Broad Street Maps is a company inspired by the belief that maps have the ability to unlock enormous potential within the public health community. Using maps as tools for improving health will always be our core mission, but we're questioning what the most effective and efficient way of doing that really is. Even though we're only 12 days in, Fledge has already been a critical turning point for us. We are taking full advantage of the time to flesh out our ideas, have conversations with mentors, and explore the various resources that the program gives us access to. Here's what we've been up to:
Our beautiful new office is full of creative, determined people doing inspiring work. With over 600 active members, Seattle's impactHUB has been an ideal community for us to tap into here. Every day, we meet people that encourage us, challenge us, or connect us with a new mentor.
We are 1 of 6 groups invited to participate in the Fledge program. None of the other 5 groups are focused specifically on health, but they all have a social mission. Coincidentally, 3 of them work in Tanzania. They're all awesome. Check them out:
Karibu Solar – Affordable modular solar “business in a box” for African entrepreneurs who sell solar daily at the price of kerosene.
Activate Hub - Allows you to discover events, organizations and people impacting your community.
Distributed Energy Management - Helps business owners save money in utility bills, via a unique budgeting strategy system.
EA Fruits Farm – Bringing the best-practices of modern fruit and vegetable farming to Tanzania.
Juabar Design – Creating profitable energy franchises by investing in Tanzanian entrepreneurs (Juapreneurs) to bring solar recharging kiosks to their communities.
Our white board and post-it notes have become our best friends over the past 2 weeks. Re-thinking all of our assumptions, laying out all of our questions, mapping systems, following a single piece of data through various different project models, brainstorming products, sketching out business models, and thinking of various customer discovery strategies... these are just a few of the many exercises we've been working on.
A big aspect of Fledge is facilitating meetings with mentors, investors, partners, and potential customers. So far, we've had more than 15 meetings with different mentors! Lawyers, designers, tech people, product development experts, compensation specialists, business strategists, finance pros... just to name a few. These meetings have been incredibly helpful in terms of talking through some of our ideas, getting feedback, poking holes in our model, and thinking up new strategies.
Last Thursday, we took a field trip! Once a month, the Bainbridge Graduate Institute program (which is located at the impactHUB) goes out to Bainbridge Island for a weekend retreat at Island Wood. The MBA program in social business is conducted mostly online, except for these monthly 'intensives.' We were invited to come out for the day and attend the entrepreneur seminar. The second-year students break into teams, come up with a business idea, and work on it for the whole year. We watched their customer pitches, and then the whole audience pretended to be their customers and ask a series of hard questions before 'breaking character' and giving general feedback on the presentation. It was incredibly useful and cool. We also got to spend time exploring some of Island Wood's extensive, sunny, trails, and enjoy the ferry rides with our fellow Fledglings!
Every day continues to bring challenges, victories, and progress! 7.5 more weeks to go...