When we first launched Fast Forward, we weren’t sure if folks from the tech sector would be interested in our mission of scaling social impact through technology. Would technologists believe that tech could solve social problems? Would they want to share advice with tech nonprofit entrepreneurs, and would they want to give back to this sector?
Fast Forward three years (no pun intended, well, maybe) and we realize our uncertainties were unfounded. Leaders in the tech sector have provided enormous support, which has enabled the tech nonprofit sector to flourish. One of these leaders is James Slavet, Partner at Greylock Partners. When Fast Forward co-founders Kevin Barenblat and Shannon Farley were initially socializing the idea of a tech nonprofit accelerator among their peers, they were constantly told, “Go talk to James.”
It turned out that several years prior, he too had the idea for a nonprofit accelerator. He didn’t launch it then, but once Kevin and Shannon connected with Slavet and told him about Fast Forward, he immediately got involved as a mentor. Three years later he joined the board.
As we look to strengthen ties between technologists and nonprofits, James Slavet was an obvious choice for our Board of Directors given his experience funding successful mission-oriented founders in the for-profit space. James 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.
We view a successful venture capitalist like Slavet joining the board as a signal that social problems really are a new market for technology.
“I’m thrilled to support Fast Forward, first as an advisor and investor in their tech nonprofit startups, and now as a Fast Forward Board Member” said Slavet. “Fast Forward is leading the charge in the tech for good space, and their entrepreneurs are building products that impact communities that need help most.”
Thank you to James, for your generosity and support of our mission, and to the hundreds of others in the tech space who dedicate your time, skills, and resources to helping Fast Forward and tech nonprofits around the globe achieve outsized social impact.