About - Fast Forward

The world’s biggest social problems, from healthcare to education to human rights, deserve the best technology solutions. Fast Forward invests in entrepreneurs who are using technology to accelerate social impact. Fast Forward’s investments span beyond philanthropic funding, through products and programs that bridge the tech and nonprofit sectors to build capacity for tech nonprofits.

As the first and only organization focused exclusively on scaling organizations that combine the best tech with sustainable nonprofit business models, Fast Forward’s mission is to accelerate impact.

Tech nonprofit

[tek non-prof-it]

Noun

A tech startup, building original software or hardware, that has selected a nonprofit business model in order to scale social impact, not profits.

35M+ Lives

Impacted

Fast Forward’s portfolio of tech nonprofits are improving the lives of millions around the world. 84% of these organizations have a founder who is a woman or person of color, and they’ve raised over $56 million in follow on funding to accelerate their impact.

Download Our 2017 Impact Report

Our Team

Kevin Barenblat

Kevin Barenblat

Co-Founder & President

Kevin Barenblat is a seasoned tech entrepreneur who believes nonprofits can leverage technology to accelerate their impact. Prior to Fast Forward, Barenblat founded Context Optional, a social marketing software company, 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. Prior to joining Spark, Shannon co-founded The W. Haywood Burns Institute, a MacArthur Award-winning juvenile justice reform organization. Shannon holds a BA in American Studies from Georgetown University and an MS in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics.

Christina Shatzen

Christina Shatzen

Director of Marketing and Communications

Christina is passionate about helping tech nonprofits grow their impact through meaningful storytelling. Prior to Fast Forward, Christina spent years managing communications for for-profit startups, and is delighted to leverage that experience to bring heightened visibility to the tech nonprofit sector. Christina graduated from The University of Georgia with a BA in Advertising and a minor in Spanish.

Johnathan Andersen

Johnathan Andersen

Head of Product

Johnathan is an experienced product designer adept at turning visions into reality. Prior to Fast Forward, Johnathan facilitated the development and growth of online learning experiences, with particular focus on scaling the systems that connect and support learners and educators. Johnathan graduated from the Pratt Institute with a BFA in Communication Design.

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 an angel investor and Managing Partner at Cresta Ventures, as well as Vice President at Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs. She has 15+ years at companies such as Juniper Networks, Symantec Corp, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, and Procket Networks (acquired by Cisco). 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.

James Slavet

James Slavet

Board Member

James is a Partner at Greylock Partners. He invests in mission-driven entrepreneurs who combine technology and human touch to deliver amazing consumer services. James’ current investments include CreativeLive, GoFundMe, Grand Rounds, Lyra Health, and Redfin. James has been named several times to the Forbes Midas list, which recognizes top VC tech investors. He graduated from Brown University and Harvard Business School.

"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

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