Pioneering Accelerator to Drive Use of Innovative Technology to Support Nonprofit Sector

NEW YORK, NY, Jul 17, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Today, FEGS Health and Human Services, one of the largest and most diversified health and human service organizations in the country, and its subsidiary company, All Sector Technology Group, a provider of advanced technology solutions to the nonprofit sector since 1998, announced the launch of Center4. This New York City accelerator will drive technology innovation to strengthen the capacity of nonprofit health and human service agencies to deliver high-quality, effective and cost-efficient services, improving the lives of the people served.

Center4 is a social enterprise named for the emerging fourth sector — the convergence of the private, public and nonprofit sectors to facilitate innovation and investment for social good. Scheduled to open this fall in Hudson Square, New York, Center4 will offer the following key features:

        
        --  An accelerator that will provide investment, mentorship and space for
            entrepreneurs and technology innovators to repurpose existing
            technology products and develop new products specifically to serve the
            needs of the nonprofit health and human services sector

        --  A meeting place to convene and spark conversation, partnerships and
            innovation among nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurs,
            investors, technology innovators and representatives from government
            and the philanthropic community

        --  Workshops and seminars with leading technology and innovation
            influencers

        --  Resources for enterprise-wide support for nonprofits (HR Services,
            Human Capital/Staffing Property Management, Procurement, Finance,
            Quality Management/Compliance, among others)

“The nonprofit sector represents a major part of New York City’s economy and workforce, is essential to ensuring quality of life, and provides critical services to meet the diverse needs of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are facing poverty, unemployment, health crises, mental illness, family violence and other challenges,” said Ira Machowsky, executive vice president of FEGS. “With three million people on Medicaid, one in five households on food stamps and unemployment close to 10 percent in New York City, the needs and challenges are significant. As funding becomes increasingly constrained, nonprofits that can deliver services with cost efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability will retain their competitive edge and prosper as leading health and human service organizations.”

Michael Davis, president and CEO of AllSector Technology Group, added, “This new venture is a natural extension of AllSector’s and FEGS’ long-standing commitment to advancing the technology and infrastructure capacity of nonprofit health and human service organizations, and leverages ‘fourth sector’ thinking by applying effective business models to benefit social good. Nonprofits that are early adopters of emerging technologies and innovation will be best positioned for the future.”

Machowsky and Davis also announced that Center4 will be supported by a “blue ribbon” Advisory Board, which is currently being formed. The Advisory Board will include highly regarded executives in technology, as well as potential investors and leadership from the nonprofit sector, government and the philanthropic community. Among the first members are:

        
        --  Brian Cohen, New York Angels' chairman and first investor in Pinterest
        --  Lee Barba, former chairman and CEO of thinkorswim Group Inc. and
            active venture investor
        --  Rafi Musher, founder and CEO of Stax Inc. and Stax Development Corp.
        --  Jonathan Bowles, executive director of Center for an Urban Future
        --  Lisa Philip, vice president of strategic philanthropy and director of
            GrantCraft for the Foundation Center
        --  Tara Walpert Levy, managing director of ads marketing of Google and
            member of FEGS' Board of Directors
        --  Michael Preston, professor at Columbia University Business School
            Entrepreneurship Program and member of FEGS' Board of Directors

On joining Center4′s Advisory Board, Cohen stated, “Accelerators are springing up in New York City and across the country that are supporting the creation of innovative technologies. Unfortunately, none of these accelerators are laser focused on the nonprofit sector. The promise of Center4 truly excites and inspires me. With 42,000 nonprofits in New York City employing 500,000 people, the nonprofit community is a major market where the use of new technologies and services will allow organizations to operate with enhanced efficiency and greater cost savings. The increased use of technology is an obvious solution in this underserved market. Center4 will provide thought leadership in correcting this imbalance through educational programming and an all-encompassing startup accelerator that will drive technology into this space as never before. I am honored and look forward to the many contributions Center4 will make to the for-profit and nonprofit worlds in New York City and across the nation.”

Full article can be found here

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