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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe


This category includes articles that apply to social good in general and may include policy, practice and other stories relevant to everyone.

JA Worldwide Unveils New Online Program To Ignite Teen Interest In Science & Technology Careers

JA Worldwide and Alcoa Foundation Team Up to Implement Global STEM Education Initiative for Teens

Boston, Mass.JA Worldwide (JA) today announced a new partnership with Alcoa Foundation to launch a global curriculum that will bring enhanced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to middle and high school students. JA Worldwide received a $750,000 investment from Alcoa Foundation to create JA Assembling Your Career, a program comprised of supplemental STEM career sessions for students in JA markets across the globe.

The international job market is becoming increasingly dependent on qualified applicants with formal STEM education. Recent predictions show that 85 to 95 percent of jobs will require STEM skills by 2020. JA Assembling Your Career encourages students to think about how their current skills and interests will serve them in future high-growth, high-demand careers. JA Assembling Your Career contains three interactive, STEM-focused activities that can be used by volunteers or teachers in the classroom as stand-alone activities, or as an enhancement to existing high school JA programs.

“The international job market is becoming increasingly dependent on qualified applicants with formal STEM education. In fact, recent data from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training shows that 85 to 95 percent of jobs will require STEM skills by 2020,” said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. “Junior Achievement believes in the boundless potential of youth. Through our partnership with Alcoa Foundation we can bring customized STEM education and career readiness tools to youth and help inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers and manufacturers.”

Piloted internationally in 2013, JA Assembling Your Career’s first implementation sites include Brazil, France, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, with expansion into additional countries planned for future years. Additionally, the JA Assembling Your Career curriculum will be made available to other partners such as Skills USA, a career and technical student organization, and Project Leap, a leadership development program for nonprofit industry professionals, to further expand its reach.

Alcoa Foundation works with partners to inspire future STEM innovators and introduce students to manufacturing, showcasing the creativity and career mobility that the industry offers. JA Assembling Your Career promotes the importance of STEM skills on an international scale and help middle and high school students understand the global career opportunities available to them in manufacturing.

“The Alcoa Foundation partnership with Junior Achievement is helping young people around the world imagine a new path for their future,” said Esra Ozer, Alcoa Foundation president. “Together, we believe that by exposing more students to STEM programs, they can learn the skills needed to be successful in their future careers.”

For more information on JA Assembling Your Career, click here. To learn more about the Alcoa Foundation, please click here.

About JA Worldwide (Junior Achievement)

JA Worldwide is one of the largest global NGOs dedicated to addressing fundamental social and economic challenges of young people by educating and empowering them to transform their future and own their economic success. Through cutting-edge, experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship, JA Worldwide effectively broadens the canvass of possibility for young people and enriches their ability to contribute to the strength of their families, communities, and economies. The 121-country JA Worldwide network is powered by 400,000 volunteers and mentors from all sectors of society, reaching 10.6 million students around the world. Visit for more information.

About Alcoa Foundation

Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

Deloitte Launches the Deloitte RightStep™ Innovation Prize to Honor Education Trailblazers

As part of Deloitte’s ongoing commitment to develop tomorrow’s leaders, Deloitte will award $100,000 in cash and the opportunity to receive $100,000 of pro bono services to an education organization using technology to help drive successful outcomes for K-12 students

NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2014 – Today Deloitte unveiled the Deloitte RightStep™ Innovation Prize, which will recognize an organization that is advancing education through technology with a reward of cash and the opportunity to receive pro bono services. Nonprofits and for-profit social enterprises with proven solutions in the K-12 space are encouraged to apply.

Our nation’s schools are challenged by limited resources, and with less than 10 percent of low-income Americans earning a bachelor’s degree by age 24, the need to scale solutions that help more students persist through high school, college and then transition successfully to a career, has never been greater. The Deloitte RightStep™ Innovation Prize will recognize an organization with proven results in driving student success, such as reading/math proficiency, on-time graduation rates and college readiness.

“Deloitte has a long-standing history of supporting forward-thinking education organizations with a track record of success. We have stepped up to help today’s youth become tomorrow’s leaders,” said Bill Copeland, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and leader for U.S. life sciences and health care; as well as champion for corporate citizenship education. “Last year, we reached more than 240,000 students across the U.S., through organizations like College Summit, City Year and Posse, by investing cash, pro bono services and positioning our professionals as board leaders. With the launch of the Deloitte RightStep™ Innovation Prize, we seek to extend the reach of our commitments by investing in innovative solutions and increasing the engagement of our professionals.”

“Innovation inspires our people and their clients to achieve new possibilities in our everyday work. We feel we can apply this same approach in the education space to scale innovative solutions to create a measurable and lasting impact.” said John Levis, global chief innovation officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

“This is a first for Deloitte and our corporate citizenship program. We are bringing together our subject matter professionals and champions in the education and innovation space, like Bill and John, and opening up the opportunity for new organizations to benefit from Deloitte’s ecosystem,” said Jonathan Copulsky, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Deloitte’s corporate citizenship leader. “The skills of our people are at the center of our approach and we believe this effort represents one of the ways we can bring the breadth of our services to generate a significant impact.”

The first round of submissions are due on Dec. 15, 2014 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time with winners announced in April. For a complete overview of the prize including rules and regulations and information on how to apply, please visit:

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Ethicmark® Awards Honor Best Socially Responsible Advertising Campaigns Of 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (November 9, 2014) — Thai Life Insurance from Thailand and from the Philippines are the 2014 winners of the EthicMark® Awards for advertising and media campaigns that “uplift the human spirit and society.”

Ethical Markets Media and the World Business Academy announced the winners at the opening dinner of The 25th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Former Congresswoman Claudine Schneider introduced each of the awards and videos to the gathering of investors and investment professionals, demonstrating the positive impact of marketing their sustainability mission.

Unsung Hero from Thai Life Insurance won in the for-profit category, showing how small acts of kindness enrich the life of the giver.

Liter of Light from shows an ingenious and simple way to light rooms in homes, which otherwise have limited use during dark hours, expanding opportunities for family interaction, study and other productive activities.

The EthicMark® Awards, founded in 2004 by futurist Hazel Henderson, seek to transform advertising by demonstrating the power of media campaigns to inspire, focus on human potentials and further both public and legitimate private interests. Unlike other advertising and marketing awards, EthicMark® award-winning companies are recognized for the creativity of their message, the value of the product or service and quality of the company culture. This all-encompassing standard ensures the integrity of the Awards and the esteem accruable to winners’ reputations.

“My hearty congratulations to our two outstanding winners!”, said founder Henderson, president, Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil). “They stand out over our worldwide nominations and inspire us all to higher uses for advertising and all global media.”

Judges for the awards used the following criteria: portrayal of healthy lifestyles and behavior for consumers; high standards of responsibility and trustworthiness; respect for diversity and human rights, and avoiding sordid, sensationalist, or degrading depictions. Winners model and publicize the value of ethics in well-functioning markets while simultaneously promoting what is profitable for business, society and the planet. The judges for the 2014 awards may be found here.

The annual EthicMark® Awards are presented in partnership with: The SRI Conference; ESPM, one of Brazil’s premier institutions of higher education in communication, marketing and business management; GlobeScan; TBLI; Sustainable Brands; and Tomorrow’s Company.


Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil) is a micro-multinational social enterprise, certified B Corporation, with the mission of reforming markets and metrics while helping accelerate and track the transition to the green economy worldwide with the Green Transition Scoreboard®, Ethical Biomimicry Finance® Transforming Finance TV Series and research and daily news at


The World Business Academy is a non-profit business think tank and network of business and thought leaders founded in 1986. Led by its Founding President, Rinaldo Brutoco, the Academy’s work and extensive publications address the challenge of innovation and values-driven leadership, renewable energy and climate change, sustainable business strategies, and global reconstruction.


The SRI Conference ( is the leading forum for the sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investors and investment professionals in North America. For more information about the agenda or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Krystala Kalil, at 888-774-2663 or

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Inter Campus Kicks Off In New York

Inter Campus, The Youri Djorkaeff Foundation and Pirelli Tire North America celebrated the start of the New York City program

New York City, November 8, 2014 – Inter Campus, Pirelli Tire North America and the Youri Djorkaeff Foundation celebrated the launch of the New York City program in Inwood.

US Congressman Charlie Rangel and Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, Italy’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, joined Youri Djorkaeff, whose foundation manages the program, Paolo Ferrari, CEO of Pirelli Tire North America, New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, and Italian Deputy Consul General Dino Sorrentino to officially open the Inwood Inter Campus. The officials helped distribute official FC Internazionale Milan sportswear kits to the children present for the launch.

Inter Campus was founded in 1997 by Inter Futura, a subsidiary of FC Internazionale Milan, one of the world’s most renowned soccer clubs, as a corporate social responsibility program. With the support of local partners, it uses the game of soccer as an educational tool to enable underserved children aged 6 to 13 to have ‘the right to play.’ Inter Campus began in a Brazilian favela, and is now present in 29 countries around the world. The program was presented to the United Nations in 2012 by the Italian Permanent Mission to the UN, and collaborates with the UN Agency on Sport for Development and Peace.

The launch in NYC marks the first Inter Campus program for the USA, building on the sport’s increasingly popular following in the region. Sponsored by Pirelli, Inter Campus USA is managed by the Youri Djorkaeff Foundation, an organization run by the acclaimed former FC Internazionale and French soccer player, a member of France’s winning FIFA World Cup team in 1998.






Inter Campus came to Inwood through the partnership with the Youri Djorkaeff Foundation, and the foundation’s relationship with New York City’s Uptown Soccer, Inc. The program is expected to grow to include 120 children between the ages of 6 and 13, with four coaches. The local coaches will receive periodic technical training by the Inter Campus staff. The children participating in the program received official uniforms and will have access to training and mentorship from the educators during the course of the academic year. The program expects to offer after-school academic tutoring initiatives as well.

“The program has gotten off to a great start and we are excited to work with this community,” said Youri Djorkaeff. “Soccer is known to be one of the greatest ways to promote health and success for youth in any economic circumstances. We want to help these kids achieve their dreams.”

“I am pleased to join and support the launch of this exciting program that aims to keep our children on a positive path. Thanks to the generous support of the Youri Djorkaeff Foundation, Inter Campus USA will be able to help many youths achieve greater success in life. I look forward to seeing the great impact on our community as a whole.” said Congressman Charlie Rangel.

Inigo Lambertini, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations affirmed: “Being a fan of Inter, it is more than a pleasure for me to be here”. He continued, “I am impressed by Inter Campus and deeply appreciate the commitment and the passion they put into their initiatives. Sport has the power to educate and empower children, especially those facing adversity. Inter Campus has done a lot over the last few years and I would like to thank the organization for its work.”


Carlotta Moratti, President of Inter Campus worldwide, said: “Inter Campus’s presentation at the United Nations represented a starting point more than a point of arrival. It gave us a chance to get to know a needy area in New York City and to contribute to the wellbeing of the Inwood children through our project and the fundamental collaboration with the Youri Djorkaeff Foundation and Pirelli Tire North America “.

“Pirelli is proud to sponsor this and other Inter Campus programs around the world,” said Paolo Ferrari, CEO of Pirelli Tire North America. “We believe strongly in the power of sports for social change, and this is a great way to engage with our community.”


Inter Campus was created by F.C. Internazionale Milan as a corporate social responsibility program, an expression of the ethical spirit distinguishing the team.

Inter Campus’s mission is to use football as an educational tool to give back the right to play to needy children from 6 to 13 years old.

Since 1997, Inter Campus has implemented flexible and long-term social cooperation programs in 29 countries, assisted by 200 local instructors, periodically trained by the Inter Campus technical staff.

Together with various NGOs around the world, carefully selected for their high standards of seriousness, efficiency and moral stature, Inter Campus develops a purely play activity to promote human social integration among different ethnic groups and cultures, supporting the programs of social, medical and scholastic protection run by the same local partners. Inter Campus focuses on educational growth of children, professional training of local collaborators and improvement of socially and economically deprived areas with respect for the cultures and needs of each country in which Inter Campus operates. The technical area of Inter Campus has developed ongoing cooperation with its partners, supplying them with technical and athletic preparatory programs and evaluating through visits and periodic reports the behavioral progress of the 10.000 children that each year wear the black and blue jersey. This is the world of Inter Campus, a vastly rich portfolio of life stories that has taken shape over the years of work carried out with great determination and passion, sometimes in prohibitive conditions, bringing football and fun to children in places that are diverse and complicated, but where a future still exists – and the children are the future.


The Youri Djorkaeff Foundation (YDF) is a non-profit organization based in New York City founded and under the direction of 1998 French World Cup Champion and professional soccer player Youri Djorkaeff. The mission of YDF is to provide services and programs to the children of New York City through soccer for social change and improvement in the areas of athletics, mental and physical health and education. In 2014, YDF partnered with Inter Campus to begin the formation of year round soccer programs and camps to promote their shared mission.


Founded in 1872, Pirelli is among the largest global tire makers, and focuses its business on the high end, premium product segment where it is a world leader. Pirelli’s support for Inter Campus, which began in 1997 and has been renewed over the years, is part of a long tradition in sports. Pirelli has developed activities in cycling, athletics, soccer – where the company sponsors FC Internazionale Milan – and in motor sports, where Pirelli has a prominent position today thanks in part to its exclusive supply to Formula One racing. This tradition does not just reflect brand positioning, but also the sharing of values prevalent in sports, such as discipline, consistency, passion, team spirit, competition and motivation.

Sustainability is strategic for Pirelli. The company achieved a perfect score in the FTSE 4 Good Global and European STOXX sustainability index, and has maintained a global sustainability leadership position in the Dow Jones Sustainability World and Europe Indexes for eight consecutive years. Pirelli is the only tire manufacturer to be included in the Global Compact 100 sustainability stock index, for the second year in a row.

Pirelli Tire North America (PTNA) services NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) member countries through its Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) facility and research and development center at its Rome, Georgia headquarters, its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico and its New York City, Montreal and Mexico City sales and marketing offices. The company manufactures, distributes and markets original equipment and replacement tires for export and domestic car/motorcycle applications (US, CA, MX) and Agro/Heavy Truck platforms (MX).

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JHS VP Michael Mullins to Discuss ‘Breaking Boundaries’ Through Impact Investing at Net Impact’s 2014 Conference

Financial Advisor Joins Expert Panel on Latest Tools to Help Effect Positive Social and Environmental Change Through Impact Investing—November 7, 2014 in Minneapolis

TAMPA, FLA. — November 6, 2014—JHS Capital Advisors, a Registered Securities Broker Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor, announces that Vice President of Investments, Financial Advisor Michael Mullins will participate in a panel discussion about impact investing during Net Impact’s “2014 Conference: Breaking Boundaries,” which will take place November 6-8, 2014 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Net Impact is a non-profit organization that was founded 22 years ago to connect students and business professionals from around the world who seek ways to tackle the toughest social and environmental problems. This year’s three-day conference is expected to bring together over 2,500 members of Net Impact’s global network, representing a wide variety of schools, organizations, companies and industries.

“At JHS, we actively encourage our employees to share their expertise in way that has a positive impact on the local communities in which they live,” said Scott J. Bendert, President and CEO of JHS Capital Advisors. “Michael’s participation in Net Impact’s annual conference furthers our commitment by educating community leaders in the U.S. and other countries about how to invest with their values as well as their dollars.”

Mr. Mullins, who is based in the JHS branch office in Minnetonka, Minn., will participate in the “Impact Investing Goes Mainstream” panel discussion, beginning at 4:45 p.m. on November 7. In recent years, large institutional and individual investors have embraced the impact investing movement, pioneering new ways for mainstream investors to align their investments with their personal convictions. Mr. Mullins and the other experts on the panel will explain how more investors can make a positive difference by using environmental, social and governance screens to select investments.

“Impact investing is no longer a niche area of the market—today, it is possible for the average investor to direct their investment dollars to companies that share their values,” said Mr. Mullins. “I am proud to support Net Impact and help empower its members to use impact investing screens to bring about positive change locally and globally.”

Mr. Mullins is one of more than 350 speakers at the conference, which offers attendees the opportunity to choose from over 100 interactive events. Keynote speakers include Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever; Dan Pallotta, Founder and President of Advertising for Humanity and The Charity Defense Council; and Lord Michael Hastings, Global Head of Citizenship at KPMG International.

For more information about Net Impact’s “2014 Conference: Breaking Boundaries,” or to register, please visit

About JHS Capital Advisors

JHS Capital Advisors LLC, a Registered Securities Broker Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor, provides personalized client services for investors nationwide. Founded on a simple code of ethics based on integrity, transparency and full disclosure, JHS’s mission is to always put its clients’ needs and interests first, and to build a reputation for fostering multi-generational relationships. JHS has an open platform that offers a full suite of financial products and services, enabling greater choice and autonomy for its advisors. JHS clears its brokerage transactions through RBC Correspondent Services, a division of RBC Capital Markets LLC, member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC. Founded in 2009 by John H. Sykes, JHS Capital Advisors is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, and is a subsidiary of JHS Capital Holdings. For more information about JHS Capital Advisors:

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The Glenholme School’s Scholarship Fund Receives Gifts from NYC Friends

A NYC fundraiser honored a devoted Glenholme Board member and raised funds to help young people with learning differences.

WASHINGTON, CT – October 22, 2014 — The Glenholme School and nearly 175 supporters gathered at Bryant Park Grill in New York City on the evening of October 22, 2014 for a private event to raise funds for the school’s scholarship fund and honor a devoted Glenholme Board member. The Glenholme School, a 12-month therapeutic boarding school in Washington, Connecticut, teaches students with high functioning autism spectrum disorders including Asperger’s; as well as ADHD, Tourette’s, PDD, OCD, anxiety, depression, and various learning differences.

In a three-year period, over 75 children were unable to enroll at Glenholme because of financial constraints and difficulty obtaining special needs funding. In response, the Glenholme Development Board created the New York fundraiser to subsidize the school’s Scholarship Fund which provides support to those who are unable to access the life-changing programs that will provide them the foundation needed to lead successful and meaningful lives. The funds raised will help open the door to Glenholme’s programs that provide opportunities for learning and building character as part of daily life experiences in education, technology, culinary, the arts, athletics, equestrian, community services, life skill development and more.

The lively event offered guests ample New York City excitement with a cocktail hour and a silent auction; followed by dinner, an energetic live auction, and an award presentation. During the silent auction, guests mingled with Glenholme administration and bid on an eclectic selection of items. Afterwards, guests enjoyed a delightful plated dinner and zealously bid on exotic trips and exclusive events of the live auction. Motion picture director and avid Glenholme supporter, David O. Russell, offered exclusive walk-on movie roles – this year via an impromptu telephone conferencing effort.


Concluding the evening, Glenholme Board Co-Chairs Douglas Bowen and Barbara Feeney came forward to present Stephanie Scott, a devoted Glenholme Development Board member, with Excelsior! —a beautiful award which honors champions of The Glenholme School and its mission. Stephanie Scott is a successful and highly respected teacher, singer, actor, writer and director and, most importantly, mother to James, a Glenholme alumni. When “Jamie” came to Glenholme nearly 10 years ago, Stephanie committed herself to supporting the school in every possible way from handbooks to welcoming committees for parents, to the construction of important student facilities including a professional-level theater, a new soccer field and the expansion of the gymnasium; and most recently she suggested an adopt-a-dog program, which is currently underway.

Through the dedication and support of the champions of The Glenholme School, the Development Board’s fourth annual evening at Bryant Park Grill raised nearly $175,000 for the scholarship fund— recognizing, the positive indelible impact the Glenholme program can have on young people with learning differences and their families.

About The Glenholme School:

The Glenholme School, a center of the Devereux organization, is a therapeutic boarding school for young people with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders including Asperger’s; ADHD, PDD, OCD, Tourette’s, depression, anxiety, and various learning differences. The program provides a treatment milieu designed to build competence socially and academically. Our learning environment supports and enhances the ability for young people with special needs to succeed. Devereux is a leading nonprofit behavioral health organization that supports many of the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. For more information about The Glenholme School and its program, visit Devereux Connecticut.

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New Media Ventures And ImpactAssets Launch Seed Fund For Progressive Startups

San Francisco, CA: As election season comes to a close tomorrow, some investors are just ramping up their focus on politics and civic engagement. This group of angels, known as New Media Ventures, sees the intersection of media, politics and technology as ripe for innovation.

They’ve been quietly investing in some of the most interesting startups in politics. Now, they are launching their first fund- called the NMV Innovation Fund— to focus on filling a funding gap at the early stage.

The group has been investing together since 2010, and has backed some 21 startups, including media juggernaut Upworthy, political blogging powerhouse DailyKos, and online organizing startup SumOfUs. The group leans progressive, and focuses on angel -stage, investment-ready startups in the civic and political space, with typical investment rounds ranging from $200k – $500k.

Director Christie George says she has noticed a major financing gap at the seed stage for these startups. “Particularly at the early stages, where entrepreneurs need to test out a prototype, they may only need $50k to get going,” she says, “and that early money is hard to find in our sector.”

The NMV Innovation Fund, housed at ImpactAssets, is philanthropic— a donor-advised fund set up to make $50k investments and grants into both for-profit and non-profit ventures. The goal of the fund is to provide truly catalytic funding at a key stage in growth, creating a strong pipeline of innovative startups working across issues and using media and technology to drive the progressive movement forward.

“ImpactAssets is committed to working with donors of our Giving Fund to invest in social enterprises from seed -stage to more mature investment vehicles. New Media Ventures has created an innovative approach to bringing donors together for both philanthropic and impact investment purposes. We couldn’t be more proud of our partnership,” says Beth Stelluto, Chief Growth Officer at ImpactAssets.

The fund criteria are typical of those of many angels—NMV is looking for scalable, revenue generating startups. However, NMV particularly looks for startups that aim to “create a future of social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity and equal rights for all people.”

“We are specifically looking to fund entrepreneurs working to engage more people in our democratic process, bringing in voices that have previously been left out,” George elaborates, “and who have a demonstrated understanding of democracy and progressive change.”

While the fund will eventually fund both for-profit and non-profit startups, this round of financing focuses on early stage, for-profit companies using media and technology to drive progressive change. NMV aims to make $50k investments into 5 – 10 companies. Applications are due November 17th at 6pm PT, and the announcement and application can be found here.

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Ideapod Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Mobile App Will Allow Users to Turn Their Ideas Into Action by Sharing Video Clips

NEW YORK, New York – October 21, 2014 – Ideapod, the “Social Media Platform for Ideas,” announces the launch of their Indiegogo campaign to create a mobile app compatible with both iPhone and Android for sharing ideas.

Ideapod was founded by Mark Bakacs and Justin Brown, after seeing a hole in the market for video-focused idea sharing. “Mark and I have been best friends since high school in Melbourne. We were both frustrated with sharing what inspired us on blogging platforms and Facebook and Twitter, which didn’t allow for much collaboration or feedback. That’s how Ideapod was born,” says Brown.

On Ideapod, users can post up to a 1000 character description with images or a 40 second video clip, and those ideas can then be turned into action through the network. Now, whenever someone has a flash of inspiration, instead of writing it in a notepad or keeping it in a list on their phone, they can immediately share the moment where the idea can be discussed and built upon.

The app is unique as it will allow users to increase the impact of their video through the use of audio and visual filters. Once uploaded, they become a part of the interactive community of discussions that can be linked with other ideas on the platform.

Notable investors include Jeremy Waite, Head of Strategy, Salesforce, Jeremy Sinclair, Founder and Chairman, M&C Saatchi, Andy Tobias, National Democratic Committee Treasurer, and David Tufts, Senior Managing Director, Oppenheimer and 37 Angels, among others.

“Ideapod is a great place to exchange ideas and learn about other people’s views in a relaxed environment – without the ‘noise’.” Says Amir Dossal, Founder and Chairman of the Global Partnerships Forum and advisor to Ideapod, “I find it very refreshing to see so many great ideas and initiatives from across the world – with many brilliant suggestions for bringing about positive social change.”

Ideapod is ad-free. To access premium content and organize online and offline meetups users can become Ideapod Supporters for $8 per month or $80 per year, giving them access to premium content and the ablity to create online and offline forums using Ideapod to help bring their ideas to life. A very limited number of Indiegogo contributors can become Lifetime Supporters for a heavily discounted rate.

Currently, hopefuls need to be invited by a current user to join Ideapod in Beta, however contributors to the Indiegogo campaign will get an invitation to the website and early access to the mobile app.


Ideapod’s mission is to connect the world through ideas. In short, social media is making us feel more lonely and inauthentic, rather than promoting genuine and meaningful human relationships. This is why Ideapod was created – a social media platform entirely dedicated to ideas.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

–Eleanor Roosevelt

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Holiday Inn® Brand and HLN Collaborate On New Television Series Growing America: A Journey To Success

Series Follows Three MBAxAmerica Teams as They Embark on Extraordinary Journeys

ATLANTA (October 28, 2014) – The iconic Holiday Inn® brand, part of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and HLN (a Turner Broadcasting network), today announced the production of the six-episode original series, Growing America: A Journey to Success, premiering on Sunday, November 16th at 9:00 pm EST on HLN. Hosted by Ty Pennington, (known for Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, On The Menu), the documentary series follows teams of MBA students from the MBAs Across America (MBAxAmerica) program, who are given one week to use their expertise to transform businesses and positively affect communities in cities across the U.S.

“We were fortunate enough to work closely with Casey Gerald, co-founder and CEO of MBAxAmerica, this year as part of our Journey to Extraordinary campaign, and were in awe of the impact he and his MBAxAmerica teams are having on businesses and cities across the U.S. The entrepreneurial spirit and a focus on the communities in which our hotels do business is the foundation on which the Holiday Inn brand was built, so the relationship was a perfect fit,” said Maurice Cooper, vice president, Holiday Inn® brand, the Americas, IHG. “Together, we approached HLN to create a TV series that would further showcase on a national level the personal journeys of these MBA students and the entrepreneurs they are helping, and how the Holiday Inn brand has enabled them along the way – all while hopefully inspiring viewers on extraordinary journeys of their own.”

Over 50% of the working population in the U.S. is employed by a small business[1], making the success of entrepreneurs a vital part of the success of the American economy. Against this backdrop, the stakes are high as the MBAxAmerica teams are challenged each episode to leverage their education and expertise to help three entrepreneurs, who are about to get the opportunity of a lifetime, take risks and transform their business in just five days. From a Denver tech company seeking to revolutionize the nonprofit world and a barbershop striving to become a community centerpiece in Detroit to a family owned café in Little Rock aiming to become a leader in the local organic food movement – these small business are all on extraordinary journeys which the Holiday Inn brand is committed to enabling through Growing America: A Journey to Success.

“This collaboration speaks to the strength of both brands and how we connect with millions of Americans on a daily basis. This partnership also represents an important step forward for both HLN and the Holiday Inn brand in the way in which we now connect with our audiences – in person, on television and through digital channels,” said Katrina Cukaj, executive vice president, CNN/HLN Ad Sales.

Digital media will play a key role in Growing America: A Journey to Success. After each episode airs, viewers will be encouraged to visit to vote for the most inspirational small business of the television series, with the winner announced during the show finale, airing on Sunday, December 21st. The Holiday Inn brand and HLN also co-created a companion digital series, which will explore the challenges of small businesses in Boise, Idaho and Nashville, Tennessee. This series, along with profiles of the business owners and MBA teams, and tips for small business owners, will round out the content featured online. To join the conversation throughout the series and share their own extraordinary journeys, viewers can visit the Holiday Inn brand’s social channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; dedicated HLN social channels for Growing America: A Journey to Success including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; and are encouraged to use the hashtag #GrowingAmerica across all channels.


[1], 16 Surprising Statistics About Small Businesses, 9 September 2013

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New Generation of Teen Entrepreneurs Driven By Social Concerns, Says

WEST ORANGE, N.J.— (BUSINESS WIRE) — According to, teen entrepreneurs and innovators are increasingly motivated by social concerns. This dramatically contradicts the stereotype of selfish youth.

“helping people is always something I wanted to do and with the fame that Freetoes has given me, I have had lots of opportunities to give. And Project Aftershock (a Haitian Relief charity) is one of them.”

“30 years ago, the primary motivation for teen-led businesses was often solely to make money. Now most of the teen entrepreneurs and inventors we encounter are also motivated by the desire to help solve societal problems, in their own way,” said Emmanuel Modu, co-author of TeenVestor: The Practical Investment Guide for Teens and Their Parents and The Lemonade Stand: A Guide To Encouraging The Entrepreneur In Your Child.


Theories abound about the reasons for the increased number of socially conscious teen entrepreneurs and innovators. Is it because the internet has made information about social issues more accessible? Is it due to the Great Recession of 2008, which may have negatively impacted young teens’ lives and spurred them to improve the lives of others? Regardless of the reason, the trend is real.

Here are a few examples of socially conscious young entrepreneurs and inventors recently featured by – a news portal that reports on the activities of a diverse range of young entrepreneurs, investors, inventors, and other innovators around the world:

  • A trio of 16-year-old girls —Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow— from Cork County (Ireland) won the Google Science Fair Prize for proposing the use of a naturally growing strain of bacteria to increase crop yield by 30%.
  • Concerned about mass shootings in his home state, Kai Kloepfer, a high school student from Boulder, Colorado (US), invented a smart gun that unlocks with fingerprint authentication.
  • A group of teen siblings —Ima, Caleb, and Asha Christian— from Decatur, Georgia (US), helped create a “Yelp For Cops” to rate both positive and negative police interactions with citizens.
  • 13-year-old Katelyn Lohr from Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) is owner of Freetoes Brand, Inc., which sells toe-less socks in major consumer outlets such as Toys “R” Us; she is very committed to her philanthropic outreach.
  • 18-year-old Tom Osborne from Nairobi (Kenya), upon seeing what deforestation has done to his community, embarked on a clean energy project to produce smokeless charcoal briquettes and distribute cook-clean stoves throughout Kenya.
  • 15-year-old Kenneth Shinozuka, of Irvine, California (US), invented a device implanted in socks that alerts caregivers when Alzheimer’s patients wander off unaccompanied.
  • Teen Myla Swallow, from Sydney (Australia), and founder of the Clean Water Initiative, designed an inexpensive system to sterilize stainless steel baby bottles using a billy can and a simple pump-filter to produce steam.

These teen entrepreneurs and innovators are not just giving lip-service to charitable commitments. Asked in an interview by Forbes contributor Devin Thorpe why she is so passionate about charitable giving, Katelyn Lohr said that “helping people is always something I wanted to do and with the fame that Freetoes has given me, I have had lots of opportunities to give. And Project Aftershock (a Haitian Relief charity) is one of them.”

For many of these teen entrepreneurs and innovators, the idea of making money and doing good can co-exist. As stated by Google Science Fair Prize winner, Émer Hickey, in a FastCompany interview about her group’s use of bacteria to increase crop yields, “We want to change the world. We want to commercialize this.”

About is the global resource for teen entrepreneurs, investors, and inventors. Formerly known as, it is the first platform dedicated to providing original – as well as curated – information for young, business-minded teens.

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