Three Startup Lessons

We’re only a few years into our mission, and so in many ways we still view ourselves as a start-up. We live that lean startup life with small but strong committed team, including members working from other cities, and advisors giving their expertise in their own time. We work in office spaces and coffee shops, and we have an office dog that serves as hour HQ mascot! We are always looking to other start-ups, to share best practices and lessons learned. And when we find a couple of good tips, we like to share!

Over at Ellevate, a network of boss ladies collaborating and supporting each other (and a fellow Benefit corps, B Corps shout out!), Moha Shah a ScaleUp Advisor at TiE-Boston shared three lessons she learned at a Start Up. In essence she found that skills, founders and learning culture make a difference!

Read more on the Ellevate Blog.

 

Teaching Students How to Revitalize Their Communities

When we work in communities, we always strive to help build the capacity of local community leaders. Whether that’s through connecting them with resources we know about, or introducing them to other community partners, or transferring skills, our goal is to help communities grow strong and resilient. the foundation of that growth is local community leadership.

Yes! Magazine highlighted a fascinating non-profit, Community Learning Partnership, that is creating college programs that couples classroom work with hands on experience as change agents in their community. CLP provides students, instructors, and community groups a model for preparing local leaders and activists. These college programs “offer fledgling community organizers ‘a sense of optimism about how they can effect change in their own backyard.'”

Programs like CLP are expanding the role of college in communities and building leadership capacity as well. Read more about this fantastic work in Yes! Magazine’s article Where They Teach Students How to Revitalize Their Local Communities. 

Sharing the Benefits of Solar in DC: Georgetown University

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our first project through the Neighborhood Solar Equity initiative. We have partnered with community centered solar developer, Community Renewable Energy to install 1.1 mW on Georgetown’s campus, making it one of the largest on site solar arrays in Washington, D.C.

Through an innovative project model the system will produce renewable energy for the University and amplify the benefits of solar for the District of Columbia.

We created the model to serve the energy needs of the University, while also ensuring the surrounding neighborhoods benefit from the renewable energy. Profits from the system have been dedicated by the partners toward reinvestment in DC neighborhoods, including through a “Community Investment Fund” which, in collaboration with Georgetown University, will support clean energy projects in low-income areas of the District.

The project is expected to generate about 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of power each year, contributing to a cleaner electric grid and offsetting an estimated 25,506 US tons of CO2 in it’s lifetime, which is the equivalent of planting 593,300 trees in D.C. Installed at no cost to the university, the project is expected to save the university over $3 million on energy costs over 20 years.  Furthermore, it’s anticipated to catalyze over $1.5 million more in local community investment.

Read more about our Neighborhood Solar Equity initiative, access the Georgetown University Solar- Press Release 4.22.17, or read more from our friends at Georgetown.

 

 

Ellevate Podcast and B Corps

As a women run business, we are big fans of the Ellevate Podcast: Conservations with Women Changing the Face of Business. Ellevate hosts real women having a real impact to discuss the their experiences and takeaways from their careers.

We especially enjoyed this week’s podcast discussing Benefit Corps and their role and mission in the business world: “B Corps, Using the Power of Business to Create Social Change.”

Highly recommend having a listen!

Worthy Podcasts

Next City has put together their 7 recommended podcasts Urbanists should be listening to now. But we’ve expanded beyond urbanism and added a couple of extras that we think are worth checking out.

Next City has a nice little description of each of their selections in their article here. But here is a run down of the titles:

  1. The Uncertain Hour 
  2. Placemakers 
  3. 99 Percent Invisible
  4. The Urbanist and Tall Stories
  5. Planet Money
  6. Third Wave Urbanism
  7. Candidate Confessional 

And our additions:

  1. Direct Current: a podcast about energy and renewable energy out of the Department of Energy
  2. Past is Present : Historians put current events into the context of our history. because you know the old saying, those who ignore their past are doomed to repeat it
  3. Pod Save America: fair warning- this podcast is completely left leaning and biased towards progressive policies. But it is also fascinating (and sometimes validating), to hear current events discussed from the insider perspective of former White House staffers.
  4. Ellevate Network: Real women having real impact discuss their experiences, lessons learned and best practices. Serving as a virtual mentorship for women in the workforce.
  5. Bonfires of Social Enterprise: Basically exactly what it sounds like. Social Enterprise discussed and explored from every angle.

Happy Listening!