Houston, “The Energy Capital of the World,” has experienced three 500-year-flood disasters—including the destruction from Hurricane Harvey—in the same amount of years. We’ve seen local talent rise to these challenges in the past, and want to give them a platform to take their solutions to the next level. In such a diverse city with a tremendous amount of resources, it seems only natural that Houston can help lead the way in developing local solutions that can scale to other contexts…especially in light of the Mayor’s recently-announced Climate Action Plan.
Climathon 2019 is Houston’s opportunity to:
Engage the nonprofit, startup and entrepreneurship communities to develop innovative solutions towards climate action
Build stronger relationships among impact-oriented organizations and communities
Connect thought leaders and subject matter experts with designers, developers, entrepreneurs, policymakers and activists for more creative, effective, and viable solutions
Presenting the Challenges: Entrepreneurs, students, developers, and more are invited to come up with innovative solutions to Houston’s climate challenges.
Creating Solutions: You’ll connect with city officials and partners around a shared vision for a healthier city. You’ll help bring this vision to life by participating in the hackathon October 25, 1pm-10pm: You can bring an existing idea to work on, or develop a new solution with an inspiring team. Coaches and experts will be on hand to help you develop promising solutions to Houston’s climate challenges. Participants can win passes to the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, courtesy of the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition!
What happens after Climathon?
You can continue working on your solutions on October 29 at Open Project Night and over the next two weeks. For those serious about turning their ideas into viable businesses, we’ll help you prepare to pitch to our panel of judges, who will evaluate which ideas move on to the next phase. The highest scoring team will be awarded the opportunity to work with Topl to build a customized Impact Tracker for their solution: This Tracker will give the winners the opportunity to turn their sustainable solution into verifiable action by creating, analyzing, and eventually exchanging Impact Credits on Topl, the impact blockchain!
The top three solutions will be submitted for a chance to go to the Climathon Global Awards in Paris and win a Citizens Award and cash prizes: 1st) EUR 10,000 / 2nd) EUR 5000 / 3rd) EUR 2500
Finalists selected to move to the next phase will receive:
An invitation to the Climathon Global Awards Ceremony on January 31 in Paris during the ChangeNOW Summit
A dedicated one-day bootcamp to grow your idea, on January 30 in Paris
Travel and accommodation for one person per team of semi-finalists is complimentary (additional team members are more than welcome to join at their own expense!)
CLIMATHON 2019 PARTICIPANTS
Thank you for joining us for Houston’s first Climathon!
We’re so excited to see what solutions you develop to make Houston a better place to live for all. Please check your inboxes or click the button at right to review the Welcome Letter for day-of instructions. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you on October 25!
Stakeholder and citizen engagement are an important part of solving Houston’s climate challenges. The City seeks solutions towards multiple goals from the Mayor’s Climate Action Plan, which guide the strategies and actions that the City and community can take to reduce our GHG emissions and help prepare for a changing climate
By giving consumers visibility to the carbon footprint of different energy sources, which companies utilize these sources, and the degree to which they utilize these sources, we can empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions about their energy supply.
When sustainability is taken into account, not every action carries the same weight. How can we motivate people to adopt a new, sustainable lifestyle and act in meaningful ways in their everyday lives in order to address the main causes of climate change?
Ahead of this year’s Global Climate Strike (20-27 September) and the Global Goals Week (21-30 September), the Impact Hub network is launching its 2019 Global Impact Report. The report features details of how communities of entrepreneurs globally are creating significant change in combating the world’s most challenging problems and are contributing significantly to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The report marks Impact Hub network’s role as an industry thought leader in the impact sector, utilizing a local community-based, yet globally connected model. Impact Hub’s report demonstrates how such communities are offering viable solutions towards sustainable development, with statistics in the report showing that 60% of members are putting ‘impact-first’.
The 2019 Global Impact Report is the culmination of gathering relevant data from a number of their 16,500 members of 100+ locations in over 55 countries around the globe. The members surveyed said that being part of such a network had helped them to:
Feel part of a larger community: 84%
Gain access to a better working infrastructure: 78%
Strengthen their motivation: 77%
Partner and collaborate with other members: 76%
Connect to advisors and experts: 68%
Develop skills and capabilities: 65%
Come up with new ideas: 65%
The report also highlights how Impact Hub members are encouraging economic growth, especially in the social impact sector, with 10,000+ new ventures and 29,000+ net new jobs created since 2012. Collaboration also permeates the report as one of the primary benefits for change-makers working in our network, with the members who made many connections ending the following year with a total of 17,300 USD more investment than their peers who made fewer connections.
The data shows the impact that tailored support programs can have for entrepreneurs looking to develop an idea or scale a venture. In 2018, the Impact Hub network ran over 100+ successful entrepreneurial support programs and 100+ collaborative innovation programs focused on SDGs and ecosystem development globally. The results show program participants attributing 40% of their professional success to Impact Hub. Here are some examples of Impact Hub’s programs:
My life in my hands
Run by Impact Hub Caracas, ‘My Life in My Hands’ tackles early pregnancy, violence and drug use among youth: crucial topics in the country with the highest rate of teen pregnancy in Latin America. Through a holistic range of methodologies, it has improved the quality of life of 280 children in slums, providing 7,500+ meals, and teaching them how to lead a worthy life.
Impact Hub Bucharest and ING Romania created Startarium, a program supporting entrepreneurs by using mentorship, online courses and networking in three areas: learning, testing and financing. With a total of 35,000+ community members, 60+ mentors, 400 learning materials and 3,500+ business ideas, Startarium is unique in combining the mechanisms of incubators and accelerators to assist entrepreneurs.
The network also fosters a society that promotes innovation, education, and gainful employment, among others. Notable works in 2018 include Impact Hub San José’s efforts with the vice president of Costa Rica in enabling 20 farms to export to the United States; Accelerate2030, where 16 Impact Hubs are working with the United Nations Development Programme to identify and scale innovative ventures tackling the SDGs; and Impact Hub Amsterdam’s partnership with the World Wildlife Fund on the Plastics Free Ocean Accelerator, which in turn garnered environmental business, ‘Ioniqa’, a €12 million investment and a partnership with consumer goods giant Unilever.
Interested parties may visit local Impact Hubs to learn more about Impact Hub network’s commitment and programs under the 17 SDGs. Know more about how you can make a change by using #bepartofthechange, #networksforchange, #scalingimpact on social media.
Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,500 change-driven entrepreneurs in more than 55 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. We build ecosystems to drive collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation around the Global Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.
Together, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Impact Hub are pleased to announce the international finalists for the Accelerate2030 programme. Accelerate2030, is an international programme that supports high-impact ventures tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since 2016, the Accelerate2030 programme has been implemented across 24 countries, covering 16 developing countries in this year’s edition.
Selected from over 1100 applications, this year represents a diverse cohort of impact-driven ventures covering numerous SDGs including innovative solutions for rapid and inexpensive diagnostics, bioplastic from olive seeds, and using artificial intelligence in agritech, to name only a few.
“This year’s cohort of Accelerate2030 ventures are developing innovative solutions to important Sustainable Development Goals. It is innovators like these entrepreneurs who set the pace for addressing the world’s most pressing challenges related to the environment, food security, clean water, and many other important challenges manifested by SDGs.” notes Artak Melkonyan, UNDP.
Photo Credit: ImpactHubSanJose
The 10 International Accelerate2030 finalists are:
Unima (Mexico): Biotechnology company that develops rapid and inexpensive diagnostic and disease surveillance systems. The company’s goal is to solve the lack of access to rapid diagnostics for the 3 billion people in developing and resource-poor countries.
Portal Telemedicina (Brazil): Portal Telemedicina’s mission is to enable universal access to quality healthcare, through a platform that provides reliable, fast, and low-cost diagnostics to over 300 cities in Brazil and Africa by allowing doctors to diagnose online empowered by artificial intelligence (AI).
Bio Live (Turkey): Biolive produces 100% natural bioplastic granules made from olive seeds, in order to overcome environmental problems of plastic consumption, and to fulfil the deficiencies in bio/plastic market.
AgroCognitive (Venezuela): An affordable and smart precision farming platform for every farm size and food industry. It is powered by an artificial intelligence (AI) visual recognition engine, analytics models, blockchain, and it is compatible with IoT management devices.
Ekofungi (Serbia): Ekofungi is a mid-sized organic mushroom producer using an innovative circular mushroom-production model that harnesses local cellulose-based wastes (in a 30 km radius), creating mushroom substrate and cultivation mushrooms using unique energy-efficient innovations.
Impact Water (Nigeria): Delivering safe water to developing country institutions (schools and health facilities), via the sale, installation, and maintenance of water purification systems which use established technologies that perform effectively for decades with relatively simple, preventive maintenance.
InvestEd (The Philippines): InvestEd enables institutions and individuals to invest in loans to unbanked college students through an innovative credit scoring tool that predicts repayment and employment.
Sampangan (Indonesia): An innovative waste processing solution using carbonisation technology (heat radiation) to efficiently decompose any kind of solid waste (organic & inorganic) into carbon for organic agriculture and other industries.
Costa Rica Insect Company (Costa Rica): Creating sustainable insect-based solutions, and providing high quality and healthy solutions for malnutrition. In addition CRIC seeks to use of insects to develop biochemical components for unsustainable industries such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, technology or even packaging.
SoluBio (Brazil): SoluBio’s mission is to eliminate the usage of chemicals in agriculture through a technology that enables farmers to produce their own biofungicide, biopesticide and other necessary products in agriculture.
These ten finalists will join the global Accelerate2030 scaling programme, kicked off by an intensive
week of activities in Geneva from 4-11 of October, benefitting from a set of services and support offered by UNDP, Impact Hub, International Trade Centre, Pfizer, Amazon Web Services, UNAIDS, Boston Consulting Group and other program partners. The Geneva week is part of the Building Bridges Week, connecting key players working in the field of sustainable finance, with the entrepreneurs presenting at the SDG Geneva Finance Summit (SGS Geneva) on October 9th, and the Factory17 event on October 10th.
Accelerate2030 is a multi-stakeholder program, co-initiated by Impact Hub and UNDP, with the mission to scale the impact of entrepreneurial solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme has to-date been implemented in three editions, in 24 developing and emerging economies across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, reaching 2 million people and more than 1500 entrepreneurs, and engaging around 50 partners globally. Within this time, the programme has brought together numerous entrepreneurs, investors, UN agencies, multinational organizations, consultancies, local authorities and other stakeholders around a common mission of addressing the SDGs through entrepreneurial solutions.
This year the program was launched across 16 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Cambodia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Turkey, Serbia, and Armenia.
For more information & interview requests, please contact:
HOUSTON, (August 27, 2019) – The Cannon and Impact Hub Houston are excited to announce their new partnership to create more inclusive and diversity-centered programs across the Greater Houston area.
Impact Hub Houston, a member of the global Impact Hub network—the world’s largest community dedicated to helping social entrepreneurs create impact at scale—aims to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. With collaboration as a cornerstone, Impact Hub Houston and The Cannon will work together to deliver events that connect and empower diverse changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters across the Greater Houston area.
The Cannon recently welcomed nearly 500 of Houston’s most accomplished entrepreneurs, small businesses and service providers into their community with the opening of their newly-constructed 120K sq. ft. Main Campus in West Houston in late July. Lawson Gow, Founder and CEO of The Cannon, notes, “One of Houston’s best differentiating qualities is that we are truly a melting pot. We want our community to reflect the amazing diversity across our city, so we have to move beyond simply discussing diversity and work to create an environment where innovation can thrive and real change can happen. We are confident Impact Hub will be the perfect partner to bring those aspects to our community.”
Grace Rodriguez, CEO and Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston, shares, “Over the past few years, Lawson and I have brainstormed how we could work together to connect and grow our region’s innovation ecosystem, and demonstrate how organizations can evolve from competition to true collaboration. I’m so excited that those talks have developed into this partnership: Through The Cannon and Impact Hub Houston, we’ll be able to effectively ‘meet people where they are’ geographically, socially, and culturally, helping diverse entrepreneurs and startups at the myriad intersections of place, purpose, demographics, psychographics, and business growth stages. We at Impact Hub Houston look forward to doing more good with the great team at The Cannon!”
Impact Hub Houston will establish a #PopHUB at The Cannon – Main Campus and provide programming there, at The Cannon – Post Oak just west of the Galleria, and at additional new locations as they open. Members of each organization will also receive access to both organizations’ locations across Houston.
To kick off the partnership, the organizations will host a joint AMA panel and reception at The Cannon on September 11, 2019, followed by Impact Hub Houston’s Social Entrepreneurship Meetup. Both events intend to bring their communities and the general public together, as all are invited to come learn more about the organizations, the partnership, and what this and future collaborations will mean for Houston.
About The Cannon (https://thecannonhouston.com)
The Cannon is a coworking space and entrepreneurship hub located at the center of the 32-acre Founders District on the west side of Houston, just north of Interstate 10 and Beltway 8. Currently, there are over 200 companies in The Cannon community working at The Cannon – Main Campus, a brand new 120K square foot converted warehouse that is one of the largest coworking and offices spaces in the world, and at The Cannon – Post Oak, the first of many satellite locations that will allow for even more flexibility and resources for Houston’s entrepreneurs. The Cannon plans to headquarter over 800 of Houston’s most accomplished entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses, and will be surrounded by service providers and resources geared to help their businesses grow.
About Impact Hub Houston (https://houston.impacthub.net)
Impact Hub Houston is a locally rooted, globally connected, nonprofit startup development organization that aims to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global network—the world’s largest community recognized by the United Nations for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—Impact Hub Houston intentionally designs places, platforms and programs to build an inclusive innovation ecosystem and empower diverse changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters to create the change they wish to see in the world.
June has been filled with celebration at Impact Hub Houston!
Did you hear? We are excited to partner with Houston Exponential for a summer pop-up! Stop by to say hello!
We launched the Impact Hub Houston Community Membership this month! We’re working to offer you more programs to learn from, more events to connect at, more storytelling to inspire you, and new virtual and physical spaces to empower your networking and coworking! Learn more at https://houston.impacthub.net/membership — if you’re ready to take our relationship to the next level, apply to become an Impact Hub Houston Community Member, today!
Before June flies by, be sure to connect with the Impact Hub Houston fam on Friday, June 28:
JOIN FORCES FOR THE OCEANS: For any of our members and partners addressing themes like climate, energy, food, water, and oceans — some of WWF’s key areas of focus — Impact Hub has a partnership with WWF that aims to bring together innovators from our two networks, identify high potential solutions and provide these with access to WWF’s deep expertise in nature conservation as well as credibility and support in scaling and access to finance.
Impact Hub’s partnership with WWF builds on 8 years of successful collaboration and now enters a new phase. Our ambition is to expand our collaboration to many more countries around the globe, working together on a deep strategic level to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
First, we need to have a better sense of the kind of solutions within the wider community. Then we might, for example, provide ventures with best practices from Impact Hubs around the globe, reach out regarding relevant events, WWF projects, joint programs, support offers, among other things to inspire and enable you to move forward with your project.
…and if you’d like to become a member and participate in this opportunity, sign up now at https://houston.impacthub.net/membership. We look forward to helping you create the impact you wish to see in the world!
Behind every fast-growing startup is the ability to successfully attract, engage, and delight customers.
To do so, high-growth companies must focus on adding value to customers at every stage of their journey. Inbound marketing, sales, and service are well-known methodologies for achieving customer value.
General Catalyst and HubSpot are excited to announce ELEVATE, a free virtual accelerator consisting of eight 1-hour sessions designed to help early-stage startups learn the principles of inbound marketing and create a growth playbook tailored to the needs of their customers. Startups will be invited to attend an exclusive, four-week program where they will join Master Classes led by HubSpot experts to learn inbound methodology fundamentals, and case studies led by General Catalyst portfolio founders and executives to better conceptualize how to apply these principles. In the fourth week, startups will complete a Master Class and case study focused specifically on fundraising led by General Catalyst investors and portfolio founders.
The summer will culminate with a final pitch event to a live audience at INBOUND19!
Featuring experts from HubSpot, General Catalyst, Stripe, Gusto, B12, and Verta.AI, ELEVATE will teach high-potential startups how to grow better. If you have a social venture or startup and you are looking to grow, apply to ELEVATE today: https://offers.hubspot.com/startups/elevate
Applications close Sunday, May 26th at midnight EDT. Attendees will be notified of their acceptance no later than June 1.
ELEVATE ACCELERATOR SCHEDULE:
Week 1: Attract – June 4th and 6th
Master Class: As an emerging company, nothing is more important than driving traffic to your website. The easiest way to attract traffic begins with understanding your target audience.
Case Study: Learn how Gusto navigated customer discovery and set up their online presence to attract early customers, and become a top payroll and benefits provider for small businesses.
Week 2: Engage – June 11th and 13th
Master Class: Now that you’ve attracted website visitors, you need to engage them with your content and turn them into repeat visitors. As you provide more value to your prospects you will begin to build trust.
Case Study: Learn how Stripe built their sales strategy and engaged repeat visitors to become the leading payments platform for internet businesses.
Week 3: Delight – June 18th and 20th
Master Class: The cost of acquiring a new customer is dramatically higher than the cost of retaining an existing customer. Creating the final step of the inbound approach, delighting customers should be treated with the same care and attention as all the other steps of the methodology.
Case Study:Learn how B12 has continued to delight early customers with their AI-built website product through their deliberate focus on customer success.
Week 4: Present – July 9th and 11th
Master Class: With an inbound marketing practice in motion, startups might also be ready to raise seed capital to help fuel anticipated growth. Successfully raising a seed round requires a compelling narrative, a thoughtful plan of action, and an understanding of the documents and requirements from potential investors during the process.
Case Study: Learn how an early stage GC founder built and presented a crisp narrative and secured top investors for her seed round.
I was one of the many people who bought into the myth of the unconquerable entrepreneur. The pioneer who was prolifically confident, obsessive, charismatic, and unyieldingly optimistic. For a time, I, too, felt unconquerable and rode a wave of euphoria for months as I plunged full-time into co-founding One Jump, an online platform that connects underserved students to enrichment opportunities with the goal of combatting the opportunity gap.
And then something changed. My savings were gone. Debt began to pile up. Traction slowed. Technical challenges increased in frequency. The rejections and defeats along the startup journey began to feel less like rain and more like hail. Seeking advice about what I was experiencing, I called a mentor and after a long pause he shared: “I think I know what you’re feeling. You’re in the pit.”
Almost all entrepreneurs tumble into the pit at some point. What can often make or break their venture is their ability to pull themselves out of it. But how do you do that? I wasn’t sure, so I looked for help. I sought out other founders and mentors. I looked for a community, but struggled to find one … especially as a social entrepreneur.
We’re different. While we’re mission-oriented, we are quickly labeled as “charities,” and that label is either limiting or incorrect. Traditional business models can also be at odds with our theory of impact. I found this to be true with One Jump as I communicated with our mentors, advisors, and prospective investors. Our team was often pushed to work with affluent schools more directly, but we believed this would only further extend the achievement gap. During launch, our team struggled to find examples of successful hybrids and benefit corporations and how to structure them. Structuring as a non-profit, for-profit, hybrid or a benefit corporation matters significantly, but there’s a lack of quality coaching on choosing which structure would work best for your startup. And lastly, there’s a growing need to educate up the ladder – to reach potential funders, investors, foundations, and family offices about the rise of for-profit social enterprises, their expected returns, company performance, unique tax code implications, and so much more.
Frustrated and seeking community support, I presented my startup at a Sketch City Hackathon. Through that experience, I met Natasha Azizi, who had worked for Unreasonable Institute, an organization that supported social entrepreneurs internationally. She shared that she was planning to bring an organization called Impact Hub to Houston. I learned that Impact Hub was a collection of locally rooted, globally connected “hubs” dedicated to supporting social impact and social entrepreneurship in cities around the world. Think the United Nations if it were made up of hubs that support changemakers and problem solvers. Hubs were the places you’d go to connect with movers and shakers working individually and collaboratively to make the city and the world a better place. I immediately wanted to be a part of that community. That’s what I was looking for.
Over time, my engagement with Impact Hub Houston increased and I became a co-founder. I found it empowering to be able to shape an organization that I and many of my peers urgently needed. With programs that included coffee colliders, community townhalls, founders workshops, meetups, Open Project Nights, Fuck Up Nights (Yes, it’s a thing! Look it up!), and so much more, we are working to build an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem.
We help make Houston more equitable by supporting changemakers and social entrepreneurs so that they feel less isolated and can focus on delivering greater impact through their work. We’ll help problem solvers stop falling into pits…but if they do fall, they’ll find a vibrant community of individuals, mentors, and other stakeholders helping them get back on their feet.
Guided by our refined vision and mission, and our amazing leader in Grace Rodriguez, we are excited to write the next chapter of Impact Hub Houston! Join us in building a movement, and engage in the rewarding-yet-challenging work of achieving our vision: To make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues.