Type: Grantee Story

Nepris – Impact Investee

Nepris bridges the gap between industry and education through interactive, engaging connections, virtually bringing real-world relevance and career exposure to all students. Nepris also provides a skills-based volunteering platform for organizations to extend education outreach, and build their brand among the future workforce. 

Nepris engages 85,000+ Educators and 39,000+ Industry Professionals, delivered 10,900+ Live Sessions, and reached 500,000+ Students. In a student survey, 95% of Students reported that Nepris enabled them to learn about a career that they never knew existed. 62% of Students are on reduced or free lunch (from underserved communities). 

To illustrate the impactful connections that Nepris makes between students and professionals:

Dr. Lloyd was by far the best presenter we’ve had. He was extremely interactive, overly knowledgeable, and quickly able to adapt his presentation to the level of my class which helped keep every student engaged. My students left excited and enlightened (as did I). Thank you for setting this up and connecting my class with him, and please keep up the good work!” – Andrew Zovath, Bio Technology Instructor, Clear Falls High School

With Nepris, students can experience a whole new part of our world, without leaving their classrooms or homes or scheduling a school bus.

Learning Genie – Impact Investee

Learning Genie is an all-in-one solution for child portfolio, assessment and family engagement for personalized learning in early childhood education. It’s mission is to empower educators and families to work together as partners to unlock the full potential of every child everywhere.

Learning Genie has had a profound impact inside the classroom. Currently, there are over 14,000 classes using Learning Genie. Within these classes, the learning outcomes of over 200,000 kids have been documented and tracked. In addition, 70% of the students using Learning Genie are from Head Start or other state funded early learning programs. 

Despite the obstacles that COVID-19 has presented, Learning Genie continues to have a meaningful impact. In order to make the transition to Learning Genie easier and as stress-free as possible for parents, they provide web training for school administrators and staff to ensure that they can help their parents get started easily. So far, more than 60,000 families have been onboarded and are being supported by the Family Engagement Module during the school closures.

ICA – Grantee

ICA is a nationally-recognized nonprofit on a mission to close the racial and gender wealth gaps by accelerating great Bay Area small businesses

ICA provides an interconnected continuum of support to help entrepreneurs grow the value of their businesses and create wealth for themselves and their employees. To date, ICA has provided capital, coaching, and connections to more than 600 entrepreneurs throughout the region. Over the past 24 years, these entrepreneurs have secured over $300MM in outside funding, created and retained over 6,000 jobs, and paid over $1BB in wages in local communities. 75% of ICA’s companies are led by entrepreneurs of color and/or women entrepreneurs. These business leaders are creating good jobs in their communities: in 2019, ICA’s companies paid an average hourly wage of $25.75 and 71% of companies offered health benefits.. 

Since joining the organization in 2019 CEO, Allison Kelly has doubled down on ICA’s commitment to small businesses. Under Kelly’s leadership, ICA introduced a reimagined mission and vision which speak explicitly to the organization’s focus on racial and gender equity; grown the team by 25%, and launched two programs specifically designed to serve small business clients during unprecedented disruptions.

As the pandemic hit in the spring, ICA quickly responded by launching the Rapid Response Liquidity Fund which provides 0%-interest loans to address the urgent liquidity needs of small businesses. The Fund was greatly bolstered by a $1 million grant from the eBay Foundation to support struggling businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. Since launching on March 20th, ICA has deployed over $800,000 to 20 companies, nearly 90% of which are owned by people of color. By bridging cash gaps, these loans are helping businesses stabilize their operations, preserve local jobs, make investments to adapt and pivot their businesses (such as expanding online order capabilities), and position themselves for sustainable growth in the longer term.

ICA knows that capital is only one part of the solution; coaching and connections are critical if we are to truly set up our businesses for success. Thanks to a partnership with Kaiser Permanente, ICA recently held the Resilience Lab Accelerator, a new program designed to address the impact of economic disruptions by strengthening the long-term resilience of businesses through intensive, hands-on technical support. 

ICA’s support doesn’t end at financing and acceleration. The organization also launched The ICA Marketplace, an online portal where shoppers can connect with and directly support the many companies with which ICA works. 

Looking ahead, ICA knows that small business success is a journey and we are there to support our companies at every step of the way. Through a collaborative and deeply integrated approach, ICA is launching a new $10MM investment fund and continuing to grow its program offerings, to invest in and grow local small businesses that are owned and employ women and people of color. 

ICA continues to provide the coaching, connections, and access to capital Bay Area entrepreneurs need and looks to ongoing growth thanks to SV2’s continued support. 

 “SV2’s mission to build lasting connections and support innovative solutions to the Bay Area’s problems are a perfect match for our strategy of investing in underestimated entrepreneurs who have the power to transform their communities,” says Allison Kelly, CEO. 

SV2 Advisors JoAnne Tillemans and Bill Brownell have worked to promote ICA Accelerator events in the funding community, and have been important supporters and advisors to ICA’s work.

Countable – Impact Investee

Countable powers digital communities that inspire participation and purpose-driven action for corporations, non-profits, causes, and political campaigns. 

Countable has helped power the actions of 53 social impact clients, including Patagonia, Starbucks, Pacific Gas & Electric, and the Democratic National Convention Committee. Because of their strong network and community, more than 190 million Countable users have logged 1B+ actions across their platform, including both client implementations and their wholly owned subsidiary, Causes.com.

Countable has also found success engaging challenging demographics. Approximately 70% of Countable’s users are between the ages of 18-34 which is a difficult demographic to reach. Part of this success is due to the various programs that Countable has. 

One such program is the University Program which aims to recruit the help of civic-minded students to teach others about the importance of being involved in our political system. These students serve as a liaison between Countable and the student user demographic, sharing knowledge and gathering feedback.

Countable also works with lawmakers, allowing constituents to identify their lawmakers, communicate their opinions to elected officials, and meaningfully engage with public policy. So far, they have sent over 2 million messages to federal and local lawmakers on behalf of the voters. 

In the words of Wired, “You don’t have to wait for your representatives to adopt anything. All you have to do is sign up and start sending your thoughts to Congress.”

BAYCAT – Grantee

BAYCAT exists to end racial, gender, and economic inequity by creating powerful, authentic media while diversifying the creative industry. Through the education and employment of low-income youth, young people of color, and young women in the Bay Area—and by producing media for socially-minded clients—BAYCAT changes the stories that get shared with the world.

BAYCAT has multiple programs, each focusing on a different age of student. They have classes for youth aged 11-18, followed by paid internships for 18-25 year olds. They also have a paid internship for youth aged 15-18 to work on pro bono projects for other nonprofits. 

As a 13-year-old, the thought of becoming a professional filmmaker seemed like a dream to Iman. But the experience and opportunities he gained through BAYCAT Academy and BAYCAT Studio, prepared him to seize the opportunity of a lifetime.

To illustrate their impact, BAYCAT tells the story of a young 13 year old boy named Iman Rodney who joined the BAYCAT Academy, searching for a way to achieve his dream. He goes from participating in the youth program, to being hired part-time by BAYCAT, to joining their paid internship. After his hard work and commitment, his dream finally came true. Aged 21, Iman was hired by the SF Giants’ broadcast team as an intern. Two years later, he got hired full time as a videographer, eventually being promoted to a cinematographer a year later. To top it all off, at age 25, he wins an Emmy for a Giants documentary. One year later, he went on to win two Emmys.

Over the past 15 years, BAYCAT has educated over 4,250 youth and helped launch more than 225 careers in filmmaking and storytelling. In addition, 79% of BAYCAT’s graduates are POC, and 60% are women. Finally, 80% of BAYCAT’s graduates have been hired by major media, entertainment, and tech companies. 

SV2 is honored to partner with BAYCAT in advancing meaningful social impact. In addition to receiving unrestricted funding, BAYCAT tapped into the SV2 network to get access to pro-bono legal consulting from the Stanford Law School Clinic. We’re thrilled that Villy Wang, BAYCAT Executive Director, is speaking about Reimagining Meaningful Impact at our upcoming Fall Gathering!

Center for Youth Wellness – Grantee

In early January 2020, Center for Youth Wellness was featured in San Francisco Chronicle: “Bay Area doctors target health consequences of childhood trauma.” The tool that CYW researchers and doctors helped test and develop will help doctors statewide address trauma affecting patients’ health. As of January 1st, the tool’s use is covered by Medi-Cal, and it will be available to pediatricians at 8,800 California clinics.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris (CYW Founder and now Surgeon General of California), shared “I feel like this is a turning point in modern medicine, to recognize and respond to trauma as a root cause of acute and long-term health problems…This work is truly historic.”

Furthermore, the CYW Team recently published an impact report “Looking Back Facing Forward” – with many great stories and examples of impact and the way forward, including CYW’s intentionality of being more than just a screening tool, and actually building community capacity. CYW shares “The key to our capacity-building work is our bottom-up approach. We work hand in hand with community members to remove obstacles and tailor a solution that works for them.”  This is for example, reflected in the success of their feasibility study in Detroit and community design sessions in Fresno and Bayview-Hunters Point.

Also, “Since its launch in 2018, CYW’s Stress Health public education initiative has reached over 32.6 million people, raising awareness of ACEs and toxic stress across the country focusing specifically on parent and caregiver populations. CYW’s social communities grew by 18.3% over the past year.” 

The Center for Youth Wellness was selected by SV2 as a Grantee during the Early Life Grant Round in 2019. SV2’s total grant award of $115,000 to CYW was matched, translating into a $230,000 impact. CYW’s Lead Partners are Deb Dauber and Kelly Pope – both getting great reviews from CYW about their support and guidance – including help thinking through their role beyond research to implementation science, crafting a job opening, and overall being helpful advisors as needed. CYW also shares how the site-visit experience with SV2 Partners helped them build a new strategic direction.

In the continued words of CYW to you / their supporters: “You’ve helped open the door to healing this year!”