NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The evening of April 22 will feature big ideas and game-changing investments as social entrepreneurs compete for funding in the United Way’s “The Pitch” event.

Susan Hoff, the Chief Impact Officer for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, says the winner of the $250,000 in funding will boil down to which entrepreneur can give the best pitch for their bold idea to strengthen North Texas.

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“We are seeking out and finding those brightest and best with those new ideas and impactful solutions,” Hoff explains. “That is what ‘The Pitch’ and our Social Innovation Accelerator is all about.”

The United Way Social Innovation Accelerator encourages entrepreneurs to think of new solution to systemic issues in the areas of education, income, and health in North Texas. It was established to provide those entrepreneurs with the critical resources like funding, mentorship and community connection needed to grow their ventures.

Five local social entrepreneurs will present their ideas at ‘The Pitch’ this evening. Each finalist will pitch their idea on how to tackle a social issue in DFW to a panel of judges.

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Some of the social issues this year’s finalists are tackling include ways to give people with criminal records a second chance, ways to connect teachers with supplies that will help educate the next generation, and ways to help the homeless dwell with dignity.

The novel and big ideas developed through the program, Hoff says, really do have a significant impact on North Texas.

“Since 2013, we have invested in 54 of these social entrepreneurs across the community, and collectively they have turned that investment, both of money from United Way as well as social capital, like volunteer support, into almost $30 million to drive their works,” Hoff says. “So, this is a really big deal.”

‘The Pitch’ is available to live stream for free. It starts at 6:00 p.m. and tickets granting access to the event are available online.

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Those that tune in to the event will get to vote for their favorite idea in the “Audience Choice” category, where the winner will receive $25,000.

Madison Sawyer