3…2…1…IMPACT!

3…2…1…IMPACT!

Houston: The day is here. We are officially launching Impact Hub Houston as a nonprofit organization to inspire, connect and empower the Greater Houston area’s changemakers, social entrepreneurs and impact supporters; and make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues!

We have a few exciting announcements to share, but first, we want to let you know…over the past few months, our Launch Team has dived deep into discussion around who we are, who we aim to serve, how we want to create and amplify impact, and what we want to implement and offer to do so. Those conversations led us to be more intentional about the language we use, because language shapes how we think — and how we think shapes what we do.

Acknowledging that, we refined our Vision and Mission to more accurately represent the change we wish to be in the world:

  • Our Vision: To make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues.
    We have heard time and again how other cities are building strong innovation ecosystems, from Chicago to Cincinnati to Detroit. Guess what: Houston is, too! We will shine a spotlight on our own city and elevate the people, businesses, and organizations who have been pioneering progress under the radar. While we champion an inclusive impact-driven innovation ecosystem, we will partner with more organizations across the region to collaboratively transform Greater Houston into a model that the rest of the world aspires to learn from and become.
  • Our Mission: To inspire, connect, and empower changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters with mentorship, sponsorship, meaningful content, thought-provoking talks, hands-on learning opportunities, and vibrant community conversations. To create inclusive and equitable environments where people plug in and actively advocate for each other. To deepen and strengthen relationships among stakeholders to build an innovation ecosystem where people collaborate across organizations, cultures, identities, geography, and generations.
    As a member of the Impact Hub global network, we support people who are developing solutions aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through our collective experience, we’ve found that the kind of support that changemakers and entrepreneurs need most take the forms of guidance, connections, funding, and advocacy. We’ve shaped our mission to directly address those needs while making sure that we hold ourselves accountable to meet people where they are and foster stronger understanding, engagement, and support across the diverse communities of Houston.

Through that lens, we are pleased to announce the following programs and collaborations we’re working on to deliver on our Vision and Mission:

#321IMPACT: We are launching our crowdfunding campaign March 21 to help us secure a long-term home to grow the Impact Hub Houston community, increase our capacity for entrepreneur-centered events and services, and hire full-time staff to effectively implement impactful membership and mentorship programs.

We have launched the Impact Hub Houston Community Calendar — a one-stop place to find events relevant to the Houston startup community.

We will soon announce our first pop-up location, which will allow us to incubate Impact Hub Houston while maintaining flexibility to test programming in other locations and neighborhoods.

We are bringing an established accelerator program to Houston to help early-stage entrepreneurs who represent Houston’s diversity to access startup education and statewide mentors.

We are creating a curated, personalized, and *tracked* mentorship program to ensure we are helping entrepreneurs effectively learn and grow, while holding ourselves accountable for results.

We are developing an Impact Academy program to help social enterprises effectively engage with corporate social innovation groups.

We are working with The Cannon leadership to deliver impact-focused programming at their locations across Houston!

We are coordinating The Houston Innovation Summit 2019!

We are organizing TEDxHouston 2019, and preparing for TEDxHouston’s Tenth Anniversary in 2020!

… In the days and weeks ahead, we will introduce you to the Impact Hub Houston Launch Team, share more details on these programs and events, and unveil so much more that we have in store.

Want to be a part of it? We invite you to subscribe, volunteer, mentor, and — most important of all — DONATE! With your help, we can achieve even greater impact for Houston!

Many thanks to Goodspero for generously recording and editing the video (https://goodspero.com); and to Andrew Karnavas of YAWP Records for generously editing the audio (https://yawprecords.com)!

Adidas And Impact Hub To Boost Ventures Inspiring Girls In Sport

Adidas And Impact Hub To Boost Ventures Inspiring Girls In Sport

  • “She Breaks Barriers” program for ventures removing the barriers faced by girls and young women  in sport
  • Teams have the chance to co-create with adidas and win €15,000
  • Start-ups, non-profits and initiatives can apply until July 7

adidas and Impact Hub today opened applications for the “She Breaks Barriers” program, which will support changemakers that are removing the barriers that stand between girls and sport. Early-stage start-ups, non-profits and other initiatives that operate in Germany and address access, gender stereotype and visibility barriers faced by girls in sport have until July 7 to apply for the three-month program. It aims to inspire and enable girls and young women under the age of 25 — who at this age are at particularly high risk of being systematically shut out of sport.

She Breaks Barriers is a series of adidas initiatives to inspire and enable the next generation of female athletes, creators, and leaders. This program is run in partnership with the social entrepreneurship network Impact Hub — one of the world’s largest communities for positive change — and draws on their expertise to find and boost ventures that remove barriers to sport for girls. We are looking for changemakers who address any relevant barriers, from safety concerns to a lack of opportunity and access to sport or limited visibility of female sports in the news and in the local sports club.

At adidas, we believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives. ‘She Breaks Barriers’ is about inspiring and enabling the next generation of strong, confident leaders. It’s about removing the barriers between women and sport, and providing them with the tools necessary to lift themselves and others up, on and off the pitch”, Luc Van Hoeckel, adidas’ Director of Social Impact.

The selected teams will have the chance to get mentoring and coaching from experienced adidas experts, attend three tailored business clinics, co-create with adidas  & access the global network of both adidas and Impact Hub, and win € 15,000.

“The program is not just about removing challenges that girls and young women encounter on the sports pitch but also about breaking the societal barriers that prevent them from participating in sport: The ventures we are looking for could be anything from initiatives that eliminate gender and sports stereotypes to mobile apps ensuring safe transport for girls to their training”, Gabriela Gandel, Impact Hub’s Global Executive Director.

Any early-stage start-ups, non-profit organizations and initiatives that operate in Germany can apply, as long as they have a unique, innovative and creative approach to removing barriers for girls in sport, a proof of concept, and a sustainable financial, funding or business model.

For more information and to apply, visit the She Breaks Barriers website.

About adidas:

adidas has its roots in Germany but it is a truly global company. Around the world, the company employs over 57,000 people. Employees from about 100 nations are working at the global HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany – the ‘World of Sports’. Every year, adidas produces over 900 million sports and sports lifestyle products with independent manufacturing partners worldwide.

About Impact Hub:

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,000+ change-driven entrepreneurs in more than 50 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.

Coalition of Partners Announces the Titan Generator: a Dynamic Startup Micro-Accelerator Powered by National Social Movements to Support Entrepreneurs of Color

Coalition of Partners Announces the Titan Generator: a Dynamic Startup Micro-Accelerator Powered by National Social Movements to Support Entrepreneurs of Color

 Social impact firm Generation Titans collaborates with Google, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Envolve Entrepreneurship, Common Impact, and the Soze Agency to generate resources for enterprise solutions

– Event on March 9, 2019 coinciding with the SXSW Interactive Festival  

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Generation Titans, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Google, Envolve Entrepreneurship, and the Soze Agency are proud to launch the inaugural Titan Generator at Google Austin on March 9, 2019. This day-long event will serve as a collaborative immersive program for start-up businesses led by entrepreneurs of color. Social movement organizations—March for Our Lives, Color Of Change, United We Dream, and the International Indigenous Youth Council—will participate as advisers. The initiative seeks to align support for 50+ new businesses to generate business solutions.

Currently, high-potential entrepreneurs, particularly those from under-represented communities, must navigate a maze of obstacles in search of resources. In response, the Titan Generator is convening business and social movement leaders to facilitate pledges of support – from start-up finance and pro bono benefits to hands-on mentorship and story amplification.

“We want to work together within the social impact ecosystem to provide pro-bono assistance and deal flow for entrepreneurs of color. We’re working to pull together a diverse mix of investors and service providers who are seeking to scale social impact at pace. We see the Titan Generator event as a dynamic business accelerator,” stated Jessica Lynch, one of the three founding partners of Generation Titans.

 

Against the backdrop of the SXSW Interactive Festival, the Titan Generator will take place just a few blocks away from the Austin Convention Center at Google’s downtown office. “Google is excited to welcome the Titan Generator to our Austin office. The work they do to support local entrepreneurs across industries and backgrounds is phenomenal and speaks to our goal of creating access and opportunities for everyone,” said Lauren Lambert, Head of External Affairs – Google Austin.

 

Robert Kennedy called young people ‘the world’s hope’, and we are thrilled to bring together leading young activists, entrepreneurs, and students who embody that message. These young leaders inspire us all to carry on my father’s legacy of advocating for a more just and peaceful world,” said Kerry Kennedy, President – Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

 

Nestor Ruiz, Digital Organizer at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country added: “Immigrants, including those who are undocumented, are resilient and resourceful entrepreneurs. We’ve built lives here, started businesses and we continue to find the means to thrive despite the political environment. We are pumped to be part of Titan Generator, working with organizations that share our vision for all immigrant people.”

 

David Hogg of March for Our Lives stated: “We strongly believe that multiple resources and partners need to be involved in stopping gun violence in America. We can’t wait to brainstorm solutions and work on real plans of action.”

 

Envolve Entrepreneurship, which provides multiple resources and facilitates an award program for start-up businesses, has pledged dedicated mentors post-event for up to four new ventures led by entrepreneurs of color.

 

Christopher R. Upperman, CEO of Envolve, mentioned: “Our culture promotes a spirit of collaboration, and we are enthusiastic to join efforts in tackling gaps in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The Titan Generator experience is exactly the type of innovative approach our diverse communities and founders of color need. Together, we aim to agitate the status quo in the hope that it will accelerate opportunities, and as a result of this partnership, Envolve pledges mentorship and more to come!”

 

Common Impact, a national nonprofit that connects corporate volunteers to impactful nonprofits through skills-based volunteerism, will support the Titan Generator by providing social entrepreneurs with tools and resources to engage pro bono support for their efforts. Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact, explained: “We are thrilled to apply our nearly 20 years of experience building capacity for the social sector to support these social entrepreneurs as they tackle some of the most pressing issues our society faces. Our work has long supported nonprofits in making progress on important social and equity issues for our communities and we are excited to apply our expertise in leading skilled volunteer programs to amplify the diverse perspectives and scale the impact that these social entrepreneurs are poised to make.”

The Titan Generator curated experience will include:

  • A creative art / tech activation designed by the Soze Agency that explores the rich history of social movements and entrepreneurship in communities of color
  • A Dream Studio, or facilitated, hackathon-style session, with activists, entrepreneurs, funders, and influencers breaking down challenges and forging new pathways for collaboration
  • Fist Bump Moments” of real-time pledges that connect resources and build relationships post-event

“The Titan Generator is pairing activists and entrepreneurs to build a better future,” said Joshua DuBois, CEO – Gauge, a partner of the event. “We created Gauge to ensure that the voices of diverse communities are heard when decisions are being made that impact them. We look forward to participating and providing next-gen market research services for the event.”

Generation Titans worked with several key partners nationally, such as DivInc, to source nearly 200 entrepreneurs of color as potential participants. “DivInc is proud and excited to be partners with Generation Titans in Austin. We share the same mission of creating meaningful access to essential resources and opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs. We are all hands-on-deck to achieve the mission and the Titan Generator is a key effort toward that mission!” said Preston L. James II, Co-Founder & CEO – DivInc.

The Titan Generator aims to be a catalyst for a broader coalition of support and action. Generation Titans is still seeking additional funding, amplification, and pro bono support from partners who are working to deliver resources more equitably to diverse entrepreneurs.

Want to help? You can:
  1. Amplify: If you’d like to use your platform to signal boost underrepresented voices, engage influencers, and amplify stories of founders of color with great solutions, then sign up to provide amplification.
  2. Support Pro-Bono: If you’d like to roll up your sleeves and provide strategic and skills-based supports (e.g., planning, HR, IT, marketing, financial approaches, etc.) to founders of color, then sign up to provide pro bono support.
  3. Fund: If you’d like to provide direct funding support (any level) for individual and / or collaborative solutions, then sign up to provide funding support.
We just ask that you fulfill your pledge within two months of the Titan Generator.
To participate, go to http://j.mp/2EipHHy.

For more information about the Titan Generator and how to get involved as a resource provider during the event, please email [email protected].

The event will benefit from the support of numerous partners, including Impact Hub Austin, Impact Hub Houston, the Austin Justice Coalition, Gauge, In My Shoes, DivInc, Blnded Media, Roanhorse Consulting, Camelback Ventures, Valor Up, and University of Texas at Austin – Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Titan Generator SponsorsTitan Generator SponsorsTitan Generator Partners

About Generation Titans

Generation Titans is a social impact firm with a race and equity lens. Its mission and client work focuses on developing authentic community engagement strategies, boosting inclusive investments in support of social entrepreneurship, and mobilizing human capital as a force for change. For more information on Generation Titans and the Titan Generator, please visit www.generationtitans.com

About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights:

Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Whether in the United States or abroad, our programs have pursued justice through strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of children in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment. For more information on Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, please visit www.rfkhumanrights.org.

About Envolve Entrepreneurship:

Envolve Entrepreneurship (Envolve) is a 501(c)(3) organization that strives for a global society where all business owners can prosper and grow. Envolve focuses on helping diverse individuals and underserved communities access funding and support services to pursue their business dreams. With offices in the USA and Greece, Envolve is committed to cultivating the global entrepreneurial ecosystem through education, resources and awards. Envolve was founded by the Libra Group, and for more on its efforts to spur entrepreneurship, please visit www.envolveglobal.org

About the Soze Agency

The Soze Agency is a worker-owned cooperative, made up of entrepreneurs, activists, storytellers, artists and strategists. Guided by three core values: compassion, authenticity and equity, they create immersive pop-up experiences, expansive social movements, strategies for the future and high-profile, large-scale public events. For more information on the Soze Agency, please visit www.wearesoze.com.

About Common Impact

Common Impact is a national nonprofit that works to build a society in which individuals and businesses invest their unique talents towards a shared purpose: strengthening the local communities in which we live and work. Founded in 2000, Common Impact has partnered with Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of the country’s leading nonprofit organizations to create this transformational change through skills-based volunteering. Learn more about Common Impact’s servicesimpact, and clients at www.commonimpact.org.

The Titan Generator event will take place on Saturday March 9 at Google Austin (PRNewsfoto/Generation Titans)

It’s Time Texas! Let’s Go Healthy Houston …

It’s Time Texas! Let’s Go Healthy Houston …

We’re proud to announce that we’re working with the Houston Health Department to help HOU win the IT’S TIME TEXAS #CommunityChallenge! Aligned with the #GlobalGoal of Good Health and Well-Being (SDG3), Houston’s participation in the challenge is part of the ongoing #GoHealthyHouston initiative supported by the office of Mayor Sylvester Turner:

From Houston Health Director Stephen L. Williams:

“When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, our motivation to keep on a healthier track can fade as the weeks pass. That’s why we at the Houston Health Department encourage you to participate in the 2019 IT’S TIME TEXAS Community Challenge. The statewide competition helps you create healthy habits while competing against other communities for bragging rights and grant money.

The Challenge runs January 7 to March 3, 2019 and it’s free to participate. Here’s how it works:

  1. Register at http://ittcommunitychallenge.com. This earns 500 points!
  2. Take healthy selfies whenever you’re eating healthy or participating in a physical activity — use the hashtag #CommunityChallengeHOU and #GoHealthyHouston so we can track it! You can upload seven selfies per day for 200 points each.
  3. Connect your FitBit and/or use the site’s fitness tracker to earn points throughout the day.
  4. Watch the living healthier video lesson and answer a few questions for 200 points.
  5. Host a community event for 250 points. It must be a free, public, fitness-focused event for the entire community to enjoy.

Your community leaders also play a huge role in the Challenge. Elected officials, school representatives, businesses and organizations can earn points by signing pledges and participating in other activities.

In addition to earning bragging rights over our fellow Texas cities, *the five winning communities will receive funds to put toward future health-related projects.*

Help us get Houston on the path to better health — grab a glass of water and sign up to get started!

Welcome Grace Rodriguez to the Impact Hub Houston Team!

From the Houston Chronicle:

Grace Rodriguez, who spent much of her childhood in Houston and would later return as an adult in 2000, has long promoted Houston and its innovators. She strived to change the city’s perception during the six-year run of the “Houston at SXSW” promotional effort; helped Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez create the first Mayor’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee during his tenure on the Houston City Council; and worked as a lead organizer for Women In Tech: Houston and TEDxHouston.

 

In 2016, she was one of four founders who started Station Houston and helped grow it to 184 startups, 139 mentors and 351 members. The organization has become a driver for the city’s efforts to become a hub for high-growth, venture capital-attracting technology companies. And Station Houston fit well with her track record of working behind the scenes to found and nurture young organizations. But this time around, Rodriguez will take the next step in her career as the CEO and face of an organization.

 

Impact Hub is a global network with more than 100 hubs in over 50 countries. Roughly 6,400 startups were founded at its hubs between 2012 and 2016. Starting an Impact Hub is a long process that requires approval from the global network. Shiroy Aspandiar and Natasha Azizi co-founded Impact Hub Houston in 2016 and then reached out to Rodriguez this past summer.

 

“Grace has the right mix of mindsets, character, experience,” Aspandiar said, “and also just a true love for helping people that I think would make her a natural fit to be able to lead the helm of an Impact Hub.”

 

Others in Houston’s startup community likewise saw Impact Hub as a natural fit.

 

“She’s had such a focus on all social issues,” said Russ Capper, executive director of Houston Exponential, a nonprofit tasked with marketing and connecting Houston’s various innovation initiatives. “She likes to integrate them deeply into innovation and startups.”

Learn more about Grace, her background working in Houston’s creative, startup and innovation communities, and her crazy path to becoming the new CEO/Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston through her interview on “Working Wisdom” podcast from the C. T. Bauer College of Business:

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, Visits Impact Hub Lusaka

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, Visits Impact Hub Lusaka

Africa’s social innovation scene is blossoming

Over the last 3 years, the Impact Hub network has experienced a phase of rapid growth across Africa. Now, the network’s membership in the region has grown to include 1,400+ entrepreneurs and changemakers. An internal survey shows that:

  • 93% of members are under the age of 35
  • 31% of members started a new project or venture with someone they met at Impact Hub
  • 64% of members reported double digit revenue growth in 2017
  • Members created 190 new jobs in 2017
  • Members attribute 50% of their success to being part of the Impact Hub community

Is it any surprise that re:publica chose Accra as its first non-European destination this year? Or that German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently visited Impact Hub Accra, and that The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, just visited Lusaka to meet the local entrepreneurs devoted to changing the entrepreneurial ecosystem for this better? Hardly.

The Duke of Sussex meets with local entrepreneurs in Lusaka

As part of the Royal Visit’s recent trip to Zambia, Prince Harry devoted his time to showing support for local innovators, including the co-founder of Impact Hub Lusaka, Brighton Kaoma.

We caught up with Brighton to find out how it went…

Why did The Duke of Sussex come to Lusaka?

The Duke of Sussex  Prince Harry  came to see the work that young Zambians are doing, notably with Impact Hub Lusaka.

With Impact Hub we’re working to provide economic opportunities, especially in regards to employment creation, innovation, and amplifying the voices of young people through activism and community organizing.

How does he plan on supporting this ecosystem?

Prince Harry was particularly interested in how he could shine a light on the work that young Zambians are doing. The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, of which he is the president, is supporting the work of young people in the form of funding, membership and capacity-building for organizations and institutions.

His visit was all about providing a springboard for the work of many young Zambians. It was about providing visibility, about celebrating success stories and assuring young people that he’s going to be there giving direction, leadership and support.

Tell us about the event…

As an alumni of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award, I was invited to be part of an organizing committee for Prince Harry’s visit. We arranged for 200 young people from other African countries to be brought to Lusaka, where we gathered and met Prince Harry.

We joined a panel of speakers who shared their stories and inspired young leaders across the continent to continue changing lives, and I spoke about our plans for Impact Hub Lusaka, which is opening very soon…

Like all of us at Impact Hub, Prince Harry also has a strong belief in ensuring that young people are at the driving seat of development.

What’s the connection between the Commonwealth Trust and Impact Hub?

I took part in a Commonwealth Trust program called Queen’s Young Leaders, established by the British Royal family in 2015. This was set up to identify young people across the Commonwealth who are using their initiative to bring about social transformation. I applied to be part of it, and was fortunate enough to win and receive an award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace, before attending a year-long leadership course at the University of Cambridge.

Social innovation was what allowed me to become a part of this community. I started championing change at a very young age, about 14 years-old, before going on to win this award and co-founding Impact Hub Lusaka.

What does the social innovation scene look like in Lusaka right now?

There’s a huge demand for social innovation resources in Lusaka at the moment. We’re in the process of setting up Impact Hub Lusaka, which will support entrepreneurs and feed this entrepreneurial hunger.

All of this innovation is happening because we have a huge unemployment rate in Zambia. In our country over 60% of the population is comprised of young people and universities are churning out students that don’t meet the current needs of labour market.

So, Impact Hub will endeavour to provide services and programs aimed at meeting the needs of the corporate world, as well as the labour market.

What’s your approach?

We intend on providing leadership and social entrepreneurship programs to help innovators accelerate their businesses from ideation to launch. My focus with Impact Hub is on alleviating youth unemployment in Zambia where there is a huge demographic dividend right now, which we can take advantage of. If we don’t, it might work against us.

Impact Hub Lusaka aims to close that employment gap, so that young people can be their own bosses and have a more conducive place to work from. Where they can be surrounded by a community of similar, like-minded changemakers who share their passions and interests.

Do you think this economic landscape reflects the rest of the continent?

This unemployment rate applies to the whole of Africa right now. Africa at large has a very youthful population, and this also presents itself as an opportunity. It means that the working labour market is going to increase, human resources are going to increase, and human capital is going to increase because of a productive workforce.

But by looking across Africa you also discover that there aren’t enough opportunities to take advantage of that huge productive workforce. Just like any other African country, Zambia is at a stage where it’s due a break. It’s a defining moment to either take advantage of this huge demographic dividend, or allow it to take advantage of us as a generation.

Impact Hub will work towards bridging that gap, and we’ll endeavour to collaborate with different institutions across the world globally who are working towards the same cause.

Do you think this gap is being met with rising levels of innovation?

It is. So many social entrepreneurs and changemakers are building spaces to bring about transformation in different sectors of development.

There’s a huge hunger among young Zambians – just like in other countries on the African continent – to ensure that we use the resources that we have, to take advantage of the opportunities we’re presented with in this generation.

Impact Hub, and The Duke of Sussex, are working to nourish it.


Find out more about Africa’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem here.

Learn more about re:publica Accra from the event’s co-organizers: Impact Hub Accra.

Prince Harry’s support for Impact Hub Lusaka works towards the following SDGs: