A major component of the new Random Hacks of Kindness Sustainability Project announced a few months ago is the inclusion of the Geeks Without Bounds (GWoB) Humanitarian Accelerator. After RHoK in June 2012, GWoB selected three projects developed at RHoK events in Austin, Southampton, and Toronto. You can read more about the projects at GWoB.org: WaterMe, Four Teachers, and BioMedLink.
At this point, all teams have completed their first business development mentorship and different teams have completed their technical execution and responsibility and relevance mentorships. What does this mean? Well, experts from GWoB sit down for video conferencing sessions with the teams and walk them through the needs they see for the projects, building upon their own expertise in the field.
"Everyone talks about there's an elevator pitch, there's a single line pitch, there's a ten minute pitch, there's a year-long pitch. But every pitch you give you want to have hooks so when you stop talking the person you're talking to asks a question." - Kav Latiolais Excerpt from a Business Development Session
"In the future I can see one thing is to build out your API in the direction of GIS interoperability." - Schuyler Erle, Excerpt from a Technical Execution Session
"That's worth looking at - What standards apply to the data you've got. You've got country name standards exist, region name standards don't exist in ISO but do exist in the UN, when you get down to the country level itself you start looking at thinks like GeoNames, you actually run out of standards at that point." - Sara Farmer, Excerpt from a Responsibility and Relevance Session.
So how does all of this affect a project? It has a profound affect on their goals and directions. For example, with Four Teachers the are building capacity in the core competency of software development while designing a sustainable non-profit business strategy.
What does this mean for future acceleration programs within RHoK? For starters, GWoB will be selecting at least three projects from RHoK events in December 2012. We will also have the results of the first six month program ready to share with the RHoK community at that time.