HPE Foundation and Fast Forward: Accelerating Impact Through Unlocking Employee Time & Skills - Fast Forward

August 10, 2023 | Blog

HPE Foundation and Fast Forward: Accelerating Impact Through Unlocking Employee Time & Skills

We are excited to continue the celebration of five years of partnership and five years of the HPE Accelerating Impact campaign with the HPE Foundation. One key element of our partnership is bringing in enthusiastic HPE team members to mentor tech nonprofits through our Startup Accelerator and Pitch Camp programs.

This year, we made 25+ matches between tech nonprofits and HPE mentors. Our tech nonprofit leaders received expert advice from mentors in an array of fields including finance, marketing, and engineering among others.

Read on to learn more about three organizations HPE mentors have supported this year alone.

Joy Education

34% of U.S. fourth graders read below basic reading level. Students who struggle to read are more likely to drop out of high school, to end up in the criminal justice system, and to experience poverty. Luckily, research proves that students who struggle with reading, or with language-based learning disabilities, can overcome reading difficulty. Joy Education leverages this insight to ensure that every student, family, and community is reading. It provides one-to-one, online literacy tutoring for students struggling to read at grade level.

Joy Education Founder Demetrius Lancaster joined the 2023 Startup Accelerator ready to connect with mentors of all kinds. During the program, he met Derek and Tina, enthusiastic HPE volunteers who were ready to support him on business development and digital transformation. Demetrius’ match with Tina led to three additional mentoring sessions to revise their business model, engage in pitch practice, and identify future markets for Joy Education’s literacy solution. It’s mentorship connections like these that have helped Joy Education get started and provide over 200 hours of reading practice to underserved students within the first year of launching.

“I loved meeting with Joy Education and the 2023 cohort. I’m inspired by the number of nonprofits who have made it their mission to make positive, impactful changes in the world around them. The nonprofits’ determination to leave the earth better than they found it is encouraging.”

– Tina Onuoha, Product Quality at HPE


Global carbon emissions reached an all time high in 2022. The good news is: restoring nature is a huge opportunity. Restoration has the potential to decrease 30% of accumulated global carbon emissions. Restor is growing the restoration movement through its open data platform that empowers anyone to analyze restoration potential in a given location, find a restoration project to support, and connect with others in the movement. Thousands of local NGOs, governments, and communities share their conservation projects on Restor.

Restor’s network of restoration projects span over 120,000 sites and 142 countries. HPE employees were able to support this massive network of restoration projects via Zooniverse volunteering, a platform where volunteers can analyze data and information for scientific research projects. There, team members could label trees to support Restor’s projects and contribute to the increased protection and restoration of forests around the world.


Over the last 15 years, reports of online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) have increased 15,000%. Thorn is on a mission to eliminate CSAM from the internet using technology. Through its AI-powered platform, Spotlight, Thorn reduces victim identification time by over 60%, and has helped law enforcement identify an average of 10 child victims per day.

The story of Thorn as an organization goes back to 2012 and everyone who works there needs to be able to communicate that story with clear vision, impact, and action. That’s where HPE volunteers come in. Fast Forward was proud to connect HPE team members with Thorn employees during our Pitch Camp program. Through Pitch Camp, Thorn employees received real-time feedback on their storytelling from six HPE volunteers. The result: each walked away ​​with an effective tool for communicating their impact which is integral to nonprofit fundraising, recruiting, and marketing.

At Fast Forward, we emphasize the value of mentoring and are so grateful to HPE for engaging their global workforce. As the year continues, we look forward to welcoming HPE volunteers to meet with the tech nonprofit community, provide valuable mentorship, and ultimately accelerate HPE’s impact.

Fast Forward is also excited to announce that Joy Education, Restor, Thorn, and the entire 2023 Startup Accelerator cohort are included in this year’s Accelerating Impact campaign.

Interest piqued? Check out the first blog in this series to dive into the amazing work of some other organizations included in 2023 Accelerating Impact.