Meet the Local Nonprofits Receiving Tech Idea Incubator Fund Grants! | SHARE Charlotte

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Meet the Local Nonprofits Receiving Tech Idea Incubator Fund Grants!

April 29, 2021    in


Tech Rising, an initiative founded by AvidXchange, was created with a goal of helping to eliminate the digital divide and foster digital inclusion here in Charlotte. The initiative launched last summer and AvidXChange hosted their first Tech Rising Virtual Summit in partnership with SHARE Charlotte on February 25th of this year.

The Virtual Summit brought together local government officials, public school representatives, business leaders, nonprofits and members of the community all who are playing a key part in bridging the digital divide in our community. 

In an effort to help seed innovative ideas from nonprofit organizations that are helping to eliminate the digital divide and foster digital inclusion and equity, the “Tech Idea Incubator” Fund was created as part of the Tech Rising initiative and grant winners have just been announced this week. 

Tech Idea Incubator grants are between $1-5K gifts and will be used to seed creative and innovative ideas that could eventually become larger initiatives in the future. The fund was open to applications from any nonprofit that attended the Tech Rising Virtual Summit, serves Mecklenburg County, and supports youth in Title 1 schools.

Funding corporate partners include: Google Fiber; Truist; Allstate; Lowe’s; Duke Energy; Bank of America and Better.com. There were 18 submissions overall and below is an overview  of the 6 grantees who are receiving Tech Idea Incubator funding:

 

Overview of the grantees:

  • A Better World: A nonprofit focused on supporting under-served youth in West Charlotte.

    • Tech Idea: Create a virtual afterschool program that provides homework help, academic enrichment, group therapy and one-on-one reading buddies. This virtual program currently serves 65 students but with the help of this grant they will be able to serve many hundreds of more students and potentially expand beyond West Charlotte.

  • Digi-Bridge & Dottie Rose Foundation (joint project): Two nonprofits that have formed a collaboration to promote STEM proficiency.

    • Tech Idea: They will work together to create pop-up classes in Title 1 schools that help students utilize technology to be producers and creators. This grant will help them provide 10 learning topics two classes per month serving 25 students. Additionally they plan to ensure that 50% of the students are females.

  • Blacks in Technology - Charlotte Chapter: Nonprofit on a mission to increase digital literacy and technology education opportunities for Black youth and families in Charlotte,

    • Tech Idea: They have partnered with YouCanTech, an educational program that helps kids ages 7-12 get excited about STEM. It is a fully packaged Lego Robotics program: the robot kits, curriculum of activities in story form that kids and support from experienced coaches. With this grant they are able to increase their impact from 10 to 100 students by the end of the summer.

  • Charlotte Bilingual Preschool: Local nonprofit preschool that prepares Spanish-speaking children for success in school and life by providing dual language early childhood education.

    • Tech Idea: Due to the pandemic, hispanic students can experience a disproportionate amount of learning loss due to school closures. In response, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool  launched the Reading Bridge which helps families support their children’s literacy at home. However, technology access and digital literacy remain barriers for their families to implement this program so through this grant they plan to provide Family Engagement Specialists. These specialists will help families gain access to technology, empower them with digital literacy skills and teach them how to use the online resources to help close literacy gaps for their children.

  • First Gen Success: Nonprofit focused on bridging the generational gap and lessening the constant economic disparities for high school girls who are on the path to be first generation college students.

    • Tech Idea:  They want to  incorporate a web-based mentor training component to their current program. They plan to create Mentoring Central which offers three core courses to help their mentees. The programs are designed to improve outcomes and achieve excellence with the ease of using online, state of the art mentoring.

  • She Built this City: Local nonprofit that sparks interest in construction and maker trades for girls ages 9-17, career choosing women and non-binary individuals.

    • Tech Idea:  They are using a 3D printing curriculum focusing on 3D printing options to make homes accessible for Seniors that increases the ability to age in place as well as support the dwindling supply of naturally occurring affordable homes  here in the Charlotte Area.  Their goal is teach young girls 3D print and create with software,  and use  innovation to solve problems.

If you would like to learn more about Tech Rising, please contact Rob Phocas the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at AvidXchange.