Accelerator Challege at Wharton

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is launching a new Analytics Accelerator Challenge on Sept. 5.

The Accelerator Challenge will pair selected startups, nonprofits, and other companies with Penn/Wharton student teams who will help them tackle a specific marketing analytics problem they are facing.

While companies from all sectors of business are welcome to apply, startups and nonprofits are especially encouraged, as long as they have a designated point person who is able to commit 10 hours per week for four weeks. WCAI will accept up to three winners to participate in the engagements.

The deadline for companies to apply is Sept. 25, and student teams will be assembled and matched with a company by mid-October. The Challenge will culminate with an Analytics Summit on Nov. 17 at the Pennovation Center, where WCAI will offer training, networking and professional development opportunities for all companies who apply to the challenge.

Interested companies can attend a live webinar on Sept. 5 and Sept. 11 at noon, where WCAI will describe the challenge and process in further detail and answer questions.

EducationWorks receives $503,000 grant

EducationWorks, a nonprofit provider of out-of-school, in-school and workforce development programming for young adults, has received a $503,000 grant from the Lenfest Foundation.

The grant will directly support PowerCorpsPHL, a city of Philadelphia AmeriCorps program operated in partnership with EducationWorks that supports the city’s environmental and sustainability initiatives through workforce development and career training for young adults between the ages of 18 and 26, many of whom are returning citizens.

The grant will specifically support the launch of an enhanced program model for PowerCorpsPHL, which will deepen employer partnerships and lengthen the career support available to program participants. With the additional funding, PowerCorpsPHL aims to better prepare participants for a wider range of job opportunities and career pathways that lead to permanent, living wage jobs. Program participants will be able to pursue advanced education and training in one or more of the following areas: green infrastructure, skilled trades, community outreach and leadership development.

New head for United Way’s regional board

J. Gordon Cooney Jr., leader of the global litigation practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, was named chair of the regional Board of Directors for United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), effective July.

Cooney will lead the regional board for a two-year term and succeeds Melinda K. Holman, chairman of Holman Automotive, who served as chair from 2015-2017. Holman will remain on the board as an active member.

A member of UWGPSNJ’s Board of Directors since 2009, Cooney has chaired UWGPSNJ’s Impact Strategy Committee, led the annual campaign, served on the Resource Development Strategy Committee and was recognized as UWGPSNJ’s 2014-15 Volunteer of the Year. He is also a longtime member of United Way’s Tocqueville Society and a tireless advocate for its Impact Fund.

Business Network appoints 2 new staff members

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia recently appointed Fran Lawn, GSI Partners manager, and Alanna Wittet, GSI Partners associate, to SBN’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure staff.

As GSI Partners manager, Lawn brings more than 15 years of experience in developing community education, infrastructure and health programs that provide urban communities innovative solutions to environmental and social challenges in urban communities.

As GSI Partners program associate, Wittet will work to provide organizational and programmatic support for GSI Partners initiative and help to advance the goals and triple bottom-line impact of Green City, Clean Waters, Philadelphia’s innovative green stormwater management plan.

— Compiled by Ayana Jones

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