Rally For Impact Introduction
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Rally For Impact Introduction

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Rally Software Founder and CTO, Ryan Martens introduces Rally For Impact.

Rally Software Founder and CTO, Ryan Martens introduces Rally For Impact.

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  • I want to become a special entrepreneur
  • I know what you are thinking – No – I do not mean a that kind of special
  • I want to become what I call a Empathetic Entrepreneur. I want to put a dent in our society, but by working on the hard problems. About 10 years ago, I began working to become an empathetic Entrepreneur
  • I know what you are thinking again – someone who is sympathetic – No not someone who is sympathetic,
  • But someone who has real shared understanding of the root cause to some of our toughest and most intractable social & environmental issues. Some who can seize the unfortunate opportunities in life to make a real difference
  • Someone like these Engineer with Boarders teams working closely in context with villagers in Africa to make their life better and more sustainable with appropriate technology and capacity building.
  • My fundamental believe is that we are solving the wrong problems by simple providing solutions that dust over the real problems of today. We are working on the symptoms not the REAL Root issues. To get to the root problems, we need develop more empathy for the people and places that are being marginalized by our 20th Century ways of living on this planet. All of us business, charities and students need to prepare ourselves to solve some of the world’s UNFORTUANTE OPPORTUNIES.
  • My fundamental believe is that we are solving the wrong problems by simple providing solutions that dust over the real problems of today. We are working on the symptoms not the REAL Root issues. To get to the root problems, we need develop more empathy for the people and places that are being marginalized by our 20th Century ways of living on this planet. All of us business, charities and students need to prepare ourselves to solve some of the world’s UNFORTUANTE OPPORTUNIES.
  • A prefect example of an empathetic entrepreneur is Richard Branson, he has over 200 global businesses ( virgin,) and they are all part of something he calls virgin unite. Virgin unite works with each of Branson’s business to help them gain the empathetic perspective of their individual markets.
  • For example, teenagers are the main users of Virgin Mobile’s cell phone service. Since 2009, the business has been working hard to mobilize these customers to help them in their fight against teenage homelessness including 75K volunteer hours, 25K support and kits and 500K in donations. And this only one example and Branson has over 200 companies that each have a social mission linked to their core mission.They developed deep relationship between Virgin Mobile, their customers and the homeless teanagers for solid impact.
  • No one says it better than Paul Hawkin in his book NATURAL CAPITALISM from the late 90’s with local Colorado starts Amory and Hunter Lovins - “Business is the only mechanism on the planet today powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environments and social degradation.” Not only is it our responsibly, but many organizations like Virgin Group, Ben & Jerry’s, Interface Carpet, and Tom’s Shoes are starting to prove the doing good is good for business.
  • Back in 1969, we changed our tax code and help separate Private Foundations and Charities from Corporations for concerns of fraud
  • That was all well and good, but the unintended consequences have us thinking about business and charities that provide profit and impact as separate things. We moved them apart and are optimizing the parts, but not the whole. Business has become obsessively focused on maximizing the bottom line and shareholder value, which public and private charities are obsessed with decreasing their operating overhead to increase their aid, but not necessarily increase their real impact. If we were able to better leverage private foundation dollars we could put about $45B a year to work on sustainable ventures, in the US alone, that delivered real societal impact. That is like VC investing in 2001.
  • in both the business and charitable communities, The problem this model has created is shallow relationships and low levels of empathy and thus low levels of understanding in the real problems
  • In the Charitable communities, the relationship to Donors and the community is strong, but the relationship to beneficiaries can be very weak. The band aid solutions of aid and quick fixes for the last forty years is part of the problem. On the business side, the weak relationship to the community has caused it to treat many deep problem as “externalities” Things that are off the books and thus out of our control.
  • The solution is what some call a social enterprise, one focused on impact and income or a triple bottom line of profit, people and planet. One that optimizes the whole. The question is how do we get here? And what is the value when you get there?
  • As an office of a venture-backed business and three non-profits, I have come to learn the path to social enterprise is an incremental stair step for both Charities and Corporations.
  • AtRally, a boulder-based software company that I help found about 10 years ago. Upon founding, we decided to set aside 1% of our equity to the community. We did this to try help build a culture of “give-back” and to seize the opportunity to do this when we were young and the stock was not worth much. In my last venture, I learned it is harder to give it away at the end when you have figures out 10 ways from Sunday on how to spend you windfall.
  • Back in 2003, this was our first step toward a company of income and impact. We got value in attracting and hiring great, like-minded folks as we also encourage give-back by letting employees take 1% of their time to do charitable work in the community. This step increased our awareness and to other opportunities. Our small successes left us wanting for more.
  • In 2007, with the help of my friend and Rally board chairman Brad Feld, we created the Colorado affiliate of the Entrepreneur’s Foundation. With a start in 1999 in the bay area and with 7 affiliates, EF had figured out how to spread this model. Starting the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of COLORADO was my first run at real UNFORTUNATE OPPORTUNITY. It was a chance to get young, fast growth companies more connected with their communities. As a result, I am now the chairman with an all volunteer board. We have been bootsrapping this charity for 5 years and it is starting to gain some momentum.
  • EFCO launched in 2007 and here is today’s membership pool.
  • In June, we will announce that new addition of two companies that have reached a level of profitability or public market stock. We will also announce that the 7 companies will have crossed the ½ Million mark in direct community benefit to the Boulder and Denver communities. As a result of those impacts, we hired an executive director to help us accelerate our membership growth and impact. By joining the larger Entrepreneurs Foundation we got a tremendous amount of help, education and capacity. We transferred those capabilities directly to our member companies.
  • At Rally, in addition to help from EFCO, we became a B-Corporation, and joined two Colorado trade-organizations CORE and Boulder’s 10 for Change Program. These three groups helped us gain empathy on the root problems and they also educated us on the opportunities that existed for us to really make a difference. I call this step two. Your awareness is increasing, your success starts to be recognized as you have more small wins and you realize that you are heading into waters that you have never sailed.
  • As part of Step 2 at Rally, a local consulting company called Intersector Partners helped us pick some good local charities that had need and interest in partnering with business. We got hooked up with Rob Smith and the folks at Rocky Mountain Micro Finance. A handful of Denver-based Ralliers helped RMMFI build capacity and mentor local entrepreneurs. In exchange Rob and his team have taught some valuable lessons about impact.
  • There is 21% of the Denver community living and working below the poverty level – This was their Unfortunate Opportunity. RMMFI first step was to get into the micro finance space to help to help low income folks escape the world of one or more low paying jobs, government assistance and persistent life barriers. But, they found the microfinance loans were not getting paid back and the clients were not escaping the low income trap.
  • After developing real empathy for their clients the experimented with a bootcamp process for client and now they spend about $8K to help these clients really launch businesses
  • 54% of graduates from the last three boot camps are 30% or less than AMI (that is about $18,000 per year) and these folks launch businesses!
  • To solve the right problems you are going to need strategic partners from the other side of the steps – For Rally and RMMFI is the same story – step 3 is finding strategic partners in your problem domain
  • My take away from this experience is that only through meaningful partnership and collaboration can one discover the empathy necessary to create a successful business and drive social impact. That is the definition of a social enterprise.helped me learn why Richard Branson is very different than Mark Zuckerberg
  • How can you get started? Businesses can join the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Colorado. Individuals can become a mentor with a local nonprofit such as RMMFI. Charities and nonprofits can use someone like intersector, the group that brought RMMFI and Rally together, to find strategic business partners.
  • Your first step will prepare you for finding your own UO like I have.Thank you
  • I am poised and ready to implement Rally’s newly established social mission and I wish you all much passion and empathy as you embark on your own journey of impact. Thank You.
  • My take away from this experience is that only through meaningful partnership and collaboration can one discover the empathy necessary to create a successful business and drive social impact. That is the definition of a social enterprise.helped me learn why Richard Branson is very different than Mark Zuckerberg

Rally For Impact Introduction Rally For Impact Introduction Presentation Transcript

  • Empathetic EntrepreneurImage via The Associated Press
  • Photo provided by Engineers Without Borders
  • Image via virginmobileusa.com