocean. Partnering with The Circulate Initiative, we create a connected network of innovators, investors, organizations, and government leaders across South and Southeast Asia to design and deliver programs to advance inclusive solutions in the waste management sector.
Morning Light is supporting a group of early-stage entrepreneurs in Battle Creek, Michigan. As a community-sourced incubator, we aim to support a collective vision: A thriving small business economy characterized by an increasing number of successful small businesses and job growth.
Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator (OPPA) is building a social innovation ecosystem to address ocean plastic leakage within Indonesia. Through various program activities, we are creating a collaborative network for innovative solutions to address challenges in the local waste management system and recycling sector.
Space Apps is the world’s largest global hackathon, engaging thousands of citizens across the globe to use NASA’s open data to build innovative solutions to challenges we face on Earth and in space. Every year, we organize Space Apps hackathons in 200+ cities around the globe. Since 2012, SecondMuse has spearheaded this work in partnership with NASA.
Food System Vision Prize
The Food System Vision Prize was an invitation for companies, communities, governments, cooperatives, partnerships, NGOs and universities across the globe to develop a Vision of the regenerative and nourishing food system that they aspire to create by the year 2050. Together with The Rockefeller Foundation and IDEO, we seek to amplify the conversation on the state and the future of the world’s many food systems.
Kinective was a community-sourced incubator in Southwest Florida aimed at growing the local economy through the development of innovation and an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our program focused on scaling small businesses in Fort Myers, with support from local enterprises and nonprofit entrepreneurs.
Futureworks NYC was a hardware manufacturing incubator aimed at helping emerging and existing manufacturers adopt advanced technologies and increase local production in New York City. Our program provided key support services for businesses to start, grow, and thrive across the city’s five boroughs.
Through the Breakout Accelerator, we supported 10 entrepreneurs in rural and regional Australia to grow their impact. Based out of the iconic Old Beechworth Gaol in Victoria, we ushered in a new generation of businesses from rural and regional Victoria and southern New South Wales. Our program was co-developed by the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship.
Supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) innovationXchange (iXc), Frontier Incubators program aimed to improve the support available to social enterprises in the region. Working directly with a cohort of incubators and accelerators, we created a community that connects leaders from 25 incubators and accelerators across 15 countries in the region.
Tech to Protect
The Tech to Protect Challenge was a coding challenge designed to help emergency responders in the U.S. meet their mission to serve and protect the community. Our program is a federally-funded initiative led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and its Public Safety Communications Research division. Together with the RedFlash Group, we organized the challenges at 10 in-person locations across the U.S.
In partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), our BigApps initiative focused on finding the best blockchain solutions to NYC government agency problems and inefficiencies. SecondMuse catalyzed the NYC blockchain community with a public-private partnership innovation challenge, fostering long-term success in a volatile and unpredictable industry.
Seafood Innovation Project
Seafood Innovation Project was an accelerator program focused on building the future economy of Indonesia’s sustainable seafood sector. Organized in collaboration with Australian DFAT, our program supported six high-impact innovators that successfully raised $2 million in investment to help grow their sustainable seafood ventures.
Founded in 2009 with NASA, USAID, Nike Inc., and the US Department of State, LAUNCH sourced the most promising innovations from around the world and provided them with the resources they needed to solve the world’s most complex challenges. We mobilized 1,000 leaders to accelerate 111 innovators addressing 13 challenge areas.
The Frontier Innovators Program was an initiative of the Australian DFAT iXc. We designed and implemented the program to promote the work of select social enterprises or ‘innovators’ by providing them with opportunities for peer learning, grants, guide, in-person trainings, and customised technical assistance to grow their impact.
Out of the Blue Box Challenge
Out of the Blue Box Challenge was organized in collaboration with Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and University of Queensland to find innovative solutions to recover Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Our Challenge awarded two winners with grants and support to implement their solutions.
Legends was an initiative aimed at promoting healthy eating and better nutrition in the Pacific region through the use of immersive storytelling technologies. In partnership with the Australian DFAT iXc and the LAUNCH Food platform, we implemented two pilot programs in selected primary schools in Tonga and Fiji, exploring how immersive technologies can be used to reconnect children with traditional foods.
Supported by the Australian DFAT iXc, our Aquacelerator advanced the global adoption and scale of the ten most inspiring ideas that surfaced during the Blue Economy Challenge. We sought to revolutionize the aquaculture industry and develop local economies across the Indian Ocean region by connecting inspiring innovators with the networks capable of turning their ideas into reality.
Blue Economy Challenge
The Blue Economy Challenge sourced innovative solutions to rethink aquaculture inputs, design, and products in way that meets human sustainability and development through long-term ecological sustainability. In partnership with Australian DFAT iXc, our Challenge awarded ten winners with prize money and opportunity to further develop and implement their solutions through our Aquacelerator program.
10-YEAR IMPACT REPORT
In 2018, celebrating a decade in the field, we published our 10-year Impact Report. We reflected on our work and took a step back to have conversations with 10 startups, innovators and government leaders to hear about The SecondMuse Way in their words.Download SecondMuse 10-Year Impact Report
The State of Entrepreneurship In The U.S. 2020 Study
The 2020 SecondMuse State of Entrepreneurship in the U.S. survey, conducted in partnership with Ipsos, explored qualitative and quantitative research of more than 200 U.S. entrepreneurs and was conducted amid the global pandemic and national movement for racial justice. It finds that, despite a strong desire for racial equity and a level playing field, respondents overwhelmingly believe the U.S. economic system favors entrepreneurs from certain geographies and backgrounds at the expense of broad swaths of Americans.Download the Executive Summary