In every city, people and organizations want to grow or improve their businesses, neighborhood quality and economic opportunity.
But we are often at a disadvantage in finding the resources to help without either personal relationships to know about grants and sponsorships, or a central location for all the information. (I always say both the pro and con of the internet is that there is so much information.)
On the other side — and it’s hard to believe, but — organizations that offer monetary and in-kind resources often struggle to find qualified applicants that meet their mission.
I’ve been brainstorming and developing tactics for the above issues for several years because of my own experience of needing resources to sustain and grow my branding agency, Prestige Concepts. I was self-funded for the first few years of my company’s existence but needed to bring in additional resources to stay afloat. So, I set up Google alerts to let me know about available funding and the like, but was disappointed in the results I received every week.
In addition to my needs, I witnessed the disconnect between the clients I was working with in the government, nonprofit and for-profit industries. I was constantly asked how to develop relationships with my clients, and vice versa: My clients needed to be connected to the communities in which they served. As a result, I developed a database of available resources and separated the information by suppliers and organizations in demand.
Fast-forward: I met my now-business partner and COO, Paul Wright, formerly of Comcast where he launched an award-winning department, acquiring and relaunching EveryBlock. We began working together on Open Access Philly, which was started by Paul and Jeff Friedman from Microsoft and others to increase citizen engagement through technology.
In 2016, Paul and I joined forces to launch Stimulus, a technology and media company specializing in connecting communities for sustainable social impact. Our objective is to make cities more equitable by simplifying access to resources for neighborhood improvements, business development and personal growth. Our first product is a search engine, marketplace and intelligence platform to simplify the discovery process for anyone, regardless of their personal network.
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Stimulus’ approach to matching communities and resources is founded on the belief that modern, data-centric solutions drive smarter, more impactful decisions and, therefore, unlock new value for those in any community.
In a short time, Stimulus has partnered with AT&T, with SCORE Philadelphia for mentoring, with Microsoft as its “Startup in Residence,” with University of Pennsylvania to develop a program for social entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds (details forthcoming!) and more.
We all came together with a purpose of placing community and city benefit at the core of our missions.
As “Startup in Residence” at the Microsoft Reactor in University City, the Stimulus team wants to kick off 2017 with a “Connect to Resources” event. In the beginning of the year, organizations are working on a plan to develop partnerships to offer and obtain resources needed for growth and sustainability. Our meet-and-greet will start the dialogue of creating those relationships and introduce attendees to technology that will help.
Focus group-style, we will discuss how to manage monetary and in-kind resources, as well as the organizations that provide them.
On the supplier side, we’ll host organizations, foundations and government agencies with available resources to distribute. On the demand side, we’ll host people and organizations (especially those in underserved communities) in need of resources to grow. Join us.
- Date — Tuesday, Jan. 17
- Time — 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
- Venue — Microsoft Reactor, 3711 Market St.
- Price — Free
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