And that’s a wrap! Our second annual Social Innovation Hack, focused on finding solutions to alleviate global poverty, went off without a hitch thanks to our speakers, mentors, judges and of course, awesome volunteers.
What happened at the Social Innovation Hack
This year’s hack was just 2 days, so participants had 18 hours (onsite) to work on their social enterprise ideas. Their accomplishments during the short time span was impressive. See below for a recap.
Saturday, November 11
- Following the morning kickoff, participants selected ideas/solutions that were submitted prior to the event, formed teams around those ideas and started working.
- Jean Paul Laurent, Founder of the Unspoken Smiles Foundation spoke about validating ideas and provided tactics.
- In the afternoon, Alejandro Crawford, Founder of RebelBase, walked participants through things to consider when building a business model.
- Afterwards, mentors Karen Schlesinger of FounderTherapy, Kate Rushton of OpenIDEO and Melissa Ferere were available to help participants as they continued to work on their solution.
- Later in the evening, Jana Holt shared the criteria that judges were going to use to evaluate their presentation on Sunday evening.
Sunday, November 12
- At 9AM, participants started filtering in, grabbed breakfast and continued working on their social enterprises.
- Mentors Iyanna Halilou of Anita Borg and Edwin Broni-Mensah of GiveMeTap came in mid-morning and worked with participants.
- Teams practiced pitching their social enterprises and afterwards, worked on finessing their social enterprises and pitches.
- The evening concluded with teams pitching to our impressive judges: Amber Stryker of The Estee Lauder Companies, Karolina Walecik of BlackRock and Mia Overall of Overall Strategy.
- First place, OnBoard, and second place, Gotham Changemakers, went home with monetary and business consulting prizes.
Meet the teams
OnBoard unlocks the potential of under-resourced communities by matching their assets with the needs of companies entering the local neighborhood. We do this by:
- First assessing what the company needs,
- Then mapping the assets of individuals in the community through proactive relationship building with local stakeholders,
- And finally matching local residents to incoming company jobs.
Gotham Changemakers is a scalable, hands-on entrepreneurship training program geared toward generating upward mobility in communities where established job markets either don’t exist or marginalized groups face barriers to entry. The company will launch an inaugural, tuition-free program for high school students in NYC with a vision to expand internationally.
Conflict Couture contributes to rebuilding local economies in developing countries by connecting American consumers with high-quality, fashional products produced in regions recovering from conflict. Furthermore, Conflict Couture invests a portion of its profits back into the community through partnerships with local NGOs and nonprofits working towards poverty alleviation and gender equality in the communities we source from.
CoWo is a data analytics company that seeks to empower women through connectivity.