A Glimpse of Hope in the COVID-era

It’s been 4 years since we ran our first nonprofit pitch contest at Boulder Startup Week, and it brings me an immense amount of joy to share that we’ve now given out over $130k to nonprofits across the Front Range. Yet this year was different than the last 3, for far too many reasons to count at this point, but seeing the 5 incredible nonprofits pitch over Zoom provided a glimmer of hope for our attendees and all those who have been impacted by the ongoings of 2020.

Here’s a quick glimpse at our winning nonprofits:

1st Place – SistahBiz – Sistahbiz Global Network helps Black women solopreneurs and microbusinesses build scalable, sellable businesses.

2nd Place – The Village Institute – The Village Institute is a live/learn/work center for single-mother refugee families. Our holistic model brings housing, language learning, childcare, job readiness workshops, and mental health services all under one roof.

3rd Place – SCD Enrichment Program – SCD Enrichment Program recruits and supports students of color in accelerated course work in middle and high school.

4th Place – The Reciprocity Collective – The Reciprocity Collective seeks and fosters partnerships between the business and nonprofit communities to respectfully and effectively guide individuals from communities of Poverty and Homelessness forward in sustainable employment, purpose and health to realize their potential of fully enriched lives for themselves and their families.

5th Place – Learn Your Rights in the Community (LYRIC) – Learn Your Rights in the Community (LYRIC) is an organization composed of passionate attorney and law student volunteers donating their time to empower young people to exercise their constitutional rights.

This year, if there was a theme to be pulled from this event, it’s a reminder that for so many, nonprofits are a vital support system that is there when things get hardest. And in a year where things seem to be rife with tension no matter where you look, these nonprofits (and countless others) have donned their PPE and Zoom links to find new, innovative ways to provide a lifeline for a growing number of folks in need.

Our sponsors make this event possible, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to thank them individually as well. 

The Anchor Point Foundation (https://www.anchorpointfoundation.org/), founded by Amy Bachelor and Brad Feld, helps non-profit organizations and leaders creatively solve problems in their communities around the world. Amy and Brad were the first checks in the door to make this event possible and have continued with their support ever since, so a special thanks to them for their support this year.

New comers for this year included: 

  • The Rose Community Foundation – Rose Community Foundation strives to advance inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy. The Foundation envisions a thriving region strengthened by its diversity and generosity, and it utilizes the varied tools at its disposal – grantmaking, advocacy and philanthropic services – to advance this aspiration.
  • Twilio – who unites communications and strengthens customer relationships across your business – from marketing and sales to customer service and operations.
  • The Equity Project – The Equity Project is a culmination of 30+ years of experience in government, for-profit and non-profit sectors. We sought to create a company where the sole objective is to level set definitions of these terms to deliver equitable services to all people, in all systems. Our vision comes alive through sharing effective solutions and creating data analytics around what people need to do to create equity-based systems.
  • Foundry Group – Foundry invests in technology companies throughout the US and Canada. We also invest in the next generation of venture capital fund managers.

Denver Startup Week recorded the event this year, so we’re excited to be able to share the entire contest with folks who couldn’t attend. Thanks to all who joined and a special thanks to the 5 nonprofit leaders who took the time out of an already hectic time to share their stories and innovations with us. Until next year. 

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