Kevin Adler, founder & CEO of Miracle Messages, participated in our May 2016 Business Model Validation Lab and just raised $200k to support a 1-year pilot program in San Francisco!
Miracle Messages reconnects people living on the streets with their loved ones (and us), through short video messages and social media. To date, 40% of reunions have lead to stable housing or living with family. Miracle Messages has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, and NowThis, whose video reached 25M views and 360K shares. Founder Kevin F. Adler started Miracle Messages in honor of his Uncle Mark, who lived on-and-off the streets for 30 years. Our goal is to reunite 1 million people by 2021. Join the movement: miraclemessages.org/getinvolved
Tania Azar, Director of College Apps Academy at Reality Changers, raises $50k to support additional program enhancements
"Going through the accelerator provided the structure, framework, and ability to define what our social enterprise was going to look like. Of course it's iterative and we continue to make changes; the lab was a catalyst to get started.
So many times, projects just don't take off. When you bring people together, keep throwing ideas together, test them, and keep iterating, you can accomplish so much. The time with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs at the lab was also very beneficial. Having people poke holes and ask questions and provide insight was truly helpful."
-Tania Azar , Director of College Apps Academy at Reality Changers and participant of our last 5-day accelerator, is responsible for driving the growth of a revenue-generating program to scale their efforts helping youth from disadvantaged backgrounds graduate college. Since the accelerator, they have raised $50,000 to support additional program enhancements. Currently, they are building out their technical platform and will begin beta testing in June, after having developed a scalable curriculum.
Hi, my name is Zuleyma Bebell, and I'm the co-founder of ImpactAlpha, an online impact investment news site. We've been following the development and the growth of the impact investing industry and exploring its trends and gaps over the past few years. Our editorial efforts are supported by ImpactSpace, a.k.a the Crunchbase for impact, the largest database of social enterprises and impact investors. We have over 6000 companies, 2000 investors, and over 5000 people in the database and growing daily.
How did you get involved in Impact Without Borders?
I moved to San Diego about 2.5 years ago, and I was looking for the impact space here but couldn't find the type of impact ecosystem that I thought San Diego would have. I was lucky enough to meet with some of the other founding members of Impact Without Borders, entrepreneurs, and investors who felt the same way and wanted to fill the gap.
Impact Without Borders was born to foster a thriving impact ecosystem here in San Diego and Tijuana. We decided to focus on providing educational training for entrepreneurs, as well as a coworking space and networking opportunities.
Tell us some of the programs, specifically the genesis of Unreasonable Labs San Diego?
As we were building this community of impact entrepreneurs and impact investors, one of the things that was missing was an education component for aspiring social entrepreneurs. So, we looked at all the programs that are working with social entrepreneurs, and we came across Unreasonable Institute, a globally recognized accelerator program. UI was bringing their programming and lessons learned to the U.S. Impact Without Borders was one of the organizations selected to run a pilot program of Unreasonable Labs, we've run two labs so far and we are not getting ready for our third lab this spring, for more info click here.
James is a native San Diegan and co-founder of IWOB. He's passionate about cross-sector collaboration among social enterprises, social sector organizations, and the public sector. The focus of his work with IWOB is on civic innovation that creates transformative, positive change for families and communities across region. Previously, he was program director at Education Synergy Alliance. Currently, he is board chair of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) San Diego chapter. He is a 2016 Fellow of the San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA) and RISE San Diego Urban Leadership Program. James is an avid traveler, linguist, and cook—an old-fashioned polyglot trapped in the millennial generation.
Listen to a recent podcast by Cura Caos highlighting James and his work with Impact Without Borders here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/cura-caos/id1149670374
This week, meet Kaison Tanabe, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of IWOB making sure we develop and stick to our milestones. A serial entrepreneur, he's served as Program lead for the San Diego Startup Leadership Program, is a StartingBloc fellow and also a growth consultant for tech companies. In his free time, you can find him cooking for friends, rock climbing, doing jiu-jitsu, or cycling around town.
Kaison, why did you join the IWOB Team?
In early 2014, I moved from Boston—where I was running a local food social enterprise—to San Diego, in order to help out an education startup founded by classmates who had just raised angel funding. For us to raise more money, recruit team members, learn and apply various skillsets, and gain the advice of experienced mentors and advisors, I sought out a community of social entrepreneurs.
I found these like-minded individuals—those who care about pursuing social and environmental change alongside financial returns—in the local startup ecosystem. I began learning and practicing human-centered design, picked up and implemented growth strategies from some of the best marketers in the world, founded a company with people I met at a Startup Weekend, and even served as a program lead for the San Diego Startup Leadership Program.
Even though the startup ecosystem provided many of the resources needed for social enterprises to succeed, the need for an organization to serve the specific needs of social entrepreneurs—entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, for-profits, non-profits, cooperatives, activists, artists, and investors committed to positive, sustainable change—became clear. I joined the local community effort for an Impact Hub, spearheaded by BH, and quickly met the founding team of what was first Impact San Diego, and eventually, Impact Without Borders.
It is a privilege to learn from so many organizations and individuals—both regional and international—in order to provide social entrepreneurs access to the people, capital, and resources that can assist their efforts.
As we've grown this past year, so has our team! This month we'll start introducing you to a different team member every week.
This week, meet Bong Hwan 'BH' Kim. BH is the CEO and Co-Founder of IWOB. Prior to pulling together the founding IWOB team, BH got his start in the social sector including non-profit management, government, and philanthropy. He's now spearheading IWOB fundraising efforts and is an avid paddleboarder and certified yoga instructor.
BH, why did you join Impact Without Borders?
I became involved in Impact Without Borders because I see a great need for more innovative and impactful ways to solve social problems which are only growing in scope, speed, and complexity. Charitable dollars are not designed to grow anywhere near the rate at which out social, economic, and environmental problems are growing. Non-profits solely reliant on grants and contributions must devote a significant chunk of time to fundraising which drains valuable resources from their mission
Contrast this with social entrepreneurs who solve social, financial, environmental problems alongside a financial return. At IWOB we teach people who want to solve social problems with scalable solutions that empathetically engage with the lives of those who need the most help. Partnering with nationally recognized programs like Unreasonable Institute, we are growing social entrepreneurs.