Tuesday at NewCo

In an effort to make the NewCo piece more readable, I’ve gone ahead and created three additional separate posts, one for each day (the original piece with all three days together is of course still available here).


Ginger.io NewCoSF Presentation
Ginger.io NewCoSF presentation by Anmol Madan, PhD Co-founder / CEO & Data Scientist (on the other side of the room, also presenting, was Karan Singh, Co-founder / Sales & Marketing)

Ginger.io was the entire reason I knew about the conference to begin with. I’ve been following the development of their technology for awhile. They take the data you’re already giving your smartphone (they said that something like 90% of smartphone users keep their phone within 3′ of them at all times), and they use that data to help you manage a mental illness. During the presentation, they mostly discussed depression, with some mentions of anxiety and post-partum depression. I know from researching their website that they also aim to help those with schizophrenia and bipolar as well.

Note: It was really, really cool to be only a few feet from the founders. Oh, and the person inthe super awesome orange shirt right up in the 2nd row? Yours truly.

Twitter NeighborNest and Compass Family Services
To start, it’s weird that they only allow Twitter employees to volunteer there…
But the presentation was done well. They had someone who runs TwitterNest talk, and then then had someone who has been a recipient of the center’s services. The recipient was a university professor in her home country (Kazikstan), but she, her husband, and their small children came to San Francisco with no ties to the community, and could only afford to move into a hostel. Through TwitterNest, she was able to take advantage of the free babysitting and the space there to more efficiently get through contract work she’d been able to get. She then was encouraged to pursue learning to code (learning she had begun in secret because she didn’t think it would be okay to use the resources to learn to code). What she was really pleasantly surprised with was that, when she finally “came out” about wanting to learn to code, Twitter employees who are experts in their field were the ones volunteering to help her learn.

Note: What was particularly interesting is that, during her presentation, the woman who helps run NeighborNest made a point that they don’t advertise the number of people they help. Instead, they focus on making a major impact in the people they do help. It was interesting to see what it’s like to have a non-profit that has both the expertise of an already-in-place non-profit (Compass Family Services), and the backing of a huge corporation (Twitter).

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