The stream of impactful innovators continues from Fledge, the conscious company accelerator. In the fifth session of Fledge, the companies seem to continue to raise the bar, topping what are some amazing startups in sessions past.
Of the seven Fledge5 “fledglings”, Evrnu probably has the biggest potential impact. Evrnu makes cotton recyclable. Fifty years ago, the thought of recycling paper was absurd. There was no shortage of trees to make paper. It was easily incinerated in the basement furnace. Today, it’s absurd when paper gets thrown in the trash. Ten years from now, it will be similarly absurd to throw away a t-shirt, pair of jeans, or cotton dress when it gets too worn to wear. While cotton seems abundant and renewable today, it takes over 700 gallons of water to produce the cotton for a single t-shirt, and the cotton crop requires a high intensity of herbicides and pesticides. Just as it is far more efficient to recycle paper, aluminum or steel, the same is true of cotton.
Meanwhile, in another corner of entrepreneurship is the incredible story of Obamastove. Founded by a former teenage refugee from Ethiopia, turned cab driver and most recently Lyft driver in Seattle. Rather than simply remit cash back to his family, he went back to visit Ethiopia, designed an efficient cookstove, and organized craftsmen and women potters in multiple villages to do the manufacturing and distribution. Seven years later, they’ve sold over 200,000 stoves, at less than US$8 each, at a profit. This makes Obamastove the largest cookstove company in Africa.
The other six fledglings are fascinating too. Little Gray Farms is the first producer of escargot in the United States, aiming to replace 60,000 tons of imported, canned snails. Deehubs began in Tiblisi, Republic of Georgia, brining social media to outdoor billboards, empowering the “vandals” of society to trade their spray paint for an iPhone. Simpolfy is making American politics transparent, providing a “report card” to show you if your representative is representing your interests. Seeder, based in Shanghai, is making it easier for building owners worldwide to do energy retrofits on their buildings. Ecosawa plans on hoisting Kenya out of poverty, through entrepreneurial training across the whole country and ultimately across Africa.
Two things all the fledglings have in common: big, hairy, audacious impactful goals and a plan to achieve them as a for-profit business, proving it possible to do good, while doing good business.
About Fledge – http://fledge.co
Fledge is the conscious company accelerator, providing funding, mentorship, and intense assistance to environmentally, socially, and health conscious startups from around the world.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
As we look closer at where the leaders are in the impact investing world, we’re finding more evidence that high-net-worth families and individuals are among those who have the greatest experience in the space.
Matthew Weatherley-White runs The CAPROCK Group, a multi-family office that focuses on impact investing. On Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 5;00 Eastern, Weatherley-White will join us for a live discussion about impact investing. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
In preparation for the interview, Weatherley-White explained, “I find the notion that capital markets should not be morally reflective laughable. Of course they reflect our morals. The question is not whether or not they should reflect our morals. The question is ‘What morals do we want them to reflect.’”
Similarly, he asks capitalists to consider the impact of all of their investments, “I am a full-throated capitalist, and passionate advocate for the power of the capital markets to effect change. And I would encourage anyone who feels similarly to ask a simple question: ‘if we accept the premise that every investment decision has an impact, what is the impact we seek?’”
He notes that capitalism can easily be made to drive positive outcomes, “Some believe that capitalism is, almost by definition, evil. I disagree without hesitation. Capitalism is simply an optimization mechanism. Knowing what we know about climate change, opportunity inequality and growing pressure on resources, we just need to redefine what it is that we want to optimize for, set the rules accordingly, and then let capitalism drive the solution set.”
More about the CAPROCK Group:
The CAPROCK Group is a multi-family office and outsourced Chief Investment Officer that develops customized, comprehensive and strategic financial solutions for high net worth individuals and families who don’t have the expertise or the time to do so on their own. We base every decision on unbiased analysis that suffers no outside pressure and that has only one goal: to protect and grow our clients’ wealth. We invest in people and technology to deliver transparent, comprehensive performance reporting. We impose structure on what we frequently see as quasi-organized confusion. And we enthusiastically bring this coherent expertise to the world of impact investing: deploying capital to generate positive financial return as well as to create social or environmental value.
Shaping The CAPROCK Group’s initiative in Impact Investing and having led their successful bid to become a founding B Corp, Matthew is a sought-after speaker and emerging thinker in the impact investing discipline. In addition to keynoting the 2013 European Commission’s Annual Award for Social Innovation in Brussels, Matthew has guest lectured at Harvard, Tuck, Kellogg K -0.12% and Booth business schools, has presented at conferences throughout the US and Europe, and serves as an advisor to several Impact Investing funds. Prior to founding The CAPROCK Group, Matthew was a partner in The Owyhee Group, a boutique advisory team within Smith Barney. During his thirteen years with the company, he was a member of Citigroup C +0.71%’s elite Leadership Development Program and helped craft the firm’s Private Wealth Management platform, an initiative designed to support ultra-high-net worth families. Matthew graduated from Dartmouth, departing the college “With Distinction”. An itinerant adventurer, competitor and lover of high, wild places, when not working (which is not NEARLY frequently enough) Matthew can usually be found in the mountains, encouraging his daughter to enjoy wilderness with the same irrational exuberance as her father.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Tides is a nonprofit organization that offers a wide range of services to donors and nonprofit projects. Based in San Francisco, Tides taps into the Silicon Valley community and brings an innovative approach to charitable giving.
Entrepreneurs and others use Tides to manage donor advised funds that reportedly total billions of dollars. Tides also helps people running nonprofit projects, that is nonprofit efforts that are not conducted by 501©(3) organizations, with a variety of services, from office space and consulting to fiscal sponsorship, which allows the projects to accept tax deductible donations through Tides.
CEO Kriss Deiglmeier, who joined Tides early this year, will join us on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern to talk about Tides’ work and the projects it supports. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about Tides:
Tides is a nonprofit organization that works at the heart of today’s most critical issues, supporting grantees and programs that are core to our country’s nonprofit infrastructure and social service delivery. We work in partnership with people whose work confronts issues like global warming, AIDS treatment and prevention, and economic disparity. Bringing together people, resources, and innovation, Tides is a convener and connector for those in our community and beyond.
We provide fiscal sponsorship for over 230 groups across the country, operate and support green nonprofit centers, and grant millions each year to charitable organizations across the globe. Issues we support include a veterans re-entry program, the improvement of community clinics in California, people in Africa receiving treatment for HIV, arts programs for inner city youth, adolescent nutrition, ending violence against women, civic participation to make our democracy work, and much more.
Kriss has more than 20 years of senior executive experience that spans business, social enterprise, nonprofit, academic and philanthropic sectors. She is recognized as a pioneer in the field of social innovation and has presented nationally and internationally on social innovation, social entrepreneurship, design thinking and public-private partnerships as well as guest-lectured at myriad universities around the world.
Before joining Tides, Kriss was the founding Executive Director for the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) at Stanford. She established CSI as a global leader in the emerging social innovation field. Kriss worked as an Advisor to the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies while living in Myanmar in 2013. In her previous role as Chief Operating Officer for Juma Ventures, Kriss helped raise the profile of the social entrepreneurship field from a niche market to mainstream.
Kriss has written and published leading thought pieces on social impact. Her most recent publication is a book chapter, “Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation: What’s New, and Why is it Important?” in The Real Problem Solvers. Kriss developed and taught the course, “Social Innovation through Corporate Social Responsibility” at Stanford. In Myanmar, Kriss conceived, created, and led an “Innovation in Action Lab” to equip organizations with design thinking methodologies and tools.
Kriss has served on a number of boards, and advisory groups. Kriss received her BA from the University of Washington, and her MBA from UC Berkeley.
Kriss resides in the Bay Area with her husband, two children and dog, Lucy. A favorite activity is traveling locally, nationally and internationally. Kriss has visited over thirty-five countries with many more on her “wish to visit” list.
At its recent fall conference, the Social Venture Network recognized four entrepreneurs with its Innovation Awards. Among the winners was Alfa Demmellash, CEO of Rising Tide Capital.
Alfa shared some of her thinking with us.
Explaining what it means to be a social entrepreneur, she said, “Being a social entrepreneur means leveraging business principles and sensibilities to create solutions that combat social issues.”
“I am passionate about the possibilities that occur when individuals see the world around them differently, and believe they can actually make a difference,” she added.
“A lot of people have great vision and ideas but are held back by fear of failure and other people’s opinions. You have to inoculate yourself against those internal and external voices. You have to arrive at a place where you think you have a limited time to make your mark on this planet,” she continued.
Hinting at her nonprofit’s unlikely focus on entrepreneurship, she concluded, “Business is at the heart of what can positively impact other prevalent crises that we are trying to address. Surprisingly very minimal effort and investment go into the creation of localized businesses within communities that have been traditionally marginalized. It is clear that this is one of the only ways to address the underlying issue of economic poverty.”
On Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Alfa will join us here for a live discussion about her work and her recent recognition. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about Rising Tide Capital:
Headquartered in Jersey City, Rising Tide Capital, Inc. is a 501©(3) non-profit organization founded with the mission to empower entrepreneurs to create and grow small businesses which transform lives and communities. The organization’s vision is to build a replicable model for high-quality entrepreneurial development services that can be adopted locally in other low-income communities. Learn more at www.RisingTideCapital.org
Alfa Demmellash co-founded Rising Tide Capital in May 2004. As Chief Executive Officer, she oversees strategic growth, programmatic innovation and stakeholder engagement at Rising Tide Capital. She graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Government. Alfa is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from St. Peter’s University and New Jersey City University and has won numerous awards for her work as a leading social entrepreneur.
The Hult Prize, arguably the most prestigious student business competition of any sort, awards student social entrepreneurs with a $1 million prize from the Hult Family presented by President Bill Clinton at the the Clinton Global Initiative. In a special series on the Hult Prize, we are profiling all of the finalists at YourMarkOnTheWorld.com. The winner was profiled at Forbes.
Reach Diagnostics, a student team from York University in Toronto, and the youngest team among the Hult Prize finalists, treats urban slum dwellers living with diabetes. By combining old and new technology to create affordable treatment plans for the poor, the team hopes to improve health outcomes dramatically.
On Thursday, October 30, 2014 at noon Eastern, CEO Dhaman Rakhra will join us for a live discussion about the team’s Hult Prize success and the noble work they are doing for the poor. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about REACH Diagnostics:
REACH Diagnostics was founded by 5 undergraduate students from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. REACH ensures that diabetes is not a death sentence for the urban poor by providing them with a diabetes management subscription program. Each month, subscribers receive a month supply of urinalysis strips (a pregnancy test for diabetes which changes color relative to the amount of glucose in the urine), as well as access to the REACH mobile monitoring platform. Cell phone penetration in Indian slums exceeds 85% and the REACH mobile platform allows users to submit their daily monitoring results from the urine strips, and receive tailored feedback supporting their progress and suggestions for food & exercise.
Dhaman Rakhra is a Schulich iBBA graduate with a specialization in Accounting. Aside from being the CEO of REACH, Dhaman is a fantasy football junkie, self-proclaimed barista extraordinaire and food truck fanatic. Dhaman’s passion for social entrepreneurship began on his exchange abroad to Singapore. While in Asia, he worked with orphanages to bring extracurricular programs, such as arts and sports, to schools across Cambodia. He currently works at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Technology and Communications group and is pursuing his Chartered Accountant designation.
Luca is an iBBA graduate who majored in Economics & Finance. When not running the numbers in his role as REACH’s CFO, he enjoys literature, DJing, cooking, and arguing about economics. His previous experience includes a stint in hospitality management at InterContinental Hotels Group, and time served as a course director for Students Offering Support, a nonprofit that provides exam aid in return for donations that are used to build schools in developing nations.
Danica Stanojevic is a Schulich iBBA graduate with a specialization in Strategy and International Marketing. Having worked in management consulting and innovation at Monitor Deloitte and Deloitte South Africa, she is leading the strategic direction of REACH. As an avid world traveller it is difficult to catch Danica in one place for very long. During her trips she has witnessing the disparity that poverty creates first hand, and has been inspired to be a social entrepreneur, aiming to address pressing social issues with business solutions. When not moving at 100 miles per hour, Danica likes to practice yoga, and oil paint.
Hemanth Soni is a second year BBA student specializing in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. As the Technology & Communications head at REACH, Hemanth has extensive experience as a professional web designer and copywriter. Bit by an entrepreneurial bug, Hemanth has been involved in several successful startups in the past.
Abbas Khambati a Schulich BBA graduate specializing in Marketing. He is the operations lead for REACH Diagnostics and when he’s not on the ground in the slums of India or in corporate offices developing partnerships, he can be found traveling across Asia, learning about the continents rich cultures and religions.
This is a guest post from Asher Weinberger, the Founder and CEO of Twilllory. His interests include the crossroads of retail and technology as well as inventive philanthropy.
While many like to criticize this “selfie” generation for being self-obsessed and for its misuse of technology, in many ways the very opposite is true. I believe it is fair to say that never in history has there been such an awareness of the human condition and such a willingness to help where help is needed. We live in an age where companies are judged by their commitment to social responsibility and not just by their profit margins. The Internet has fostered interconnectivity and transparency, giving people a window into others’ lives, which in turn has engendered a greater sensitivity and camaraderie for fellow Homo Sapiens. This paradigm shift is the root cause for the explosive increase in philanthropic initiatives and charitable ingenuity emerging from the business landscape and from the tech startup scene in particular. Our company, Twillory, was built on this foundation and with this understanding.
I co-founded Twillory with the goal of providing value to our customers, and by value I mean a general value to their lives. My co-founders and I wanted to make our mark and so we brainstormed for months to try and come up with a millennial upgrade to the status quo in clothing donation. For as long as we could remember, clothing was donated via network of drop boxes in urban areas and donors would occasionally haul bags of goods to the nearest one for pickup by the sponsoring charity. This outdated system seemed inefficient and under effective. Thus, Re:Purpose was born. In Twillory packages, we have include a pre-paid Re:Purpose mailer bag to make it easy. Our customers replace the items they’ve purchased with gently used garments from the back of their closets, seal it and leave for the mail carrier. We then inspect, launder and repackage the donated goods for distribution to those in need. By joining forces with a forward thinking charity, Career Gear, the-purposed clothing will help the jobless, homeless and disaster stricken, both at home and abroad. The concept was simple- bring the drop box to the people- its simplicity is its beauty.
While we have been inspired by and took our cue from the likes of Toms and Warby Parker, we have one differentiating philosophy. We believe that there is a greater benefit to encouraging active participation rather than a passive one. This is based on our interpretation of Maimonides’s ancient philosophy. Maimonides asks “What’s better: To give $1,000 to 1 man in need, or $1 to 1,000 men in need?” Many people choose to give to one man, believing it makes the greatest difference. However, Maimonides states that the alternative is better, as every individual act of giving changes us positively which in the long run will result in much greater giving at much higher levels. Even if it’s something very small, such as donating a couple shirts, getting people personally engaged in philanthropy is much more powerful than having them passively donate a percentage of their purchase.
When we spent months working with the USPS to create a custom mailing solution for Re;Purpose (mighty difficult as you can imagine), it wasn’t only to give Twillory customers this added value. We are hoping to kick start a movement. Nothing would please us more than to have our innovation imitated. Imagine for one moment what would happen if retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and others would adopt a similar practice of paying for and providing Re:Purpose type mailers with each of the millions of daily orders on their websites. I don’t think it is far-fetched to predict that the clothing shortage worldwide would be solved practically overnight. This objective is realistically achievable and there is no better time to do it than the present because times are certainly, absolutely, and most definitely, a changin.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
According to Abigail Noble , head of impact investing at the World Economic Forum, “While impact investing has entered the mainstream mindset, it has not become part of the strategy, operations and business culture of mainstream investment institutions. For most investors today, impact investing still needs to be translated from a compelling concept into a sound strategy.”
“We are optimistic about the impact investing sector –while it has been hard to do impact investing it doesn’t necessarily need to be,” she added.
In order to address this concern, the World Economic Forum has released a new report called “Charting the Course” that provides a series of roadmaps or frameworks that will help investors actually begin to invest for impact.
The report, Noble says, offers “useful navigational aids and waypoints” to help investors find a course that suits their individual objectives and motivations for impact and return. She says, “Each investor needs to evaluate whether impact investing fits with its investment principles, future growth plans and strategic constraints – and where it does fit, how it can chart its own course in impact investing that is visionary, pragmatic and competitively positioned for the long run.”
On Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern, Noble will join me for a live discussion about the report and the frameworks that individual investors may choose to follow for impact investing. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about the World Economic Forum:
Best known for its annual convening in Davos, Switzerland – the World Economic Forum was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit Foundation and continues to operate as an independent, impartial international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation. The “Forum” engages political, business, academic and other leaders of society in collaborative efforts to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Together with other stakeholders, it works to define challenges, solutions and actions, always in the spirit of global citizenship. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.
Abigail Noble is Head of Impact Investing Initiatives at the World Economic Forum. She is the co-author of the World Economic Forum’s recent publications on Impact Investing, “Charting the Course: How Mainstream Investors can Design Visionary and Pragmatic Impact Investing Strategies”, “ Margins to the Mainstream” and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship’s “Social Investment Manual” as well as editor of the series “From Ideas to Practice”. She is a frequent blogger for the World Economic Forum and on the Huffington Post on the topics of impact investing, social innovation, socio-economic inequality and on leadership. From 2010 until 2013, she served as the Head of Latin America and Africa for the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. On behalf of the World Economic Forum, she served on the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force Asset Allocation Working Group and helped launch the Global Learning Exchange on Social Impact Investing. She received her B.A. in Economics from Tufts University, her Master’s in International Development (MPA/ID) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, was a Global Leadership Fellow with the World Economic Forum and a Fulbright Scholar in Uruguay, where she studied democracy and economic development.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
“There is a tendency amongst environmentally minded people to view plastics as evil. But they have revolutionized our lives and are here to stay. What is most important is how we use them and how we reuse them – closing the loop rather than dumping them in the oceans to kill marine life,” says noted conservationist and scientist Dr. Nicholas Hill from the Zoological Society of London.
He points out that “Unlikely partnerships can sometimes be the most inspiring and innovative.” Apparently, he was thinking about the Zoo’s partnership with Interface TILE +4.07%, Inc., which claims to be the world’s largest modular carpet manufacturer. Together, they are working in partnership called “Net-Works” to eliminate the global marine hazard of discarded fishing nets.
“The nets, which would otherwise last for 600 years and are the world’s largest and cleanest source of post-consumer nylon, are regenerated into nylon yarn Interface uses to produce carpet tiles. The program is established in poor coastal Philippines villages where marine life and reefs are endangered and has helped 4,500 villagers earn supplemental income equal to 84,000 additional meals. The United Nations has conservatively estimated that 640,000 tons of fishing gear are left in the oceans each year,” a spokesperson explained.
On October 23, 2014 at 11:00 Am Eastern, Nigel Stansfield, Chief Innovations Officer of Interface, and Dr. Hill of the Zoological Society of London, will join me for a live discussion about the “unlikely partnership.” Tun in here then to watch the interview live.
More about the Zoological Society of London:
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. The mission is realised through groundbreaking science, active conservation projects in more than 50 countries and two Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. For more information visit www.zsl.org.
Dr. Hill’s bio:
Nick is a specialist in conservation for communities at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in the Marine & Freshwater International team, and is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of Net-Works. Having spent a few years studying marine ecology in a remote corner of northern Mozambique in extremely poor rural communities, Nick turned his attentions to understanding local livelihoods and evaluating the role of livelihood interventions in conservation. This work took Nick to the Philippines, where his PhD research focused on the interaction between fishing and seaweed farming within people’s livelihoods. Here, Nick witnessed first-hand the issues of marine debris as he picke his way through piles of discarded fishing nets on the beaches on a daily basis. These experiences together with Interface’s experiences in inclusive business provided the perfect platform from which to develop Net-Works.
Nick has an MSc in Environmental Technology and a PhD in Conservation Science from Imperial College London and ZSL. Nick has also worked for the Ministry of Fisheries in New Zealand and has published his research in several conservation and marine biology journals. He now works extensively in Philippines, Mozambique and Cameroon with a focus on developing innovative solutions to environmental issues that are sustainable and benefit local communities.
More about Interface, Inc.:
Interface is the world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer, and a leader in sustainability since 1994 when the company began to reimagine it’s petroleum-intensive business around the idea of minimizing its carbon footprint and rethinking it’s process and products. Twenty years later, the company is now pioneering what they call “restorative business” – the idea that the company should leave the world better with every square yard of carpet it sells. Net-Works, a new model for inclusive business, is a program Interface and the Zoological Society of London are partnered on to bring marginalized people into the company’s supply chain.
Nigel Stansfield is Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer for Interface Inc., a worldwide leader in the design and production of carpet tiles that combine beauty and sustainability with functionality and environmental credentials to help customers bring their design vision to life.
With over 25 years’ experience as a textile technologist, Nigel is an expert in yarn, carpet and fabric manufacture.
In 2001 Nigel moved into research and development, inspired by Mission Zero, Interface’s goal for a zero environmental footprint by 2020, and a need for more sustainable product development. He has been instrumental in developing Net-Works, a unique global business and conservation partnership between Interface and the conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Net-Works aims to tackle the growing global environmental problem of discarded fishing nets whilst providing socio-economic benefits in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities and improving Interface’s business.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
The Hult Prize, arguably the most prestigious student business competition of any sort, awards student social entrepreneurs with a $1 million prize from the Hult Family presented by President Bill Clinton at the the Clinton Global Initiative. The 2014 winner is Manish Ranjan of NanoHealth, a low cost health care provider for slum dwellers.
NanoHealth from the Indian School of Business is the first team from India to reach the finals so one can imagine how exciting it must have been for the team to win, beating teams from some of the world’s finest universities.
On Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM Eastern time, Ranjan will join me here from India to talk about his experience with the Hult Prize and the work they are doing in India’s slums. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
President Bill Clinton presents the Hult Prize to the NanoHealth team, Aditi Vaish, Manish Ranjan, and Dr Ashish Bondia.
More about NanoHealth:
NanoHealth is chronic disease specialist providing holistic services for chronic disease management at most affordable price at the doorstep slum-dwellers, who are the target customers. We at NanoHealth are convinced that intervention at any one point in the disease value chain is not enough to solve the problem of under-diagnosis, poor treatment and compliance. NanoHealth aims to create a network of health workers (called “Saathis” means “a friend”) and hand them “Dox-in-Box,” which can take vitals and risk-profile the patients for diabetes and hypertension. Saathi and Dox-in-Box also provides monitoring services after the disease is confirmed by a doctor in NanoHealth network. By adding Doctors & Pharmacies in its network, NanoHealth becomes one step shop for all services related to chronic disease management.
Manish was born and brought up in a small town of the poorest state of India. He studied Engineering for his undergraduate at Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, popularly known as IIT Bombay. Right after completing his undergraduate studies, Manish worked for i2 Technologies, which specialized in providing Supply Chain Solutions to large firms. After working with large Asian firms in China, Japan and India, designing their business processes and supply chains, Manish returned to India in the sales role. Moved by the apathy of Indian Healthcare sector, he joined Indian School of Business to study Healthcare Management. Realizing the impact Hult Prize was having on the people, who needed support the most he applied for Hult Prize-2014.
Todd Schobel heard about the tragic suicide of a young girl who committed suicide after being bullied and decided that he was going to do something about it.
He created STOPit, an app to help kids protect themselves from bullying, especially cyber bullying.
Todd explains, “There are countless online platforms that give children the opportunity to hide behind their smart phones and computers to victimize others.”
“My goal is to empower children with an outlet in which they feel safe to stop it. Children will go so far as to take their own lives when dealing with the emotional consequences of cyberbullying and I want to put an end to it,” he concludes.
On Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Todd will join me here for a live discussion about how STOPit will stop it! Tune in here then to watch the live interview.
More about STOPit:
Launched in December of 2013, STOPit is the first app of its kind that puts the power in the hands of cyber savvy kids to take a stand against cyberbullying and stomp out this devastating epidemic. With mobile devices being the #1 most used instrument of harassment, soon the very devices used to commit cyberbullying may be the ones to stop it. Offering protection for kids and peace of mind for parents, STOPit is easily installed on Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android smart phones.
Not long ago I heard a radio interview about a young girl who was viciously bullied, primarily through social media posts. She committed suicide.
As I listened, my heart stopped beating for what felt like an eternity. I couldn’t breathe. Tears flowed, and my life has never been the same. This should never happen to children, and I had to help. The idea for STOPit was born.
Days later I framed out the four buttons STOPit, HELPit, FRIENDit and REPORTit. I began to invest time, effort and energy to see what resources were available for the kids to make a difference. I found nothing like STOPit so I dove in head first.
Fully committed to the cause, I began researching. I was determined to be part of the cyberbullying solution; to find out everything I could about how it happens, what drives it—and how I can help students stand tall against it.
Now with a vision purely driven by passion I assembled an amazing team.
With countless hours invested, together we made STOPit a reality
Awake your passion and join us!
“I believe as many of us do that children shape the future and it’s the children that will make the difference.” —Todd Schobel