?<br />
micro-genius grant for flashes of <br />micro-brilliance<br />
No strings attached.<br />
local awesomeness<br />
est. 2009<br />Boston, MA<br />
everybody <br />cares about something, <br />no matter how small<br />
20 Chapters:<br />Berlin, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Edmonton, Hamburg, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne,...
no head office<br />
$250,000<br />grants in the last year<br />
AF-SYDNEY<br />est. march 2011<br />
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kodamapixel/5813225559/<br />
What is Awesome?<br />
awe·some   [aw-suhm]<br />1. inspiring awe: an awesome sight.<br />2. showing or characterized by awe.<br />
what are you doing that’s awesome?<br />
@awesomefoundsyd<br />awesomefoundation.org<br />@jessnichols<br />
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Awesome Foundation at #sibsyd 2011


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Jess Nichols' presentation about the Awesome Foundation at Social Innovation Business Sydney - 13th August 2011

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  • I have a question for you. What do these things have in common?
  • Random Swings of Joy in LA
  • Honey on the rooftops of Melbourne’s CBD
  • A Cardboard fort night in Toronto
  • A fairy floss cannon in New York
  • They all happen to be past recipients of Awesome Foundation grants. The Awesome Foundation is an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness.
  • We provide small grants to projects that wouldn’t necessarily get funding from more traditional channels. In the words of one of our trustees, The Awesome Foundation provides micro-genius grant for flashes of micro-brilliance. There is a catch however.
  • There’s no strings attached. We claim no ownership of IP, ideas or expect anything in return.
  • Honestly, the only reason we are part of the Awesome Foundation is because we want to grow local awesomeness. We just want to make the world – and for me personally Sydney – a more awesome place to live.
  • The Awesome Foundation started in Boston in 2009, by Tim Hwang. Tim discovered that it was ridiculously hard to get small amounts of funding for small projects.
  • Getting funding for big projects or ideas can be relatively easy – especially if you could go through regular channels like charities, angel investors or loans. But although big ideas can be amazing and world changing, long tail ideas – hence my dinosaur - may not have as much groundswell and support to be able to receive money through these channels. No one really wants to fund an idea that can’t have a massive return on investment.
  • The Awesome Foundation fills this niche by providing people with awesome ideas, the chance to receive funding to help make their ideas a reality. Because everyone cares about something - no matter how big or small – and it’s the small ideas that keep the world moving. It’s about being agile with ideas. Having small, frequent grants allows us to take more risks – as we’re not investing as much as someone like an angel investor would be.
  • Each grant we give away every month is $1000. Every month each of the 10 chapter trustees donate $100 to a pool to fund the $1000 grant. There’s no tax deductions or ways to get the money reimbursed, we just give the money away to someone doing something awesome.
  • Since starting in Boston, there are now over 20 chapters around the globe in heaps of different countries. There are two in Australia – the first one was launched in Melbourne and now Sydney. Chapters don’t always need to be based on location – we have recently launched Awesome Food which includes trustees from USA, UK and Canada.
  • There’s also no head office or central location. The different chapters are connected online and we all help each other out when we need support.
  • And In those 20 chapters, we’ve been able to give 250 thousand dollars worth of grants. That’s a lot of awesome.
  • So a bit about Awesome Foundation Sydney. We started in March this year by two awesome guys – Steve and Bruno.
  • Steve and Bruno then scoured the universe for eight other awesome trustees, including myself. We have a really diverse group of people as trustees.
  • Every month, we meet up for a dinner somewhere in Sydney and discuss the month’s applicants – who apply on the Awesome Foundation website. After we’ve made a decision on who will receive the month’s grant, we call them straight away to tell them the good news.
  • We then collect the cash – here is $1000 in cash if you have ever wondered what it looks like.
  • And then meet our recipient to give them a traditional brown paper bag with their grant.
  • Since we started – we’ve tried to be really diverse with our grants – donating to causes and hobbies such as art, media and research projects.
  • So how do we define awesome? Surely we must know what is awesome enough to give them $1000 cash.
  • According to the dictionary, Awesome means that it inspires awe. Which is really descriptive I know.
  • But we really don’t know how to define awesome. It’s just an entity or a feeling – you know something is awesome just by reading their application.
  • But our point of view is that if the Awesome Foundation can help awesome ideas, it will spread awesomeness – by the people who directly receive the grant and those who indirectly benefit by being part of networks or are impacted by the result of the idea being realised.
  • And we know people who have awesome smaller ideas will also have awesome world-changing ideas. We’ve recently been awarded our own Kickstarter page – so we can help promote and support previous recipients of Awesome Foundation grants in changing the world.
  • So those ‘Random Swings of Joy’ that were funded in LA? They’ve recently run a successful Kickstarter campaign to set up the swings in Bolivia – they are flying over next month. This is just an example of how a small idea, with support from the Awesome Foundation can be world changing.
  • So as Sydney’s social innovators - so what are you doing that’s awesome?
  • Thanks very much.
  • Awesome Foundation at #sibsyd 2011

    1. 1. ?<br />
    2. 2.
    3. 3.
    4. 4.
    5. 5.
    6. 6.
    7. 7. micro-genius grant for flashes of <br />micro-brilliance<br />
    8. 8. No strings attached.<br />
    9. 9. local awesomeness<br />
    10. 10. est. 2009<br />Boston, MA<br />
    11. 11.
    12. 12. everybody <br />cares about something, <br />no matter how small<br />
    13. 13.
    14. 14. 20 Chapters:<br />Berlin, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Edmonton, Hamburg, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Montreal, New York City, Ottawa, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Toronto, Washington DC, Zurich & Food<br />
    15. 15. no head office<br />
    16. 16. $250,000<br />grants in the last year<br />
    17. 17. AF-SYDNEY<br />est. march 2011<br />
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20.
    21. 21.
    22. 22. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kodamapixel/5813225559/<br />
    23. 23. What is Awesome?<br />
    24. 24. awe·some   [aw-suhm]<br />1. inspiring awe: an awesome sight.<br />2. showing or characterized by awe.<br />
    25. 25.
    26. 26.
    27. 27.
    28. 28.
    29. 29. what are you doing that’s awesome?<br />
    30. 30.
    31. 31. @awesomefoundsyd<br />awesomefoundation.org<br />@jessnichols<br />