connect / 2015

Tech LA Cares (TLC)

Tech LA Cares (TLC)

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Tech LA Cares

The Los Angeles tech space is growing at a rapid pace -- so much so, that it is difficult for tech companies to devote time, resources, and energy into being a strong partner within their own communities. Tech LA Cares (TLC) aims to bridge that gap by matching companies with organizations and events, both by in-person needs assessments, as well as online volunteer signup mechanisms. We believe in the efficiency of online tools, but also believe that human contact is key to success.

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • City of Los Angeles

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Conduct research
  • Implement a pilot or new project

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics?

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support
  • Attendance at cultural events
  • Participation in neighborhood councils
  • Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)
  • Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)
  • Total number of local social media friends and connections (Dream Metric)
  • Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.

The Los Angeles tech sector is on the verge of Very Big Things – led by Mayor Eric Garcetti and fueled by an influx of venture capital, the City is now the third largest tech ecosystem in the US, #1 in Open Data, and graduates more engineering students than any other region in the nation (many of whom are now choosing to stay in LA, rather than head north upon graduation).

As founder of LA Tech Digest (hence the preliminary links above to LATD), I have spent the past year chronicling a city with an upward trajectory that clearly shows that right here, right now, LA in 2015, is the absolute best place in the world to be, in order to pursue your dreams and secure a brighter future.

And yet for all the great things happening in Los Angeles, we cannot allow a disconnect between the rising fortunes of the area’s tech businesses and their surrounding communities.

Tech LA Cares (TLC) aims to bridge this gap by making it easy for startups and established companies to identify, and participate in, the success of charitable organizations and events in their area – community centers, food banks, neighborhood cleanups, donation drives, volunteer / mentorship opportunities, hackathons, school trips, and more.

True Corporate Responsibility is hard, and it requires a dedicated staff to match opportunities with resources.

Unfortunately, most companies do not have the energy to find the right opportunity for their employees to get involved.

We aim to streamline this process, with an array of tools, both online and real-world:

The TLC website will feature a LA nonprofit directory and neighborhood map, an events calendar, organization spotlights, and events recaps that showcase these two worlds connecting for the good of their communities.

The weekly TLC email will deliver this info directly to interested companies and individuals as well.

The TLC social media will also highlight events, organizations, and companies, in order to better show and share with the world the strong ties between LA tech and their local communities.

In-person visits by TLC to the organizations and companies will help assess the needs of the organizations, as well as the capabilities of the companies involved.

Participating companies and organizations will also be TLC-certified, so that they can display their involvement, both online and in the real world.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Since we’re in the beginning stages, it will be very easy to benchmark progress based on actions and data gathered:

From the real world side, we can continually measure:

How many companies were visited? What causes mean the most to them? What is their current involvement in the community? Which companies are interested in participating? What resources do they have to offer? What do we need to build in order to make this a smooth process for them?

How many community organizations were visited? How are they receiving support right now? What areas need further support? What resources do they need in order to best serve their community? What is the best way to collect and broadcast such information?

From the digital side, we can easily measure progress of the site buildout, and watch metrics daily:

Site traffic Email signups Open / click-through / bounce / retention rates Social shares / likes / comments / followers Company / individual signups Events listed / hours volunteered

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support