Diversity & Inclusion
Apps / Urban development

Delaware can find a ‘fountain of youth’ in Accelerate Delaware

The organization, which is backed by the duPont-led Longwood Foundation, hopes to keep college students from leaving the state.

Screenshots of the Accelerate Delaware app, currently in production. (Courtesy image)

The News Journal recently published an editorial entitled “Delaware needs to find a fountain of youth,” and as much as we’d like to say that it’s true, we think that the fountain of youth has already been found in the forces behind Accelerate Delaware.
Earlier this month, nonprofit initiative Accelerate Delaware held a stakeholder breakfast at the Sheraton. Issues that affect millennials were brought up. There was a focus on brain drain, the phenomena when college students attend school in the area only to leave after graduation. Accelerate Delaware Executive Director Kia Ervin mentioned many initiatives the organization is taking on to pave the way to a promising future for a community of young people in the state.
“You see a mass exodus at the SEPTA/Amtrak station after five o’clock,” said Ervin in reference to the young workforce in Wilmington. The organization wants to give them a reason to stay.
Ervin hopes to plan a whole slew of events and programs with her team to give young professionals a reason to stick around after work, the goal is a more well-rounded experience where the target population can truly live, work and play in the state.
Accelerate Delaware, an effort that started in 2014 and launched as an independent nonprofit last year, is funded the Longwood Foundation, helmed by Thère duPont, brother to Ben duPont. These brothers have been known for their progressive views on the future of Delaware’s economy. The group is about “remembering traditions while inspiring change,” which sounds very First State-friendly.
Accelerate Delaware is just one of the initiatives that spun out of a group of stakeholders working to rethink Delaware’s economy, a journey we chronicled in our recent Delaware Innovation Week 2016 magazine cover story.
With the help of Zip Code Wilmington, the organization is currently building an app that focuses on social and professional development for millennials with exclusive invites and promotions for power users. The app will be integrated with popular ridesharing app Uber and mobile payments app Venmo to cover two basic functions for a “night out.”
Why duplicate an initiative when you can get behind a preexisting force that has already harnessed support from so many? The community’s strength lies in the spirit of collaboration, not staggering efforts.

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