The following five presenters pitched their ideas at The Social Pitch VII on April 30, 2017. The community came together at HatchLab PDX to eat soup, hear the presenters’ ideas, and vote for their favorite. Scroll further to see how you might be able to help each of these budding entrepreneurs.

Neighborhood Nanny (1st place)

Neighborhood Nanny was created during a frantic few days during a frantic few days in July. Amber was desperate for childcare so that she could attend a business workshop she had been invited to. The cost of two full days of childcare was equal to three weeks of groceries for her and her son. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that had been offered and as a full-time student, single parent, and entrepreneur she had to weigh the options. Amber decided to go for it, because it would benefit her son’s future. From this experience, Amber found a deep need in the community and now wants to make sure other parents never have to decide between groceries or their future.

Amber has over twenty years of childcare experience and almost a decade of working with low-income families. She has served on the Board of Directors at Street Roots and Advisory Board at Heroes for the Homeless, in Seattle. Amber spends her time playing with her three-year-old son, Michael, studying, and thinking up activities for the other amazing kids in her life.

Change Mail (2nd place)

Change Mail provides kits that help people find their voice and make critical community connections through handwritten mail to friends, family, civic leaders and community organizations.

Kate is a lifelong snail mail lover. She believes we can influence social change movements and strengthen communities by giving voice to our values in letter writing campaigns and notes of love to those in need. Kate’s vision is to help people send snail mail more often, developing a practice of engagement, positivity and mindfulness for themselves, while their acts of kindness and advocacy benefit their community.

In addition to crafting and sending cards (follow her crafting life on Instagram @snailmailcreations) and working on Change Mail, Kate is passionate about her day job as the Community Engagement Officer for Beneficial State Foundation. She loves talking about the movement for values-driven banking and how Beneficial State Bank’s triple-bottom-line model can drive positive social and environmental outcomes.

Grandma’s Pop-Up Café

Grandma’s Pop-Up Café will appear in neighborhood restaurants, other food-focused businesses, and community organizations with food preparation facilities. The café events will be organized by a neighborhood group which include seniors, chefs, gardeners, and others interested in volunteering their time. Seniors will be encouraged to share their recipes and if they choose to demonstrate the recipes for the chefs and others interested in learning them. The cafe’ events will be well publicized and outreach actively done to ensure that seniors are motivated to and supported to attend. Meal charges will be “Pay As You Feel”.

Liz, Roger, and the rest of Grandma Pop-Up Crew are strategically designed to align the multi-industry skills needed to execute food service by a guest Grandma Chef Lead in partner restaurants in the Portland Metro area. The multi-industry skills are partnership building, volunteer resource management and food service.

VR4U America

VR4U America uses donated cell phones from 2014 onward, along with a low cost and durable virtual reality (VR) headset to allow inner city students the chance to experience things that budget cuts have denied them. We take one person’s trash and transform it into a treasured tool for learning. Reviving what would otherwise be waste to inspire youth to aim higher and dream bigger. Give young students the chance to experience the world outside of what they see every day and they will want to see it. This could become the driving force to bring whole communities out of poverty.

Lucas Gudman is currently a Bachelors in Electrical Engineer student at PSU. He has built a new headset for this project that allows older phones to run virtual reality programs for longer. He is inspired to provide alternative learning experiences to students because of his own experience being involved with the Evergreen Air & Space Museum growing up.

Being There Café

Being There Café is the rushing of the river. It is clean air, the glowing of green and the rolling of the wave. Nature deficit has created a an acceptance of the status quo borne of a feeling of powerlessness and overwhelm at the complexity of environmental issues. Nature immersion provided by Being There Café will inspire action by using awe and innovative technology to empower – all over your morning cup of sustainably grown coffee. Being There Café is coffee café with a conscience.

An aspiring entrepreneur endeavoring to blaze alternative paths to environmental awareness, Holly is working full time, going to school part time and organizing a green team as an Agent of Change for the Center for Earth Leadership. Merging her passion for the environment and her love of artistic creation she has concentrated the use of recycled materials in her art work and encourage others to do the same—including organizing a Recycled Art Fair as a fundraiser for Work for Art. Holly has engaged in environmental efforts in Utah, New York and New Jersey.

Interested in helping out these budding entrepreneurs? Check out their list of needs below and contact them with resources, ideas, and connections you may have.

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