In partnership with the Agency Fund, South Park Commons has for the last six months hosted a group of remarkable builders working on tech projects for social good through our Social Impact Fellowship. To celebrate their progress, last week we hosted a special Impact Edition of our SPC Demo Faire. Seven teams showcased how they're helping people around the world get better access to health services, education, credit, and more. Check out the individual projects below and a full recording of the event at the bottom of the article (or nearly full, since some projects are still in stealth).
Support for LGBTQ+ people is hard to come by in many countries where sexual and gender minorities still face legal persecution. SameSame is building a private, secure chatbot via WhatsApp that lets LGBTQ+ youth access resources and support in their own language. Co-founder Jono shared how the platform's focus on privacy and data security is a key part of building trust with users.
In many lower-income Indian families, parents are their children's first teachers. Rocket Learning builds technology that help parents accelerate their children's learning, including through direct content sharing with chatbots and community feedback through WhatsApp groups. Co-founders Utsav & Azeez showed off both motivational and academic content now delivered through Rocket Learning to hundreds of thousands of parents.
Access to credit can be life changing, but for formerly incarcerated people with limited credit history, that access can be severely limited. finEQUITY is building tools to help the formerly incarcerated establish financial history, fill financial voids, and access financial literacy and coaching. Co-founder Briane showed us how a user can follow finEQUITY's chat process to learn about credit options and access an installment loan.
Youth Impact supports young people through educational and health programs across six African countries. They accomplish this through pioneering data science, running rapid A/B intervention testing in the real world. Co-founder Moitshepi showed us an example with how Youth Impact empowers young women and girls to make relationship choices that protect their health. The team also recently published a landmark paper in Nature documenting the impact of education support for parents through different SMS interventions.
Saahja helps parents of 3-9 year-olds connect with each other and navigate common school/parenting issues. Think of it as a digital-first PTA. Co-founder Saransh demonstrated how this is done via WhatsApp and a parent-to-parent virtual call center. Saahja also send parents links to free teaching resources, like Khan Academy.
As many of the previous teams demonstrate, there's enormous potential in reaching underserved populations through mobile phones and chat applications, since for millions of people around the world their phone is their first and only computer. Turn.io is building the platform for creating impactful chatbots. They help governments and impact organizations run a chat service significantly faster and cheaper than building in-house. Co-founder Pippa shared a powerful example of how Turn enables impact: helping the Ukrainian State Emergency Services deliver safety guidance over the last several months of conflict.
If you would like to watch the full Impact Demo Faire video, check it out below!