I have to say, it took a bit of getting to. It took about 6 months to get over the closure of Real Time Wine. It took 50+ meetings, lots of wine and PS3 and some fairly interesting alignment of stars for me to finally find something I really wanted to have a crack at. It even took a long overdue realisation that, as exciting as some corporate digital spaces are, corporates keep saying they want rainmakers and yet remain too scared to hire them. I guess that's how life works. The wheel turns and you hop on and hop off when the universe decides the timing is right.
Philosophical rambling over. I am extremely excited to officially announce that I've taken over as CEO of a social impact startup called forgood (as of November 2014, but we've been in "stealth"). Vomit. I said stealth.
I say "taken over" because it's an interesting scenario. The company has been incubated inside another NGO (Heartlines) for a while now, but never really kicked on. They've tried some stuff, learned some stuff, built some stuff... What we're going to be launching next week (and you can have a sneak preview if you're interested) is brand spanking new - so we're calling it a startup. Because it is.
Here's the lowdown. You'll have to wait for the launch next week for even more information. Got to have something for my journalist mates to talk about. If they're gracious enough to give me even half the support I got for Real Time Wine, this should be fun.
forgood is a for profit, but in the social impact space. That means we're trying to change the world (and make it a better place) - and make money at the same time.
High concept pitch: forgood connects people to causes.
Lower concept pitch: forgood connects individuals / groups / staff members who want to make a difference - with the causes that really need their help.
If I've still got you... the bigger vision: we're building out the plumbing (the glue?) of the NGO industry by creating technology and user experiences around volunteering and donation processes. We're taking that plumbing and turning it into a cloud platform for business - to handle their employee engagement and staff volunteering activities. Think of it as sort of software-as-a-service-for-CSI.
The moonshot: well, if you manage to collect and own the data, relationships and activity between people, companies and causes... just imagine what you could do ;)
I've got an awesome team slogging away to get everything ready. There's some incredible executive support (of which you'll learn more later) and we're opening up a funding round shortly. We even have a paying client (a big brave corporate that's pioneering this platform with us) - hopefully they'll let me talk about them soon.
|forgood allows you to RESPOND to Needs or Campaigns, create your own personalised OFFERS and REPORT on the impact of these connections.|
So. I'm back in startups (you'd think I would have learned my lesson). And hey, if we're the 1 out of 10 this time (that succeed), not the 9 out of 10 (that fail) - we might just get to change the country and the continent a bit.
I'm going to be counting on y'all to help me get the message out. We're targeting 28 January 2015 as the launch date. Tick tock. Get your Tweets ready for next Wednesday. More news soon.
In the meantime - follow us on Twitter (@forgoodSA) and LIKE us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/forgoodSA).