Applications Invited for Because Accelerator

Applications Invited for Because Accelerator

Organization: Because International

Apply By: 01 Mar 2022

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About the Organization

In 2007, our founder Kenton Lee traveled to Nairobi, Kenya after graduating college. He lived and worked at a small orphanage with some incredible kids. One day, he was walking down a dusty road with all the kids when he noticed a little girl in a white dress walking next to him. As he looked down at her feet, he was shocked to see how small her shoes were. They were so small that she had to cut open the front of her shoes to let her toes stick out. That was the day that Kenton thought:

  • What if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand its size?
  • What if there was a shoe that could grow?

And the idea for The Shoe That Grows™ was born.

It took Kenton and a group of friends back in their hometown in Idaho more than six years to take this idea and turn it into a reality. But they finally did it; they made The Shoe That Grows—a shoe that grows five sizes and lasts for years.

They started the nonprofit organization Because International™ to serve as the structure to get The Shoe That Grows to as many kids as possible who are in desperate need of footwear to protect their feet. This was always meant to be a small hobby for Kenton and his friends. It was something they were passionate about, but they never dreamed it would be the worldwide cause and movement that it is today.

About the Fellowship

Building on what we’ve learned from developing The Shoe That Grows, the Because Accelerator is designed to help entrepreneurs take their innovative products to the next level.

This free program has four primary components.


  • A 10-week, online curriculum covers topics common to startups and illustrated by Because International's experience with our own social enterprise startup, The Shoe That Grows.


  • At the beginning of the 10-week cohort, each entrepreneur is matched with an experienced coach who will mentor them during the program and beyond.


  • Entrepreneurs network with members of their cohort, alumni of the Because Accelerator and the Because Advisor Network—a group of subject matter experts with connections worldwide.


  • We've linked entrepreneurs to thousands of dollars in funding over the last two years. At the end of the cohort, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to compete in a pitch event for a cash prize.

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