• Align

    The alignment phase serves to generate interest in the current FastFWD initiative by identifying the most pressing general challenge sectors within the City as well as synthesizing insights from City officials, industry leaders and academic experts around those sectors.

    This is achieved by conducting high level interviews with top City officials, including the Mayor, Deputy Mayors and Department heads, and sector research conducted by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.

    This stage also includes Zero Stage, an intensive workshop on problem identification and systems thinking. At Zero Stage, City stakeholders collaborate with industry professionals and academic experts to generate transformative ideas, reframe challenges, and develop shared goals to accelerate positive change in urban environments, using Philadelphia as a focal point.
  • Interview & Synthesize

    FastFWD conducts a second round of interviews within the identified challenge sectors to compare their respective market opportunities. The result is a decision to begin a deep dive on one of the sectors based on its potential for scale and innovation.

    The aim of this deepdive is to disaggregate the component parts within the challenge sector being pursued in order to generate a full landscape of the challenge’s leverage points for innovative solutions.
  • Research

    Once a challenge sector has been disaggregated, FastFWD conducts intensive desk research to add quantitative weight and validation to each of the sectors' components.
  • Convene

    After the interview and research steps are complete, FastFwd hosts a convening of top innovators and stakeholders from industry, government and academia to generate partnership and alignment on the the challenges identified through the deepdive.
  • Open Call

    The culmination of the Identify and Define phase is the generation of an open call for solutions to the specific challenges identified in the deep dive. The challenges are packaged as market-based opportunities that allow innovators to leverage their domain expertise, propose their prototypes and iterate with the city buyer at hand.

    For-profit startups as well as innovation teams within existing companies will have the opportunity to answer an open call for solutions.
  • Select Innovations

    The strongest teams and most scalable, impactful proposals are selected for participation in a social impact accelerator program, managed by GoodCompany Ventures.

    Applications will be selected based on the following 5 schemas: Innovation, implementation, Impact, City Engagement and Entrepreneur.
  • Accelerate

    The accelerator, driven by the proven GoodCompany Ventures curriculum and peer model, maximizes social entrepreneurs' potential for market penetration, social impact and scale. Selected entrepreneurs have access to world class mentorship and subject matter expertise, and receive $10,000 in non-equity stipends, selective introductions to an international network of private and venture based investors, and inclusion in highly synergistic innovation space.
  • Existing Teams

    Not all solutions to urban challenges are forged at the startup level. FastFWD also realizes the impact potential in fostering partnerships and deals between existing innovation teams within larger organizations with one another as well as with city governments. Therefore, FastFWD looks to source and accelerate these type of opportunities.
  • Solve

    Accelerator graduates have an opportunity to pitch directly to the City of Philadelphia, business leaders, and members of the venture and angel investment communities during showcase events held multiple times throughout the year. Top graduates will be awarded pilot contracts and/or early stage funding.
  • Replicate & Share

    Successful solutions will be pitched to other cities in annual symposia and national demonstration events. The FastFWD team will collect data, evaluate and report findings with an eye toward sharing best practices and models.