Five key lessons from founders who launched social impact startups – TechCrunch

Written by Shannon Farley

From healthcare, to education, to human rights, tech has the potential to drive social impact at scale. In this moment of global pandemic, growing economic insecurity and an uprising against racial injustice, the need for scalable solutions is greater than ever. But there are lessons we’ve seen founders learn the hard way time and again.

In the spirit of reaching impact at scale faster, we rounded up our top five lessons to take to heart if you want to turn your world-changing idea into a tech nonprofit. Distilled from The Tech Nonprofit Playbook, a free guide to starting a social impact startup, we drew from the learnings of tech nonprofits whose work has transformed their sectors.

1. Get to know the problem intimately

You have a big idea. You’ve identified a social problem you can’t help but try to fix, and you think you just might have a world-changing, tech-driven solution. But you can’t solve the issue you’ve identified without a deep understanding of the community you’re serving. Not doing so is a recipe for failure. If you haven’t lived the problem, bring on a co-founder who has. Then, go meet others who have firsthand experience with the problem. Interview these individuals with a user-centered lens to allow insights and opportunities to reveal themselves.

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By Jessica Yap-Chung
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