Snapshot: The American Heart Association


Business Accelerators

Nationwide campaigns to scale innovation that addresses health inequities.
Markets: Tech, Social Enterprise, Non-Profits, & HBCUs

The American Heart Association EmPOWERED to Serve - The Multicultural Division

The American Heart Association mission is “to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives”.  No singular institution or organization can be effective at fixing the multitude of challenges broken systems have unloaded on our communities, nor should they.   In October 2018, the AHA launched the inaugural EmPOWERED To Serve Summit in Washington, DC.  The American Heart Association convened a myriad of partners from across the country to build upon the progress made to create a "culture of health" in diverse and under-resourced communities across the United States. The goal of the summit was to "EMPOWER" their partners and alliances to collaborate and create tailored solutions for their local community that will improve health and wellbeing. As part of the summit, the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator (UHA) was launched. The AHA recognized that the solutions to community needs most often reside or are “born” in the community through individuals that, at heart, are seeking to make lives better. 

Entre-SLAM, a brand Story marketing Agency, Delivers a Turn-Key Experience

PURPOSE: invite entrepreneurs to change the world

Our role was to create an experience that would accomplish three major priorities:

  1. Invite innovators in underrepresented areas to step up and take on challenges in their backyard

  2. Increase the affinity of the AHA and EmPOWERED to Serve brands in these markets

  3. Scale innovation through leveraging the AHA network and grant dollars

Organizations that Have applied

The Urban Health Accelerator purposely included entrepreneurs who represent all categories of the business eco-system

We created a turn-key experience that included building a marketing plan for the Urban Health Accelerator that was in alignment with the overall AHA brand strategy. We worked with the internal health strategy, branding, and communications teams and managed the rollout of invitations to the regional AHA communities. Working with the AHA Health Sciences team, we vetted all of the candidates and the potential of their business models to achieve their stated objectives. Each UHA featured teams that ranged from those that were in ‘ideation’ mode to most that had already experienced business traction.

Once the teams were selected, Entre-SLAM worked directly with each to help them complete two critical phases: complete an intensive internal discovery intensive and strengthen the structural integrity of the brand. Starting with the founders, Christa worked to help them hone in on articulating a clear and compelling purpose and mission for their brands. This process also included completing a customer discovery course that challenged the founders to know not just demographics but be crystal clear on both the psychographics and behavioral motivations of their ideal customer. Then using design thinking methodologies, each team was challenged to break their proposed concepts. Through prototyping and beta testing, all groups experience reactions to their ideas in real time from the communities that will be impacted by them.

Different from a pitch presentation, all teams were groomed to take all of that they had discovered and distill everything down to a 5-minute story.

Big Results and Big Plans for the Future

As a result of the successful launch of the 2017 Urban Health Accelerator, which distributed $30,000 in grants, the UHA has attracted additional support and funders who want to partner with the AHA to make a difference. That incredible energy has increased the numbers of grants to more than $300,000.

Real Impact in Communities

Maria Rose Belding, founder of the MEANS Database, increased her food rescue program from 10,000lbs to 50,000lbs in a year. That year, her work was recognized by CNN as she was named a Top 10 Honoree of their CNN Heroes Program.

Leah Lizarondo, founder of 412 Food Rescue, increased her food rescue program from 1,000,000 lbs to 5,000,000lbs in a year. She also expanded her mission to three additional cities. Leah was a finalist for the Fast Company’s 'Ideas that Change the World’ campaign.

Dr. Francoise Marvel, founder of Corrie Health, has attracted major partners such as Apple Inc., Johns Hopkins University and Abbott Pharmaceuticals to join with her in expanding her mobile app and patient recovery program for former heart attack victims.

and more…

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The American Heart Association
Founded: 1924 Loc: Dallas, TX

With more than 20 million volunteers and supporters, the American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting cardiovascular diseases.

Typical Timeline for Implementation

Pre-launch activities:
Accelerator & Showcase Night Training
6-8 weeks

What Entre-SLAM Delivered for THE AHA

A new program/asset that the AHA could leverage to build new inroads to innovation communities and attract new funding opportunities. Also, Entre-SLAM managed:

  • The Showcase Expo Design

  • Judging Criteria
    (in alignment with AHA Goals)

  • Media Representation

  • Event Design and Production

  • Stage Design and Production

  • Video Production and Design

  • Website Design and Support

  • Setting Project and Community Impact goals with the winners and monitoring their progress for 60-90 days after the event.

What Entre-SLAM Delivered to the AHA-UHA Candidates

A blended e-learning, individualized coaching, and mentoring curriculum that included:

  • Online Courses

  • Workbooks

  • Digital Journaling

  • One-on-One Coaching

  • Team Coaching

  • Media Preparation

  • Customer Discovery

  • Product/Service Prototyping and Beta Testing

  • Access to Industry Leaders and Global Brands for Additional Mentoring and Exposure

  • Brand Storytelling & Stage Preparation