DataKind SF Bay Area's First Project Accelerator
December 11, 2014

 The DataKindSF team held its first Project Accelerator this week at General Assembly’s incredible facility in downtown San Francisco (pictures here). Project Accelerators bring together nonprofit and data science experts for a night of quick consulting. Our hope was that each nonprofit attending our event would leave with fresh ideas on how to more effectively use data to advance their missions. Although we don’t want to speak for the organizations, we were thrilled with what each of the teams achieved in just two hours. 

At this Project Accelerator, five visionary nonprofits joined us to discuss their missions, data questions, and data aspirations. The range of questions discussed across groups was wide, including how to capture, store, integrate, query, and model the data. One common question of many of the groups was how to better segment users into clusters for a more personalized experience.

  • Stellar Development Foundation works to expand financial access and literacy worldwide. This organization is responsible for Stellar, a common financial platform designed to be open and accessible to everyone.

  • Tenderloin Safe Passage works to build a culture of safety for all in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco for all.

  • TechSoup Global helps nonprofits globally get and use technology to heighten their impact. Its mission is to work toward a time when every nonprofit and NGO on the planet has the technology resources and knowledge it needs to operate at its full potential.

  • Bay Area Video Coalition inspires social change by empowering media makers to develop and share diverse stories through art, education and technology.

  • Urban Strategies Council works to support youth, family and community development as a means of building healthy, vibrant communities in order to reduce persistent poverty.

We want to send a special thanks to the 40+ volunteers who packed the room, and particularly to the Data Ambassadors and the primary coordinator behind this event, Louis Potok. Without their effort, this night wouldn’t have been possible. They make the Data-for-Good community a reality and we couldn’t be more inspired by their commitment.

Project Accelerators are all about taking first steps. For the nonprofits who attend, it’s a first step toward demystifying the buzz words and seeing just how powerful data science can be for. For the volunteers that participate, it’s a first step into the Data-for-Good movement and seeing first-hand just how powerful their skills can be. And for us, this is one of our many first steps as DataKind’s San Francisco Chapter to expand the Bay Area Data-For-Good community.

We need your help to do it and hope you’ll join us on this journey. Learn about our future events on our Meetup page and get updates from us by signing up at We look forward to taking our next steps with you and hopefully seeing you at our next event!

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