Our First-Ever Social Impact Pitch Night: What We Learned—and How You Can Get Involved

Net Impact NYC recently held a pitch night with four new startups working in the social impact space. Each startup’s business model relied on a web-based platform to serve as a virtual connector for very specific communities. Fcancer and Agora for Good both use online platforms to connect donors to nonprofits, though each takes a different approach in providing value and communities served. Eat Offbeat and NaTakallam seek to empower refugees through employment opportunities and help them harness skills that these populations already possess. Here’s more details on these awesome organizations–and ways to get involved:

As it’s name implies, FCancer’s mission is to fight cancer. Instead of collecting dollars for to do so, the organization helps individuals donate skills to support nonprofits working in this space. Designers, photographers and animators rank among the volunteers who have donated work hours to support the work of nonprofits such as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Agora for Good takes a similar approach, but instead of just matching potential donors to projects, it works to provide the donor with added value in terms of promotion of nonprofits recommended by experts in the field and metrics that marry purpose and performance.

Eat Offbeat appealed to the crowd’s palate as well as their sense of social justice. The organization employees refugees to cook and deliver meals whose origins are ‘off the beaten path’ (think Nepalese and Eritrean). Perhaps the most effective testament to the chef’s effectiveness came from the audience that night – an NINYC member who had dined on food provided by Eat Offbeat and deemed it delicious.

NaTakallam, or Arabic for Let’s Talk, had also found an elegant solution to employ refugees, specifically Syrians, who lack work visas once displaced out of their home country. This platform connects students of Arabic and native speakers for a conversation hour. A smart phone is all that is needed, and for those who lack this, then partnering nonprofits provide the required connection.

Each startup presented virtual-based solutions to real world problems. Each used technology to lower information barriers, make connections among disparate communities, and potentially even, as the founder from NaTakallam mused, spark a romance.

Inspired by the great work these organizations are doing? They’re all looking for people like you to get involved. Here’s how:

  • Fcancer is seeking folks who can volunteer skills—-by the hour—to cancer charities. Sign up to volunteer here: https://fcancer.org/volunteer/signup
  • NaTakallam is looking for volunteers to help support them with pro-bono legal advice, web development and graphic design, and outreach to universities with a particularly strong Arabic, Middle East or Humanitarian Relief departments. Know any friends working on their Arabic? Have them sign up for Conversation sessions with us! For more information, visit: www.NaTakallam.com
  • Agora for Good is about to invite a new cohort of nonprofits to join, and extending a special invitation for the Net Impact NYC community to nominate nonprofits to our platform. Add a nonprofit you love to their list: http://goo.gl/forms/7gursaAvfx
  • Subscribe to Eat Offbeat’s newsletter at www.eatoffbeat.com and place an order today to help Eat Offbeat create employment opportunities and contribute to changing the narrative around refugees!