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In January 2017, SEED SPOT and Booz Allen partnered to support social good innovation in DC. Sit down with leaders from Booz Allen and SEED SPOT, as well as Booz Allen mentors and SEED SPOT program participants to hear about the partnership. Interested in learning more? Contact Wayne Chen at [email protected].
>> Courtney Klein: As I look at the context of how this whole thing started here in D.C., it really started with people. It started with people believing that D.C. warranted this, that entrepreneurs needed this, and that individuals would rise to the occasion and support this.
My name is Courtney Klein. And I am the cofounder and CEO of Seed Spot. And we work with early stage social entrepreneurs to help them build businesses, whether it’s a product, service, or technology that makes the world a better place.
>> Susan Penfield: So Booz Allen became a titled sponsor of Seed Spot. And what really Seed Spot brought was the marriage of two things that Booz Allen loved: 1) passionate service, and 2) collective ingenuity. So together the marriage of those two things was what Seed Spot was all about. Booz Allen is a consulting and technology firm. And what a better place to bring our expertise to help these entrepreneurs grow the good and change the world.
>> Courtney Klein: I think it’s hard being a new idea in any community; trying to find your ground; trying to build your brand; trying to establish credibility. But it was early stage partners honestly like Booz Allen that made it possible for us to gain that credibility pretty quickly.
>> Michelle Chang: What Seed Spot means to me is taking an individual idea and passion and helping that person throw it out into the world. And give that vision the ability to blossom into something that’s real and impactful.
>> Darren Cambridge: We help kids learn to make powerful choices starting with books. So, we combine machine learning with expert knowledge about reading to offer kids personalized recommendations of books. And it felt to me like we would really benefit from having some structure. And we found Seed Spot. And the timing was just right.
>> Janice Omadeke: I’m Janice Omadeke. And I’m the CEO and founder of the mentor method. We create inclusive work place cultures through mentoring diverse tech talent. And so now fast forward 15 weeks, awesome team. I’ve made some amazing connections with the rest of my cohort, some incredible changes to my business model that customers will love. And we’ve had some really great conversations with our pipeline.
>> Joanna Yeh: I think that the partnership that Booz Allen has with Seed Spot has been a really amazing way for people like me. I have a full-time job. I only have an idea. But they gave me an avenue to start making progress, and gave me some tools and the foundation -- the foundational knowledge that I’ll need to grow into reality.
>> Molly Matthews: I have loved Seed Spot. It’s a very committed group of leaders. I love my peer group, my cohort. The most important thing it’s done is focus me because it’s very easy when you’re on your own to get distracted or let other things get in the way. Seed Spot has set up a course for these weeks where at the end of it, we have an absolute business plan. We have a go-to-market strategy. They make us do all the things that we might put off.
>> Amiel Bent: I’m a mentor to one of the companies in the Seed Spot program. I think of my experiences have been able to help the mentees put together their business plan, maybe develop their strategy a little better, put together their financial model. I think many consultants at Booz Allen have skills that can apply and help in the early stage.
>> Wes Melville: Both Joanna and Brittany [phonetic sp] are employees here at Booz Allen. And they have a really great inspiring idea. Every time I meet with them, you can see the wheels turning. You can see them -- they’ve gotten -- they get all kinds of advice from different people. And they’re internalizing all of that and making better decisions because of it, I think.
>> Joanna Yeh: We joke that we wish that we had gotten our mentor earlier [laughs]. He’s just been a great sounding board for all the issues that we run into.
>> Courtney Klein: There are a lot of ways that I could articulate how Booz Allen has been helpful. But if I had to kind of encapsulate it in one sentence. It’s been -- it’s been a huge boost. I mean it’s been a shot in the arm of these like vitamins; and nutrients; and people; and exposure; and space that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.
>> Susan Penfield: The thing that I’m most proud of in terms of our partnership with Seed Spot is that it really brought sort of three things to light, you know. One was it was a great, positive place and organization for our staff to affiliate with. Two it’s very much tied to who we want to be in the innovation space and also being affiliated with an incubator in the Washington, D.C. area. And lastly, I think, you just can’t argue with the amazing kind of impact that Seed Spot has made in so many people’s lives. And being part of that amazing kind of impact, be affiliated with it, to stand side by side with it. That you just can’t beat in terms of our partnership growing the Seed Spot wants the scale across a number of other places across the country. And so, I think, that’s a way where Booz Allen can really scale with Seed Spot. And we can expose more and more of our staff with this partnership. And hopefully we’re going to go national and then international.