Pitch Night Preview: Meet the Founders & the problems they are solving.

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Pitch night is where we gather to celebrate as a broader community of culture creators and champion the impact being birthed, scaled, or sustained by those pitching world changing ventures. Even though the night is almost here, we just can’t wait to hear from the founders pitching.

If you spend any longer than five minutes in a FLDWRK coaching session, workshop, workplace, or gathering, you will probably be asked a few standard questions. The first being: “what are you celebrating?” We have come to wholeheartedly believe in the discipline of celebration – the commitment to acknowledge and commemorate meaningful progress both that we have achieved as well as others in our community. Another question you will be asked is “what are you working on?” Holding each other accountable and motivated towards the goals we are working on is one of the ways we support and guide one another towards collective impact. Put these two questions together and you have the heart and essence of Pitch Night. So let’s get to the founders! Here’s a taste of who they are and what they’re building:

Tyler Wayman, Social

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What organization or idea are you pitching?

The organization that I am pitching is one that is born from the struggles of my experience socializing in a computer-mediated culture. Its name is Social and its aim is to take people from a screen to a friendly face. Research supports that social isolation has mental, emotional, psychological, physical, and even political implications. I believe that people have been medicating those feelings through means that equate to what I would call a “Sugar Diet Socialization”, wherein a person temporarily alleviates the pain without fixing the problem, treating the symptoms rather than the issue.

What problem are you solving with this idea?

The problem we seek to solve with this app is quite simple, FOMO aka “Fear Of Missing Out”. Scanning Instagram and Facebook is a great way to get caught up on the activities of peoples lives but it’s hardly a way of participating in them. Social is geared towards connecting people prior to, or leading up to the Instagram or Facebook post. We believe that by giving people a real-time feed of the happenings, both present, and future, local and distant, of their social circles online, we can effectively diminish common feelings of FOMO and loneliness and increase interpersonal connectedness and sociability offline, thus leaving in the rearview the feeling that you could ever miss out on an experience with friends, family, or community. At the end of the day, we believe everyone enjoys participating in, not simply being spectators of, life.

How did you first come to notice or care about this problem?

I have spent much of my life feeling left out, alone in the midst of the crowd, or unknown by those I surrounded myself with. However, these experiences came to a climax in 2011 while I was living and studying in Cambodia. Whilst there, I came to the end of myself. I discovered the deepest internal feelings of being left out (FOMO), alone, and profoundly disconnected. Turns out, I’m not the only one with that experience.

What do you hope people experience in your pitch? or why are you excited to pitch?

My hope is that people see the gap in the market that we seek to address as well as the presently unaddressed pain in our society brought on by “Sugar Diet Socialization”. Although our world is better networked and digitally “connected” than its ever been, through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter, over 50% of Americans admit to consistently feeling lonely, isolated or longing for a life similar to that of “Fill in the blank”. My hope is that this pitch is the beginning of a conversation and a practical first step towards addressing a topic that has immense implications for the health of our global social psyche. And I am incredibly excited to bring together people who believe that change is possible as we build a more social tomorrow through the power of an invitation.

Katie Stuart, The Arena

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What organization are you pitching?

The Arena: a curated marketplace for ethically made products. An immersive shopping experience inviting people to use their purchasing power to contribute to something bigger than themselves.

What problem are you solving with this idea?

There are more slaves today than ever before in human history. And the fashion industry is identified as the second largest industry at risk for contributing to modern-day slavery. So by not knowing where or who is making our clothes, we are then contributing to this epidemic. The Arena exists to help champion the stories of the person behind the product.

How did you first come to notice or care about this problem?

While traveling with an organization called The World Race I saw extreme poverty for the first time, and have quite literally never been the same. I saw parents working tirelessly to provide for their families, but still not making enough to provide basic necessities like food, shelter, and even education. It was after my time in Nepal that I realized I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. While visiting a local organization called Beauty for Ashes, I heard the dreams of these female artisans and their plans for the future. It was then that I knew that my dollar wasn’t only putting that product in my hands, but it was empowering the dreams of the woman who created it.

Why are you excited to pitch?

I’m excited to pitch because I genuinely believe so much in the opportunity that we have to solve the problem. I think that the first step to eradicating slavery is by recognizing that it does still exist, but also realizing that we have the power to make choices in our everyday life to see an end to it. I want to leave people a little more inspired to start asking themselves, “who made my clothes?”

Marc Fernandez, Known

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What organization or idea are you pitching?

I’m pitching Known, a simple digital connect card using SMS messaging.

What problem are you solving with this idea?

People experience fear and friction when trying to break into a new community. We want to help lower the barrier for people to become known within a community by allowing them to connect simply over text message.

How did you first come to notice or care about this problem?

Just observing the barriers and inefficiencies that exist for people trying to get plugged in and connected. We believe in the power of community and helping people experience meaningful connection.

What do you hope people experience in your pitch? or why are you excited to pitch?

I hope people experience the energy and passion we have for this product and I’m excited to invite more people into what we are doing here at Known.

Amber Cowell, The Love Riot

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What organization or idea are you pitching?

We are pitching the idea of creating meaningful moments in environments that we are in everyday…our workplace.

What problem are you solving with this idea?

We are looking to create opportunities for more meaningful connections between coworkers, donors, customers, etc.

How did you first come to notice or care about this problem?

I first noticed the problem while planning weddings. We were solving a problem of anxiety, lack of time + knowledge for couples getting married. But, we saw that the same things were true in different corporate environments (i.e. Holiday Parties, Galas, etc).

What do you hope people experience in your pitch? or why are you excited to pitch?

I hope people have fun, but also that they see by having someone who can handle the heaving lifting of planning an event can lead to more meaningful moments in their lives.

Cristina Robeck, Missionsake

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What organization or idea are you pitching?

Missionsake, based on the passage “For His name sake they went out; So we as partners must take care of them in the Lord’s work.” - 3 John 1:5-8. Caring For and Equipping Missionaries Serving in Central America

What problem are you solving with this idea?

missionsake seeks to significantly increase the missionary’s longevity in the field and the impact of the mission by caring for the worker and their families while also promoting unity within the missionary community.

How did you first come to notice or care about this problem?

My family and I were personally part of the ministry while serving as missionaries in El Salvador. We experienced the isolation and burdens of a missionary first hand.

What do you hope people experience in your pitch? or why are you excited to pitch?

I hope people feel compelled to be part of our partner team. I am excited to educate others on the need of caring for missionaries so they can be effective leaders on the mission field.

Join us for Pitch Night and hear more from these amazing founders.