Demo Day 2021
Entrepreneurs are shaping the future of social impact. At the heart of it: tech. Spanning four continents, the 11 tech nonprofits in the Fast Forward Accelerator have defined their impact models, honed their pitches, and launched products. Now, they’re ready to inspire you at Demo Day.
Join us at Fast Forward’s virtual Demo Day to meet emerging tech nonprofit leaders using technology to forge new solutions to entrenched problems. October 7 at noon PT. It’s the inspiration your 2021 needs. Donate now.
Accelerator Cohort Stats
The Opportunity: 90% of eligible families aren’t accessing public benefits that could catapult them out of poverty. The COVID crisis has exacerbated the need for rent relief, unemployment insurance, and cash assistance.
The Solution: AssistHub’s web app delivers a personalized checklist of benefit recommendations and application support to help millions of families unlock dignity and opportunity.
The Founders: Patrice Berry spent 15 years advising college students on how to access benefits. Her co-founder, Owen Sperling, is a developer committed to applying his skills for good.
The Opportunity: There are 500,000 elected officials in the U.S. poised to address climate change. With the right information, they can play a key role in climate action.
The Solution: Climate Cabinet Education is building the most comprehensive dataset on local climate action in the country. Now, constituents know what levers to pull to effect change.
The Founders: Caroline Spears and Emma Fisher met at Stanford as champions for climate action. They have experience in grassroots organizing and political campaigns.
The Opportunity: While 2 in 3 children lack reliable access to the Internet and online learning tools, most use SMS.
The Solution: Darsel helps learners in low-income communities build math skills through an AI-powered math chatbot accessible via low-bandwidth channels like SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
The Founder: Abdulhamid Haidar’s trajectory is a statistical anomaly. This consultant-turned social entrepreneur from Syria is committed to helping learners around the world access the same opportunities he did.
The Opportunity: College students are looking for ways to use their technical skills for good. At the same time, nonprofits are seeking resources for digital transformation.
The Solution: Develop for Good’s volunteer engagement platform pairs underrepresented computer science students with nonprofits to build technical product solutions.
The Founders: Recent Stanford graduates Mary Zhu and Amay Aggarwal are bent on making it easier for computer science students like them to help nonprofits.
The Opportunity: 300,000 people returning from long-term incarceration don’t have a credit score. They need one to access jobs, housing, and even, a cell phone.
The Solution: finEQUITY’s comprehensive lending and education platform helps formerly incarcerated people achieve a credit score in the mid-600s.
The Founder: Briane Cornish is a lawyer, activist, and entrepreneur. Briane formerly founded DCRefers.org, which connects lower-income clients with attorneys at below-market rates. Her life’s work is to open up pathways from prison to prosperity.
The Opportunity: America has a shortage of truck drivers. This is a potential pathway to employment for the nearly 75% of formerly incarcerated individuals who remain unemployed one year after their release.
The Solution: FreeWorld is an online training platform that places people who are formerly incarcerated into high-wage careers in trucking.
The Founder: Jason Wang was incarcerated at 15 years old on a 12 year sentence. After exiting prison and joining the “free world,” he earned his MBA. Now, he’s paying it forward.
The Opportunity: Technology has been largely underutilized in improving health outcomes for the world’s 80 Million refugees. Most refugee tech is built for clinics and camps. Displaced people need a solution that is built for their needs.
The Solution: HERA is a mobile app that connects refugee mothers and children with preventative prenatal care and vaccinations.
The Founders: Dr. Aral Sürmeli and Dr. Neeru Narla met at Harvard School of Public Health and share a commitment to improving global health. Together, they combine experience in refugee healthcare, disaster relief, and entrepreneurship.
The Opportunity: In the U.S., there are more food pantries than there are McDonalds. Yet most hungry people don’t know where to find free food.
The Solution: Lemontree built a first-of-its kind dataset of all food resources in New York & Philadelphia. This data powers Lemontree’s helpline connecting food insecure people with free food.
The Founders: Alex Godin and Kasumi Quinlan share a deep commitment to food security and are steadfast in ensuring that the 1.8M+ New Yorkers and Philadelphians that need help securing food are able to.
The Opportunity: Most brain development occurs before the age of eight. In India, 150 Million children don’t have access to preschool, but 75% of their families are on WhatsApp.
The Solution: Rocket Learning’s WhatsApp-based platform empowers parents in India to strengthen their child’s foundational learning through videos and educational activities.
The Founders: Vishal Sunil, Utsav Kheria, Namya Mahajan, Azeez Gupta, and Siddhant Sachdeva bring experience in early childhood education, technology, and entrepreneurship. With an eye to scale, they’re already touching millions of lives across India.
The Opportunity: Almost half of aspiring Black homeowners start mortgage applications, but don’t complete them.
The Solution: SayLambda’s discovery platform helps more Black families become homeowners by connecting them with homeownership incentives, down payment assistance, and coaching.
The Founder: Kwasi Frye believes that homeownership is key to closing the Black wealth gap. He pairs his unique skill sets as a leader in housing justice in Baltimore, with his decade of experience as a software engineer.
The Opportunity: There’s one nurse for every 11,000 patients in Uganda. And nurses in public hospitals still use pen and paper to track vitals.
The Solution: Tatu Nurse is an app that digitally captures and triages patient vital signs, helping Ugandan nurses work smarter and faster.
The Founders: Tatu Nurse is built by Ugandan nurses for Ugandan nurses. Samuel Mugisha, Irene Magara, Philip Nomwesigwa, and Lydia Mbaziira Birungi bring deep experience across nursing, tech, and social entrepreneurship.
The Fast Forward Accelerator and Demo Day 2021 are made possible by:
Thank you for supporting social impact tech! Your donation to tech nonprofits makes their work possible.