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Signature Programs

Signature Programs are multiyear programmatic initiatives uniquely or primarily supported by the Nielsen Foundation in collaboration with strategic partners. The Nielsen Foundation currently has two signature programs.

The Nielsen Foundation and Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. collaborated to launch the TechDiversity Accelerator in early 2018, a program specifically dedicated to fostering the growth of diverse tech startups across the country and around the world.

To be considered as a candidate for the TechDiversity Accelerator program, companies must be in an early development stage and 51% owned, controlled and operated by people of color (including Black, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Latino or Latina, Native or other minority entrepreneurs), women, veterans, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities or combination thereof. Through this accelerator programming, cohort companies receive executive coaching, comprehensive mentoring from industry experts, strategic introductions, and preparation for investor meetings — all culminating in Demo Day, which is a unique opportunity for founders to present their visions to national and international investors, leaders, and press.

In 2022, the Nielsen Foundation expanded support for the TechDiversity Accelerator through a new multi-year grant. For more information on the program, visit Tampa Bay Wave.

Launched in 2018, Discover Data is a 21st Century education initiative powered by the Nielsen Foundation in collaboration with Discovery Education and the National AfterSchool Association. The program introduces students across the country to relatable, real-world applications of data and the professionals using that data to innovate for the future.

Discover Data was designed to increase awareness about the power of data and data science; inspire students to pursue data-driven careers; and connect youth with career role models. Educators and programs can visit the Discover Data website to access resources for classrooms and after-school programs.

The classroom activities support educators and volunteers as they demonstrate how data can be used to answer authentic questions and solve real-world problems. Below are some of the resources available on the website:

  • Environmental Justice: Students use data to gain an understanding of the effects of climate change, while also learning more about environmental justice to enable a more equitable world.
  • Access to Health Services: Students use data to understand ongoing barriers to global healthcare access, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, before coming up with potential solutions to address gaps in healthcare access locally and globally.
  • Social Media and Misinformation: Students use data to understand the power of influencers, uncover the trends of information as it spreads on social media, and brainstorm their own ideas to counteract the dangers of misinformation.

Career profiles about data scientists, sales engineers and innovation analysts showcase the responsibilities and diverse opportunities available when pursuing a data-driven career.

To learn more and access the resources, visit the Discover Data website.