Demo Day 2018 was, by all accounts, a big success! We had a packed house in both San Francisco and Silicon Valley, riveting storytelling, and massive support for ten world-changing tech nonprofits. The Demo Days, hosted at Box in Silicon Valley and Google Community Space in San Francisco, were made possible by the generous support of our long-term partners Google.org, BlackRock, Omidyar Network, and ComcastNBCU, along with our Accelerator partners, Okta, GM, Zendesk, AWS, Twilio.org, Bloomberg, Box.org, Microsoft, Airbnb, DocuSign, & JetBlue.
The first exciting twist of SF Demo Day? In Silicon Valley and San Francisco, respectively, Box and Okta announced they would match Demo Day donations to our 2018 tech nonprofits! Huge thanks to Box and Okta for this generous gift. The teams were thrilled to kick off the night with the extra boost.
It was a night full of inspiration and tech-optimism. If you missed it, don’t worry, we’re here to fill you in – photos and all. (Or hey, watch the whole thing here!)
“How can we, with our privilege and power, change the status quo? I think we can do better with our time, with our money, and with our tech. Demo Day is more than inspiration this year. I want you to volunteer with them and join their boards. I want you to donate – you can donate $20 or $25,000 – but I want you to support them in a way that’s meaningful to you.” – Kevin Barenblat, Co-Founder and President of Fast Forward
“We’ve had 31 teams graduate from Fast Forward’s accelerator. In 2017 alone they served 35 Million people and raised $56 Million in follow-on funding. Those numbers sound big… because they are! The entrepreneurs you are about to meet are poised for outsized impact. All the teams have personal experience with the problem they sought to solve, and have a co-founder who is a woman or person of color.” – Shannon Farley, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Fast Forward
Ten incredible tech nonprofit founders took the stage to pitch transformative ideas.
“Parents are the most motivated resource in their child’s life, and they’re the key to unlocking their child’s potential. But often, they don’t know how and feel disempowered to play a role in a child’s education.” – Sneha Sheth, Co-Founder of Dost Education, mobile audio content that helps parents of any literacy level support their child’s early education.
Since 2017, Dost scaled from serving 200 families to reaching over 20,000. Now, Dost’s goal is to complete their platform and serve 500,000 families by 2020.
“Join us to tear down walls and build bridges.” – Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, Founder of DREAMER’s Roadmap, the mobile app connecting the 65,000 undocumented students graduating high school each year to hard-to-find college scholarships.
DREAMer’s Roadmap has been downloaded almost 30,000 times, and Sarahi is looking to scale from reaching 30,000 DREAMer’s to 500,000.
“Nearly 95% of Americans have faced a difficult situation at work. While tough work issues are universal, resources to navigate them are not.” – Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Founder of Empower Work, the real-time, anonymous SMS hotline for workplace issues.
91% of texters feel better after an Empower Work conversation, and took a positive action as a result. Empower Work wants to reach 100,000 users by 2020, and open up its data to inform new policies and solutions.
“Because demand is so high, organizations are picking up Learning Equality and running with it all around the world, reaching over 6M learners. But there are still hundreds of millions waiting.” – Jamie Alexandre, Co-Founder of Learning Equality, open source software that extends digital learning tools to offline environments.
Through free and open source software and 50+ culturally relevant content sources, Learning Equality continues to serve the hardest to reach students. They aim to reach 20 Million learners by 2022.
“20 veterans die by suicide every day in this country, at a rate that’s twice that of the non-veteran population. We’re really good at training our young to go to war, but not at preparing them to come home again.” – Blake Bassett, Co-Founder of Objective Zero Foundation, the app providing on-demand suicide prevention for veterans and their communities.
Objective Zero has connected over 1,000 veterans to peer supporters since their launch. Next year, their goal is to provide peer support to 100,000 veterans.
“If you want to create a scholarship you’d need $10,000 to endow it. You’d need to find students, get them to apply, and distribute the funds. None of that was possible online, until now.” – Sam Gorman, Co-Founder of Peerlift, the platform connecting underserved high schoolers to micro-scholarships for college.
14 Million students struggle to afford basic expenses, like food, in college, and 70% of students drop out because of financial need. Peerlift hopes to unlock $1.5M in micro-scholarships created by the end of 2019.
“For refugees, translation help can be life or death. Imagine being stuck in a refugee camp and your son needs emergency medical help, but the English-speaking medic cannot understand you when you say he’s allergic to penicillin.” – Atif Javed, Co-Founder or Tarjimly, the real-time translation app connecting the world’s 3 Billion bilinguals to the 23 Million refugees worldwide.
In the past year, 6,000 volunteers have helped over 15,000 refugees on the app. Tarjimly seeks to serve 1 Million refugees, and ultimately transform humanitarian aid.
“I built UPchieve to be the tool that I needed in high school. I left my job at JP Morgan to pursue this full time because I truly believe it has the power to change students’ lives the way getting a college education changed mine.” – Aly Murray, Founder of UPchieve, the free, online, and on-demand STEM tutoring platform for low-income high school students.
On the heels of their recent launch, UPchieve’s goal is to serve 100,000 students by 2020.
“We’re building the tool to rehabilitate victims of our broken financial system. Upsolve helps users increase their credit and get jobs post-bankruptcy so they can thrive.” – Rohan Pavuluri, Co-Founder of Upsolve, the TurboTax for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
In 2018 alone, Upsolve has helped forgive $8M in debt that was previous keeping Americans in an ongoing spiral of poverty. Upsolve’s new goal is to expand from NYC to the rest of the country.
“Your typical state voter guide takes an average of 15 hours to read cover to cover… and then there are the political mailers. The sheer volume of information makes voting daunting & confusing.” – Dale McGrew, Co-Founder of We Vote, an open-source platform leveraging networks to create personalized digital voter guides.
The result of information overload is that 30% of voters do not complete their ballot. We Vote seeks to change that by reaching 100,000 voters by November 6, 2018.
Again, a huge round of applause is due to our partners, volunteers, guests, and of course, the brave and passionate entrepreneurs whose visions are changing the technology landscape. We couldn’t do it without you!!