PeopleFund Blog

Why We’re Doing This

We’re throwing a party.

That’s right–we’re getting in on the unofficial SXSW action this year by throwing a party at our place. We’ve never done something like this before, despite an office full of Austinites and a great space out here in East Austin. We felt like it was about time.

Initially, Allen, our communications and outreach manager, thought of the party (with the help of our friend Steve from Center61) as one more way to connect with the Austin community and spread the nonprofit and social entrepreneurship goodwill around. This is still our goal—the more, the merrier. We want this to be a total community event where social entrepreneurs, nonprofits and small businesses can come together and basically, show off how awesome they are.

We’ve already gotten a few people on board: Center61, Live Oak Brewing Company, Sabor Azul Margaritas, La Madeline, GonzoATX Music. But we could always use more. We’re planning on having booths set up around the perimeter of the audience area for small businesses and nonprofits to listen to some great music and spread the word about their organization.

With the help of SnoBall, a social media-based giving platform, we were able to turn this from a nonprofit and small business party into a fundraiser for one our newer initiatives, the Junior Entrepreneurship Track program. With a little help from our friends at Capital One, we started the JET program last year as a way to reach a group of potential entrepreneurs and community leaders, East Austin high school students.

This program is like no other. Our students didn’t learn by listening to a teacher explain the basics of a marketing strategy for them; they learned by creating one themselves. They didn’t figure out how to make a budget projection by memorizing formulas from a hand-out; they needed to make one from scratch for their own business plan. Our curriculum puts a special emphasis on cultivating an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, going hand-in-hand with technology entrepreneurship.

Oh and the music? That’ll be pretty great too. Steve from Center61 brought in Mark Gonzalez from GonzoATX Music to handle it, and rest assured, we’ll have a full day of nonstop music.

We’ll be posting updates on this blog, so keep us bookmarked. Where do you come in? Help us spread the word about our event by tweeting at us that you’re coming to the #17StParty and inviting all of your friends. We’ll see you on March 15!

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