July 2018 Update
What has the Schox Philanthropy grant allowed you to do this quarter?
When AnnieCannons began conversations with Schox Philanthropies, we outlined the following goals for provided funding: (1) teach our data literacy and software development curriculum to our fourth cohort of students starting in May 2018; (2) source client projects that help our students and graduates earn income and build portfolios over time; and (3) ensure the close management of client project, allowing AnnieCannons to deliver consistent value to our clients and develop our professional reputation as a mission-based development shop. We are proud to report that funding from Schox has allowed us to make strides in each of these areas.
Training. We started our fourth cohort, and they have been our best performers so far. We anticipate that three of our students will qualify for web development work within the next week, and we have begun to identify projects that they can start working on. For our fifth cohort (projected winter 2018) we are recruiting from survivor leader organizations to help build tech capacity among survivors globally. This lets us keep our training resources focused in the Bay Area while expanding the geographic reach of our impact.
Revenue. We matched our 2017 Impact Agency revenue by the end of Q1 2018, and doubled our 2017 revenue by the end of Q2. In fact, we are on track for 5x Impact Agency revenue growth year over year. This is consistent with our projection of spending $1.5 million in charitable capital to completely sustain our operations in 4 years with retained commission on Impact Agency revenues.
Projects. In addition to the mobile game we’re building for Claremont McKenna College (a $50,000 project), we have signed both Sequoia Capital and TCV Ventures as Data Quality as a Service clients. A few big Impact Agency projects are in development this summer, including: (1) a mobile app for cost sharing (stealth client), (2) a progressive web app for women conquering menopause (stealth client), (3) a native mobile app to support global childhood literacy for the nonprofit Wordscientists, as well as taking over all of Wordscientists web development needs, and (4) a digital town hall for the Survivor Alliance to help survivor leaders more effectively coordinate their activism and support one another.
What’s going well? (ie: what, if any, big wins did you have this quarter)
In Q2, we hit our annual operating budget for 2018 and started focusing on fundraising for 2019. We’ve been admitted to the YCombinator summer class and received $100,000 in initial funding. They are now among our new major donors, as are Schox.org, Lush Cosmetics. We also received $50,000 from the Craig Newmark foundation, and $25,000 recurring pledges from Motorola and IEEE.
Unexpectedly, we also received our largest contribution to date from Goldman Sachs. In early March, a team of second year analysts from Goldman Sachs asked to represent AnnieCannons in the Third Annual Goldman Sachs Analyst Impact Fund Competition. After advancing through three rounds of presentations to the Goldman Sachs Gives investment and partner committee, we placed third in the final round, securing $50,000 in prize money. However, the Goldman Sachs team beat the pavement and raised an additional $100,000 in individual and matching contributions from firm employees. In total, we’ve received a $150,000 pledge from Goldman sachs.
The success we had in Q2 allowed us to hire a Director of Business Development in May, and make offers to two Product Managers, one of whom started last week. The second is scheduled to begin work on August 1st. Additionally, our TA has been promoted to Lecturer and is teaching some of this cohort’s classes; she’s on track to be hired full-time this fall as an Instructor to lead classes moving forward.
What’s next? (where are you headed next quarter?)
This quarter, we’re looking to capitalize on the momentum that Schox helped us create in Q2. Funding from Schox has provided AnnieCannons recognition that continues to pay dividends. We will continue to push forward in our fundraising efforts, but our goal is to continue to sell work, develop our ever-growing client pipeline, and ensure that our students feel well-prepared and excited to begin working on these projects.
In August, we will be presenting at YCombinator’s demo day, and we are working to prepare for this event. Not only will demo day be an excellent opportunity for us attract attention from potential angel investors who might be interested in providing funding for a nonprofit, but we also have a network of new startups who are looking for technology and software services that AnnieCannons can provide. We anticipate that demo day will help us sell additional work, and we are excited to begin providing this work to the students from our fourth cohort.
Where do you need help? (ie: is there an ask you have of us or our members? for instance, trying to hire someone or find a certain type of partner)
We truly believe that the momentum we’ve been able to create in the last two quarters is in no small part due to funding from Schox. Funding has allowed us allocate money to hiring key personnel who can help us grow our business, drive value for our clients, and make sure we are students feel supported, empowered, and excited to learn.
We want to make sure we take advantage of this momentum so we can continue to grow our business. With YCombinator’s demo day on the horizon, we feel that this will be a pivotal moment for our business, and would love your help with the following:
Promoting our participation in YC Demo Day across social media channels
Helping us workshop our presentation to investors (taking a look at slides, or perhaps participating in a zoom meeting to provide feedback on said presentation)
Alternatively, if you know now of anyone looking for a personal website or looking to develop the MVP version of an app? We’d love to build it for them.
Are there any upcoming volunteer opportunities or special events that you want to share with our members?
Although we do not have the date set yet, we plan to have a class project demo day with our students this fall. Student Demo Day gives our students the opportunity to present their ideas to a supportive community who can provide feedback on their ideas, and ultimately vote on which idea the class will work together to build out. We would love to have one or two Schox members participate in this event. Additionally, we plan to hold our annual curriculum hackathon. This event gives us an opportunity to workshop our curriculum with the tech industry leaders, and we’d love participation from Schox members.