Atlanta’s Goodie Nation, a social impact accelerator, held an innovation lab #HackThe Violence on Saturday, June 17th at the Atlanta Tech Village. It was described as a program designed to turn college students into social impact tech startup founders. Their objective was to reduce violence 40% by the year 2020 using innovation.
This entrepreneurship instructor was blown away by the manner in which the students assimilated the process and moved through the workshop. The cohort of twenty eight top Atlanta college students (Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Morehouse, Kennesaw State) is passionate about social change. They were paired with mentors (coordinated by Mario Suffren) and selected violence subject-matter areas to combat identifying users, diagnosing problems, brainstorming product features, and story-boarding what the product looks like in a design thinking Product-Market Fit workshop.
Goodie Nation is a social impact pre-accelerator that provides a role for all people to play in an innovative process solving some of the world’s toughest problems. Their programming develops innovators through training and support as well as social enterprises via a 6-month process. They aim to become a world leader at empowering individuals to solve problems for their own communities. Co-founded by Joey Womack and Justin Dawkins, Goodie Nation is based on the Hive Global Leaders Program, a community of 1,500 purpose-driven leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators from 115 countries around the world.
Womack is a graduate of the Hive’s three-day leadership training program for mission-driven innovators held annually in San Francisco, the Harvard Medical School Boston, and Los Angeles. Everyone at Goodie Nation is to be commended for using such a powerful process to help make the world a better place and specifically help under-served communities. Their focus is on four sectors -economic development, education, health and wellness, and public safety. Here is a link to their fact sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13ax1f29Bx9ZH1omHo_oWTYQb3OJtIJFQo5Wye5j98Y/edit
We’ve never seen the Lean Startup evidenced-based entrepreneurship process applied to social change and a major problem so directly. Kudos to Goodie Nation and the Atlanta Tech Village for creating such a powerful challenge. It was organized with the help of Microsoft and Pivotal Labs (Atlanta office of San Francisco-based accelerator which helps transform Fortune 500 cos. to digital and software applications). Students get a taste of startup life in a fast-paced program and will walk away with permanent mentors and a clickable prototype after four weeks.
Cohorts are now working with their mentors via email, conference calls, and live based on needs. Over the weekend of July 8th and 9th at the Pivotal Labs in Ponce City Market student they’ll participate in a Hackathon, a design sprint-like event to collaborate on solutions. Before then, participants need to interview 30 real-life user personas who fit their general profile and search similar company propositions to identify key points of difference. The product should be valuable!