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Hunting for Rocket Fuel

By posted in Benetech on December 3, 2013 at 9:35am

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As the CEO of Benetech, I have two key roles: leading a team of smart people who create and use technology for social good… and hunting for rocket fuel. Don’t worry, we’re not building rockets here in Palo Alto. As a former rocket engineer, it’s just an analogy that’s pretty logical to me.

Logo of #GivingTuesday.You see, to me ideas are like rockets. They are both vehicles to get something else accomplished—whether it’s launching a satellite or solving a big social problem. And, of course, they both need the right kind of fuel to get off the ground.

At Benetech, we are constantly presented with new ideas and exciting opportunities to use technology for social good. Earlier this year, we launched Benetech Labs—where we explore, prototype and test such new ideas. Our challenge is picking which of the 100+ products we get asked to do each year will get attention. We established the Labs to try out some of these product ideas and see which ones ignite and could have great social impact.

Of course, in order to test these ideas and determine which ones get off the ground we need unrestricted growth funding that’s necessary for expanding social good. For us, this kind of funding is the rocket fuel that drives innovation. For you, it’s an opportunity to get involved with the tech-for-good movement and help us explore new and better ways to create lasting social impact.

Photo of Gerardo Capiel, Benetech's VP of Engineering, meeting with participants at the Fundación Avina's 2013 conference on community water management in Latin America.

Gerardo Capiel, our VP of Engineering, with participants at the Fundación Avina’s conference in Paraguay, Summer 2013

Powered by our rocket fuel, we’re tackling BIG problems. We’re investigating how local organizations in Latin America could leverage technology to efficiently provide essential services, like clean water and sanitation, to their communities. We’re in active conversations about writing software for promoting labor rights, fighting trafficking, engaging political will to respond to atrocities, and working on environmental sustainability.

And, that’s just broadening impact in completely new areas. Our current programs, too, present exciting ways to deepen impact and go to the next level by building on initiatives with track record of success. All these social enterprises need rocket fuel to go to a higher orbit. OK, you get that I love rockets, right?

Today, Giving Tuesday, come join us! Invest in innovation with Benetech and help harness the power of technology to make the world a better place for everyone.

I’m on the hunt for rocket fuel because new social enterprises—ones that five years from now could reinvent a part of the social sector—cost money to identify, to explore and to grow the most promising ones into self-sufficiency. Just like for-profit tech ventures search for angel investors, we need you—the philanthropic investors—to provide the rocket fuel that drives innovation.

Are you a social investor? Are you a donor with passion for BIG ideas that can lead to BIG change? Then we have the opportunity for you!

This Giving Tuesday, give different. Invest in innovation with Benetech and become part of the creative process that yields disruptive solutions for social good.

Thanks for your support and Happy Holidays!

 
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