October 14, 2008

How to pitch your social enterprise

JD LasicaI‘m handicapped by not having my MacBook Air, which was stolen yesterday, but here are some notes from Day 2 of the first Social Capital Markets conference at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

At the Pitching in Action session, four organizations gave presentations on social enterprises they’re planning to launch. Each had a compelling story.

Kevin Starr of the Mulago Foundation said investors look at four things in deciding whether to invest in a social enterprise startup:

  • What is the compelling problem you want to solve?
  • Do you have a solution to connect the dots on a path to impact?
  • Do you have a plausible path to go to scale?
  • Do you have the right organization to deliver on your vision? 

BAVC

Ken Ikeda, executive director of the Bay Area Video Coalition here in SF, outlined the prospects for a new venture called FUSE, an online platform and portal to provide digital media training online.

The appeal of FUSE, Ikeda said, is that its short, intense classes last two to three days rather than the weeks or months in schools or other programs. "Most of us don’t want to go back to school," Ikeda said.

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October 13, 2008

How to attract funding for a social enterprise

JD LasicaToday I attended the first Social Capital Markets conference at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The overflowng crowd of 600 attendees filled the four conference rooms on hand. So far, this is one of the best-run first-time conferences I’ve ever attended.

I’m here mostly to get the lay of the land. Ourmedia.org wants to support nonprofits and social change organizations by offering a suite of social media tools for cause campaigns. And SoCap is turning out to be a gathering where both the wealth of sessions and the hallway connections are equally valuable.

During today’s session on Pitching Your Organization, panelists offered tips on attracting seed funding for your social enterprise venture:

• "open with an eye-catching stat," not just a generic statistic about the size of the marketplace

• very high up in your pitch: what problem are you solving?

• who’s involved in your effort who’s impressive in this space?

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October 12, 2008

Social media tools for causes

Education in Iraq

JD LasicaSeth (last name unknown) at the Berkman Center blogs: Social media tools for causes.

Lately, I’ve been using flickr, twitter, and mailman as tools for my favorite cause. So far I’ve seen some neat results from using these that I don’t see a lot of others doing. I will document some of the ways that I have been using these, and hopefully others will follow suit. …

Cross-posted to Socialmedia.biz

September 19, 2008

Amazee launches network for collective action

amazee

JD LasicaDania Gerhardt, co-founder and COO of Amazee — whom I spotted at TechCrunch50 last week — passes along word of the collaboration site’s US launch: Amazee launches network for ‘collective action.’

Amazee, the first social collaboration network, today formally launched its free platform designed to make it easier for any individual or group anywhere to initiate and collaborate on public and private projects. Amazee is the first online platform to combine standard social networking tools, online collaboration management tools, and the ability for project initiators to promote their projects, offer sponsorships and sell advertising.

"Amazee is a more evolved social networking site devoted to the joy of
collective action and designed to empower individuals and small groups to launch global initiatives," said Gregory Gerhardt, CEO of Amazee, which is headquartered in Zurich and has an office in San Francisco.

"Activism is part of the culture of the Internet and is fueling the rapid growth of social networking. Amazee was built to channel this activism and provides powerful tools to help project initiators organize, collaborate on, track, promote, and fund projects of any size with participants from anywhere around the world."

Key features of Amazee

Social networking tools include member profiles, invitations, messaging and newsfeeds.

Collaboration Management features include to-do list, calendar, discussion forum, write-board, voting, member right management and file sharing.

Site Promotion is enabled by a shareable project home page accessible by anyone on the Internet without an Amazee membership, making it easy for project teams to drive new members to a site via all the tools available on the Internet, including other social networking sites, email campaigns, media outreach, and advertising. 

Project Funding is an important and unique part of Amazee, providing several built-in mechanisms for projects to raise money.

September 12, 2008

Causecast: celeb-powered philanthropy


Support nonprofits with Causecast from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaHere’s a 6-minute video interview I conducted with Ryan Scott, founder and CEO of Causecast, on the day of its launch, Sept. 10, 2008, just after Scott’s presentation at TechCrunch50.

As the site’s About page says, Causecast empowers people who want to make change. It’s a platform and social network where media, philanthropy, social networking, entertainment and education converge to serve a greater purpose. Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Matthew Modene and Jenny McCarthy are among the Hollywood celebrities who have pitched in on behalf of a cause for the Santa Monica-based outfit. But, of course, regular folks are the engine that drives Causecast.

Good stuff. I’ll be keeping an eye on its progress over the coming months.

Watch the video on Vimeo
Watch the video in H.264 QuickTime on Ourmedia
Download the original video from Archive.org

Cross-posted to Socialmedia.biz

August 14, 2008

Social action face to face

JD LasicaSpent Wednesday night at a new event in San Francisco called awareness2action that drew 40-50 people to the DragonBar in San Francisco’s North Beach. Put together by uber-networker Sundeep Ahuja, the gathering’s objective was "to connect with others leveraging the web to convert awareness to action, and share best practices."

Among the folks I met:

• David Levy, co-founder and VP of Strategic Account Management, SocialVibe

• Rahim Fazal, CEO and co-founder, Involver ("turn your video into an interactive application")

• Kristin Cunningham, eBay Giving Works and Cause-related Programs (Later: See my video interview with Kristen)

• Austin Choi, Legal Counsel, Kiva

• Krista Van Tassel, Marketing and Communications Director, NetImpact

• Hans Chung, co-founder, MokuGift ("plant a tree as a gift")

Plus, some folks from Room to Read, World of Good (an eBay community), Better World Books, CauseCast, Change.org and VCs from Greylock and DFJ.

Cross-posted to Socialmedia.biz