Our Mission

Fast Forward accelerates tech nonprofits by investing money, providing training and mentoring, and increasing the visibility of tech nonprofits to scale them to impact. Fast Forward is the only organization dedicated to tech nonprofits as a sector, utilizing a well-established Silicon Valley playbook and applying it to nonprofits.

Fast Forward is focused on this new addressable market for technology. Tech has changed how we communicate, find jobs, request rides, discover love, and now how we solve social problems. We scale organizations that combine the best tech with sustainable business models in areas like education, healthcare, and human rights.

In support of this mission Fast Forward runs an accelerator program, which in three years has helped 23 tech nonprofits impact over 18.4M lives and raise $26M in follow-on funding. Fast Forward also hosts the Accelerate Good Global summit, maintains a comprehensive directory of tech-based nonprofits, and manages a tech-for-good job and volunteer board.

Our 2016 Impact

lives impacted

18.6M

lives impacted

lines of code

1.9M

lines of code

median revenue growth

75%

median revenue growth

founded by women and people of color

88%

of teams have a female or person of color co-founder

It's refreshing to hear from people who are pursuing solutions to problems, rather than just pursuing a business that makes a lot of money.
- Andrew McCollum, Cofounder of Facebook, Fast Forward mentor

Our Team

Kevin Barenblat

Kevin Barenblat

Co-Founder & President

Kevin Barenblat is a seasoned tech entrepreneur with a passion for applying technology for good. The inspiration for Fast Forward arose from Barenblat's desire to leverage technology to create scalable solutions to critical social problems.

Prior to Fast Forward, Barenblat was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Matrix Partners, an early stage venture capital firm. An experienced entrepreneur and software executive, Barenblat founded Context Optional, a social marketing company, in 2007 and served as CEO through the company's acquisition by Efficient Frontier, and later, Adobe.

Barenblat holds a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Shannon Farley

Shannon Farley

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Shannon is an experienced social entrepreneur. She was the founding Executive Director of Spark, the world's largest network of Millennial philanthropists. Spark has the distinction of being the only women's organization in the world with 50% male members. Prior to joining Spark, Shannon co-founded The W. Haywood Burns Institute, a MacArthur Award-winning juvenile justice reform organization.

Shannon has been awarded the New Leader’s Council “Top 40 under 40 Award”, The Aspen Institute’s Ideas Scholar Fellowship, and The Women’s Funding Network’s Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award. Under her leadership, Spark won the 2010 Outstanding Foundation Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and served in the Inaugural Congressional Conference on Philanthropy and Innovation.

Shannon holds a BA in American Studies from Georgetown University and an MS in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics.

Maria Choi

Maria Choi

Vice President, Fundraising & Partnerships

Maria is passionate about uniting technology, philanthropy and social good to solve critical issues around education, economic empowerment and social justice. Over the course of her career, Maria has raised over $100M to help scale solutions to these global social issues.

Maria comes to Fast Forward from Code.org, where she led fundraising and employee engagement to expand K-12 computer science education, particularly among females and underrepresented minorities. Prior to Code.org, Maria worked in business development and marketing roles at Sesame Workshop, UNICEF and the National Football League.

Maria holds a BA in Sociology and Communications from Hamilton College.

Christina Shatzen

Christina Shatzen

Marketing and Communications Manager

Christina Shatzen has been helping startups tell their stories and increase visibility since 2011. Christina is now leveraging her experience with emerging companies in the mobile and hardware space to bring heightened awareness to the inspiring world of tech nonprofits. Christina graduated from The University of Georgia with a BA in Advertising and a minor in Spanish.

Jacob Dalder

Jacob Dalder

Program Associate

Jacob Dalder, Fast Forward Fellow turned Program Associate, is a budding tech for good entrepreneur. Jacob graduated in 2015 from Stanford University with a BS in Symbolic Systems, and he is passionate about working in the intersection of technology and public service.

Aston Motes

Aston Motes

Board Member

Aston was the first engineer at Dropbox, where he helped build out the website and the API. More recently, he works on music related projects like CopThis, a mobile app for merch from your favorite artists. Previously, he was a software engineer at OkCupid. Aston has a patent for a tagged content inference system and method.

Aston hold a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT.

Rekha Pai

Rekha Pai Kamath

Board Member

Rekha Pai Kamath is a key member in the New Business Incubation group at Juniper Network where she is responsible for bringing disruptive technologies to market and creating new lines of businesses. She has 15+ years in various product management, marketing, and product development positions at companies such as Juniper Networks, Symantec Corp, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, and Procket Networks (acquired by Cisco). Rekha is also the Managing Partner of Cresta Ventures, an early stage technology focused venture firm. She has been involved in 12+ investments in the past two years.

Rekha has been a professional mentor and on the selection committee for past three years for Techwomen, a Department of State Initiative that seeks to connect global women leaders in technology with experts and innovators in Silicon Valley, and has mentored and advised several start-ups at Stanford Angels and Entreprenuers (SA&E) as well as at StartX Accelerator Program.

She is also engaged with several non-profit organizations, She has led Business Planning workshops for GirlsInnovate, has been a mentor and judge for hackathons and for Technovation Challenge.

She holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.