October 19, 2020
Fast Forward Demo Day Showcases Nonprofit Innovation
Shannon Farley and Kevin Barenblat co-founded Fast Forward, one of our accelerator partners, with a deep commitment to tech nonprofits and the social entrepreneurs who created them. Throughout 2020, they remained dedicated to those innovators using technology to solve our most pressing challenges.
When the pandemic prevented Fast Forward from gathering social entrepreneurs in person, they pivoted their 2020 Accelerator to a virtual program, bringing together tech nonprofits from around the United States to virtually meet for workshops, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. To showcase the work of these entrepreneurs, Fast Forward transformed their traditional Demo Day experience into a virtual Demo Day 2020, giving over 1,000 viewers from across the world a chance to learn about the important work of the 2020 cohort.
I have been looking forward to Demo Day since Fast Forward first introduced the summer 2020 Accelerator cohort. After attending Demo Day last year, I felt inspired by the pitches of the tech nonprofit leaders who had worked all summer strengthening solutions to important issues. This year was no different. Hearing these pitches left me energized and excited to see the growing impact this year’s tech nonprofits cohort will continue to have.
Earlier this summer, Foundation board members and CTIA staff had the opportunity to participate in micro mentoring with the 2020 Accelerator cohort. It was a heartening experience speaking with these teams one-on-one, and I was looking forward to seeing the growth they made during the final weeks of the program. The pitches at Demo Day demonstrated the tremendous value of Fast Forward’s program had on accelerating the impact of these tech nonprofits.
These Fast Forward entrepreneurs are using wireless to solve real issues. Now, more than ever, the power of wireless to keep us connected and address pressing matters is on display. Here are some highlights from Demo Day 2020:
- Ameelio: Co-Founder Zo Orchingwa pitched Ameelio, an app connecting incarcerated individuals with their families through free letter-sending. Ameelio has sent over 45,000 letters to date.
- Hopebound: Founder Christina Guilbeau is working to increase accessibility to mental health support for underserved youth through Hopebound, teletherapy that connects kids with clinical psychology grad students earning licensing hours. This gives these students free, in-depth and ongoing mental health support.
- Movers and Shakers: Co-Founder Glenn Cantave showcased Movers and Shakers. They are using augmented reality to address underrepresented voices, writing Black, brown, female and LGBTQIA+ narratives into American curricula and public spaces.
The Foundation is proud to partner with Fast Forward and support the innovative application of wireless technology for good. I am looking forward to seeing the amazing work the 2020 Accelerator cohort will do!
The Foundation partners with nonprofit and mission-driven enterprises that accelerate tech social entrepreneurs’ work.