Jul. 5, 2017 9:20 am

NeedsList just won a $25,000 investment following its beta launch

The refugee aid platform scores another win as one of the two winners from Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Village Capital’s fintech accelerator.

126 pairs of shoes donated through NeedsList to refugees in Chios, Greece, in Summer 2017.

(Photo via

Right off the heels of its appropriately timed beta launch during the celebration of World Refugee Day in Philly, NeedsList has been announced to be one of the two startups awarded $25,000 investments from its participation in Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ and the Village Capital’s fintech accelerator.

The 12-week program just finished up last Thursday, after which the eight startups that took part in the accelerator got to stretch their legs outside at the PHL Innovation Picnic (which ended up raising $10,000 for three local tech education nonprofits) while sharing a bit with our sister site Philly on what the future of our city’s fintech ecosystem is looking like.

Check out that full recap here.

NeedsList, the online platform that connects refugee aid workers with everyday people who want to donate finances and supplies, was one of the two social impact-focused startups for the fintech accelerator. Amanda Levinson, cofounder and COO of NeedsList, said in an email that the startup was given the top ranking out of the total eight, based on nine indicators that the companies in Village Capital’s accelerator used to decide the eventual winners.

Everything seems to be on the up-and-up with NeedsList and its mission: it received a good amount of recognition from Mayor Jim Kenney on World Refugee Day (along with the announcement that Philly-based tech companies WebLinc and Blue Cadet would be partnering with the Nationalities Service Center to connect refugees to tech jobs).

Not to mention how the platform has found a solid footing with its beta launch, having amassed 126 pairs of shoes, 145 reusable sanitary napkins and 150 packs of diapers from donors just during its first week. (CEO and cofounder Natasha Freidus has more on those details in a recent Medium post, including a lesson on how sometimes for ventures like theirs, “less really is more.”)

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There’s no rest for the weary though as Levinson said she and Freidus are now on their way to France and Switzerland where they’ll be spending the month with other startups from around the world as part of MassChallenge’s 2017 accelerator program.


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