Fast Forward Partners with and BlackRock

October 5, 2015 | Announcements

FFWD Partners with & BlackRock To Provide Funds, Training, & Connections For Tech Nonprofits

13-Week Accelerator Program to Hold Demo Day on October 7th in San Francisco

October 6, 2015 – San Francisco, CA: Fast Forward, the only accelerator exclusively for tech nonprofits, has partnered with and BlackRock to incubate nine startups using technology to solve problems in our communities — from getting food to the hungry to providing training for inner city youth. The 2015 Fast Forward Accelerator Program will culminate on October 7th with a Demo Day where the startups will present their ideas to an audience of more than two hundred tech entrepreneurs, tech for good leaders, and philanthropists.

“We saw a need to support organizations leveraging technology for social impact and the results of the program have exceeded every expectation,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director Shannon Farley. “The tech community can and is having a tremendous impact by mobilizing resources to help these organizations succeed and we are pleased to have the backing of and BlackRock.”

“The tech nonprofits incubated by Fast Forward are finding innovative ways to take on some of the toughest challenges in our communities,” said Jacquelline Fuller, Director, “We support organizations using technology and innovative technologies to make the world a better place, and helping to sponsor the Fast Forward 2015 Accelerator Program is one of the best investments we can make in building the Bay Area ecosystem of tech for good.”

“We are thrilled to support Fast Forward and their efforts to help create change in our communities through tech-focused nonprofits,” Deborah Winshel, Global Head of BlackRock Impact and Corporate Philanthropy. “BlackRock was founded more than twenty-five years ago by a small group of people who believed they could do things better and we see a significant opportunity to use our expertise and resources to help these startups who are embracing a similar journey.”

Over the last thirteen weeks, the nine startups have received more than 100+ hours of pro bono services, made connections with 100+ mentors across technology, philanthropy and financial services and received a $25,000 initial grant.

In addition to and BlackRock, other firms participating in the accelerator program include AirBnB, Indiegogo, and Mozilla. The mix of firms has helped the participants gain information on business model development, growth hacking, board formation, and donor relations amongst other topics.

The nine startups presenting at Demo Day include:

  • #IGottaMakeIt: Video-based entrepreneurship training for inner city youth by inner city youth
  • Crowdsourced platform that connects low-income high school students to career guidance from a network of working professionals
  • FeedingForward: Platform enabling businesses to donate unused food to low-income communities, instantly
  • Nexleaf Analytics: Wireless sensors and analytics to prevent vaccine spoilage
  • Project Callisto: Sexual assault reporting system that gives survivors a confidential way to document and take action against their assailants
  • Quill: Open source literacy tool that uses games to improve students’ reading, proofreading, and grammar skills
  • Open source Internet protocol that enables the world’s poor to send, receive, and save money
  • TalkingPoints: Multi-lingual communication platform connecting teachers to families
  • WattTime: Software enabling smart devices to prioritize energy from clean power sources

For more information, see Fast Forward’s 2015 Accelerator Program.