Impact Hub Houston Puts Houston on the Global Climathon Map with First Climate Action Hackathon October 25

For Immediate Release:  October 7, 2019
Contact: Grace Rodriguez
Email address: grace.rodriguez@impacthub.net

HOUSTON, TX – Houston is no stranger to extreme weather and disasters due to climate change, with three 500-year floods—and the destructive Hurricane Harvey—in recent years. The “Energy Capital of the World,” Houston has one of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the country, emitting over 34 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2014 alone. To spark sustainable solutions to these challenges,  Impact Hub Houston is excited to announce it is organizing Houston’s first Climathon on October 25, 2019, with partners that include global organizer EIT Climate-KIC, the City of Houston, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Houston Community College, Sketch City, January Advisors, Bunker Labs, WeWork Labs, Syzygy Plasmonics and GoodFair. All designers, developers, entrepreneurs, students, policymakers, and people wanting to improve Houston’s quality of life are invited to participate.

“During Hurricane Harvey, we saw Houston’s talent rise to these challenges and develop solutions that not only helped rescue, feed and shelter local Houstonians, but went on to help people in Florida and Puerto Rico,” says Grace Rodriguez, CEO/Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston. “We’re excited to join the global Climathon challenge in order to give Houston’s changemakers a platform to develop sustainable air, water, energy, etc., solutions and take them to the next level. In such a diverse city with so many resources, it seems only natural that Houston can help lead the way in developing local solutions that can scale to other contexts.”

Lara Cottingham, Chief of Staff & Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Houston, references the Mayor’s recently-announced Climate Action Plan and acknowledges that to scale the plan’s impact, “We must engage local citizens and the startup and entrepreneurship community in developing innovative solutions towards climate action.”

“Houston has a lot to lose as the weather changes,” said Jeff Reichman, founder of January Advisors and Sketch City. “We should be using our talents to elevate good ideas for our region, and to connect with one another for long-term collaborations.”

Houston’s biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions are transportation (47%) and commercial and residential buildings (49%). Other sources of emissions include manufacturing, waste, and fugitive emissions (4%). The Climathon Challenges address these problem sources, encouraging people to develop solutions in the areas of mobility, retrofitting, circular economy, food, climate finance, human behavior, water management, energy, extreme weather, waste management, and air pollution.

The Climathon is Houstonians’ opportunity to connect with leaders and subject experts for guidance in developing viable solutions in any of the challenge areas. Local judges will select the most promising ideas to submit to the Climathon database, for consideration to present at the Global Awards in Paris. The best may go on to win support from the global community!

For more information, please visit https://houston.impacthub.net/climathon2019.

To register to participate, go to https://climathon.climate-kic.org/en/houston

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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.

About EIT Climate-KIC (https://www.climate-kic.org/)

EIT Climate-KIC is a European knowledge and innovation community, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, they identify and support innovation that helps society mitigate and adapt to climate change. EIT believes that a decarbonised, sustainable economy is not only necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change, but presents a wealth of opportunities for business and society.

Impact Hub Houston Proudly Endorses the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development

We, the participants of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, adopt this document to advance the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development as it builds on the education and global citizenship focus in Gyeongju (2016) and the focus on people-centered multilateralism in New York (2018). This year we concentrate specifically on Sustainable Development Goal 11: “to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable by 2030.” We do so by highlighting inclusivity, climate change, peace, economic opportunity for our youth, and the development of infrastructure and technology needed to support sustainable growth. For each of these we affirm our beliefs, urge others to partner with us, and commit to action.

Without active recognition of the challenges facing sustainable societies, we will accomplish nothing.

Therefore, we affirm:

  • The importance of inclusivity, recognizing that sustainable societies must provide opportunities for all human beings to succeed regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, disability, or any other social or cultural backgrounds or associations.
  • The reality of climate change, acknowledging that it poses a grave threat not only to the sustainability of human society but to life itself.
  • The need to understand peace, a necessary component of sustainable societies, as not just the absence of war and civil strife, but as the active presence of justice, security, inclusivity, and lives lived in harmony with one’s neighbor and the earth’s ecosystems.
  • The obligation for societies to provide their youth with the skills and opportunities to sustain themselves individually while also contributing to the health, well-being, growth, and sustainability of the overall society, thus also enabling successive generations to thrive.
  • The importance of infrastructure and governance to the connectedness, commerce, and public health of a sustainable society.
  • The potential for wisely-chosen technology to address many of society’s problems.

Without stakeholders actively working toward solutions, simple problem recognition goes nowhere. Stakeholders can be individuals, NGOs, corporations, educational institutions, faith communities, governmental units, or other organizations, so actions need to be tailored to each goal and stakeholder group. We encourage all stakeholders to formulate individualized and organizational action plans to achieve the global goals.

Therefore, we urge all:

  • To apply inclusivity, striving to remove systemic barriers of bias and discrimination that too often marginalize large segments of society.
  • To protect our environment and the planet, working to reduce the destructive impact of our human footprint by powering our societies with clean, renewable sources of energy; to protect our air, our water, and our ecosystems in order to sustain biodiversity; and to replace unfettered consumerism with a conscious ethic of balanced production, consumption, reuse, and recycling.
  • To build and sustain safe and peaceful societies, free from war, civil strife, and rampant crime, by working to establish equal justice and opportunity for all regardless of ethnicity, culture, language, gender, and minority or other status.
  • To ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for our youth through educational opportunities that develop the skills needed to grasp economic opportunities.
  • To invest in infrastructure that enables the growth and sustainability of our societies, ensuring that development minimizes environmental harm and focuses on those regions and societies currently left behind.
  • To use appropriate technology, whether old, new, or future, to address the broad range of challenges to sustainable societies, including climate change mitigation, communication, education, commerce, human security, public health, and sustainable development.

As stakeholders, our affirmations and commitments need to be embodied in concrete actions ordered toward economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable cities and communities.

Therefore, we commit individually and collectively:

  • To apply conscious inclusivity in our daily lives, our corporate and organizational efforts, and our governmental laws, regulations, and practice.
  • To practice care for our environment by taking steps individually and collectively to mitigate climate change and its adverse impact.
  • To promote sustainable peace as the presence of harmony and inclusive collaboration.
  • To inspire, encourage, and support our youth in their visions and ensure that they are prepared for, and have access to, a sustainable future.
  • To urge governments at all levels to build, upgrade, and repair infrastructure in ways that maximize sustainability, minimize adverse environmental impact, and ensure its ability to withstand the impact of climate change and other natural disasters.
  • To use appropriate technologies to develop sustainable societies characterized by inclusivity, peace, and human and economic security while mitigating climate change and other adverse environmental effects.

Therefore, be it resolved:

We, the participants of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, will continue to work to further the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as we move toward the United Nations’ 75thAnniversary in 2020.

We thank the people and the Government of the United States of America, the State of Utah, and the City of Salt Lake City for the kind welcome and gracious hosting that they have given to the 68thUnited Nations Civil Society Conference and for their efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

For the original draft, visit https://outreach.un.org/ngorelations/content/uncsc2019-outcome.

Climathon 2019: Hacking Solutions to Houston’s Climate Challenges!

Bring Your #ClimateAction Ideas to Life at Climathon!

Oct 25, 2019 | Impact Hub Houston @ HX

Missed the event? Hear about it on Houston Matters: Brenda Ruiz of Houston Public Media covered us!

Submit Your SolutionsChallenges & Schedule

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
  • Send talented Houstonians to present their solution at the Climathon Global Awards in France!

What happens during Climathon?

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
  • Free entrance to the 3-day ChangeNOW Summit
  • 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 houston@impacthub.net. We look forward to seeing you on October 25!

Climathon Houston Challenges

Challenge #1: Crowdsource Solutions for the City of Houston

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

Challenge #2: Better Decisions from Better Carbon Visibility

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.

Challenge #3: Impact Climate Awareness and Action

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?

Challenge #4: Houston Electric Vehicles (EV) Challenge

For a developing EV market to thrive it is important that would-be adopters have awareness of and convenient access to options that suit their needs and preferences.

Climathon Houston Schedule

October 25, 2019

1:00 pm
Check-In

 

Participant check-in and mingling

1:20 pm
Welcome!

 

Welcome Video featuring Kirsten Dunlop (CEO, Climate-KIC); Prize Award description from Topl; Participant Introductions and Instructions
1:40 pm
Team Formation

 

Challenge Sponsors present challenges, Innovators present ideas, and teams form around projects

2:00 pm
Get Hacking!

 

The hacking begins!

6:00 pm
Break for Dinner

 

Teams break for dinner. We’ll discuss how judging and submission for the Global Awards will work. Everyone is welcome to continue working through dinner, though!

10:00 pm
Wrap Up!

 

Teams wrap up for the evening. We’ll share next steps. If you’d like to continue working on your solutions among peers, join us at Open Project Night on October 29!

Experts

Meet Our Coaches, Judges and Experts

Jeff Reichman
Jeff Reichman

Founder, Sketch City & January Advisors

Kevin Doffing
Kevin Doffing

Houston Lead, Bunker Labs

Lara Cottingham
Lara Cottingham

Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Houston

Rachel Powers
Rachel Powers

Executive Director, Citizens' Environmental Coalition

Carlos Estrada
Carlos Estrada

Labs Manager, WeWork

Grace Rodriguez
Grace Rodriguez

CEO, Impact Hub Houston

Trevor Best
Trevor Best

CEO, Syzygy Plasmonics

Ravi Brahmbhatt
Ravi Brahmbhatt

Director of Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Houston Community College (HCC)

Topl Tech Team
Topl Tech Team
Support Solutions to Houston's Climate Challenges!

Where It’s At

Impact Hub Houston @ HX
410 Pierce St, Suite 215
Houston TX 77002

This Event is Free, But There’s Only Room for 60!

Partners & Sponsors

Many thanks to our partners and sponsors for spreading the word and making this event FREE to participate in!

The Cannon and Impact Hub Houston Partner to Expand Diversity-Centered Programming in Houston’s Startup Ecosystem

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.

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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.

The Secret to Driving Change: Embracing Your Humanity

As I dig into my own research on organizations changing lives for the better, it’s only fitting this month’s UN theme be Human Rights. Uniformly, I find the businesses and charities championingnhuman rights (through economic inclusion, physical safety, or personal autonomy) and thriving put one thing at the forefront of their work.

Their humanity.

What better way to move the needle on the world’s challenges (like human rights violations) than to remember our own humanity? The more founders embrace who they are, and infuse
themselves into their work, the more traction and attention their work gets.

It’s easy to see why that’s the case. Humanizing our work builds culture and it’s culture that creates loyalists and communities invested in our success. The social capital that comes with community investment beats out tote bags and hashtags any day.

As you put your own solutions out into the world I challenge you to take the more “humane” approach to business by remembering a few things:

Lean Into the Messy
In the world of decks and pitches, there’s a ton of pressure to have all of the answers and execute. Thing is, you’ll never have all of the answers. Even worse, if you preoccupy yourself with finding answers you’ll miss some pretty interesting problems.

Move yourself and your team away from the need for certainty, and embrace the humanity of evolving. Curiosity is one of the best ways to explore empathy, and empathy is how you get to
the root of a successful solution.

Build in a student mindset and I promise you’ll start to see new ways of integrating clients, engaging beneficiaries, new solutions to thorny problems, and identify growth opportunities that fit who you are and who you serve.

Talk About Yourself
Don’t mistake this for prattling on about yourself endlessly. What draws people into adopting, supporting or not protesting solutions is understanding your relationship to, and passion for, the problem. Why is the problem so important to you and your team? How are you touched? What have you experienced?

Talking about your interest(s) in the problem creates transparency, trust, and humanizes it for the listener.

People move when they are moved.

Chunk the Persona
So listen up, we have all read the same twenty or so startup books with the same advice and mantras. So when you copy and paste these into your pitches, donor materials, or projects they tend not to stand out because we have all seen it before.

Even worse? When we co-opt based on the lens of another there’s almost always incongruency between who we say we are and what we do.

Make it easy, and be yourself. Infuse your values, mission, and vision in all that you touch. If democratic and inclusive discussion are paramount to you, your legal business structure should reflect that. If you support wealth-generation and equity, your supply chain should reflect the local economy. If you want to fundraise in a way that builds wealth and equity, really think about venture capital versus a crowd-funding approach.

If we look at a list of your dreams, mission, and vision then look at your business operations, model, and recruiting there should be alignment between the two.

Own Your Impact
The research is in, and it turns out we as humans like to be liked. There are a number of historical and anthropological reasons for this, but the bottom line is it’s uncomfortable to be different. Which is why there’s a gut inclination for some impact organizations to apologize for not fitting neatly into boxes the philanthropic, corporate, or venture create. Either squeezing themselves in or erasing their distinctive nature.

But projects solving the world’s largest challenges are complex and messy because the WORLD is complex and messy. Organizations moving the needle understand this and embrace it.
The next time you feel the need to apologize because someone doesn’t understand why you do what you do, fight the urge to apologize and translate instead. How does your business model
educate and promote more charitable behavior? What are the economics behind inclusion and mental wellness?

Don’t shrink when confronted, expand.

Create Your Own Definitions
I’ll end with saying, not everyone’s dreams will be your dreams; nor should they be. There are milestones startup media heralds as indicative of “success.” Thing is, those milestones may not work for you and what you’re doing. Organizations solving the problems others haven’t dared touch, such as human rights violations, must define for themselves what success looks like…for them.

I truly believe running a business, charity or project should never require we co-opt someone else’s experiences or discard any parts of our own. The best way to have a positive impact and move us all into forwarding change will come when you embrace that you have a perspective and experience that no one else has had or will have again. Use that to your advantage and see how much progress you make.

Impact Hub Houston thanks Erin McClarty for authoring this piece. Erin is a mix between a business coach, attorney, impact architect, and vision doula. She helps people run businesses, foundations, initiatives, and movements that are unique to the founders. In doing her work, Erin works to carve out spaces that are the truest of expressions of who they are, allowing them to heal themselves while they heal their communities. Learn more about Erin and the services she offers by clicking here to visit her website. 

June 2019 Impact Updates

Impact Friends and Family,

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!

What else?

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:

…and don’t miss out on these opportunities from Houston’s broader impact + innovation ecosystem:

We look forward to seeing you at these events!
Team Houston

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)!

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 info@generationtitans.com.

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)