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Planting a Seed with KERNEL

Kernel OriginalUnited Way of Tarrant County is excited to launch KERNEL, a new social innovation fund established to take on social issues in Tarrant County.   Tarrant County is a great place to live with over 1.9 million residents. The City of Fort Worth experienced the highest population growth in the entire United States from 2000-2013. This rapid growth brings an increase in specific challenges to our community, which reaches across all demographics and backgrounds.

United Way is looking for creative new ways to solve real problems facing our community in the areas of education, income and health.   There are many great ideas out there waiting for a chance to be heard and an opportunity to thrive. KERNEL will give problem solvers a chance to pitch their innovative ideas to serious investors for funding of at least $10,000.

Special consideration will be given to proposals that address one of 14 areas of need, such as summer learning loss and senior hunger. United Way of Tarrant County will work with the grant recipient(s) to help them execute their plans and provide measurable results. There are 4 ways to get involved:

  • APPLY – Nonprofits, businesses, civic organizations and entrepreneurs are all invited to propose solutions to community challenges and compete for a minimum of $10,000.
  • INVEST – Become a part of helping the community by building the social innovation fund and helping choose the winning proposal at the KERNEL Pitch Event.
  • MENTOR – Since KERNEL participants may be entrepreneurs or new social innovators, they may need mentoring from experts in key areas.
  • VOLUNTEER – Volunteers are needed throughout the process of finding innovative ideas, reviewing proposals and assisting at the KERNEL Pitch Event.

KERNEL is designed to plant a seed that will help new social innovation grow, so only new investments from people who specifically choose to join KERNEL will be involved. No current or past United Way donations will be a part of this effort.

July 29 – United Way will sponsor a panel workshop at the inaugural Entrepreneur’s Summit hosted by Fort Worth Business. We will have a booth at the Summit to provide more information about KERNEL.

August 3 – United Way will hold a KERNEL information session from 10 to 11 a.m. at United Way of Tarrant County located on the 2nd floor the Mercado Building, 1500 N. Main Street, Fort Worth, TX 76164.

October 27 – The KERNEL Pitch Event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Investors and invited guests will hear presentations and choose the proposal(s) that will receive KERNEL funding. Location TBD.

For more information, or to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply, visit