In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 measurable goals that provide a framework to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. On the day after their adoption, the first annual Solutions Summit was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Hosted in partnership between the UN Non-Government Liaison Service, the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the USA appointed by the Obama Administration, the Solutions Summit was created:
- To lift up exceptional innovators – technologists, engineers, scientists, and others – who are developing solutions that address one or more of the SDGs, and;
- To catalyze a grassroots effort where communities can scout and convene resources around solution-makers.
The team at Project X-ITE felt that Colorado’s uniquely collaborative and robust innovation ecosystem could provide a unique opportunity to help uplift and accelerate these Solution-makers.
Led by Project X-ITE at the University of Denver, this bootcamp will act as an intensive, curated mentoring program for all Solutions Summit entrepreneurs called FLIGHT TO DENVER. Seventeen of the Solution makers have confirmed their participation in Flight to Denver. All innovators are at different stages of scale; some are still in the R&D process, others are long past incubation stage and need help raising funds, while others are interested solely in mentoring and marketing (see below for descriptions).
Project X-ITE will lead the curation of teams dedicated to each entrepreneur. Teams will be comprised of a Pilot and Crew (roughly 5-9 people per team) who will work with the entrepreneurs leading up to, during, and after the Bootcamp weekend. Teams will be comprised of faculty from CO research institutions, graduate and undergraduate students, and experts from the nonprofit, public and private sectors. Following the Bootcamp, each team will continue to work with the entrepreneur, and create action plans to be monitored over a four-month period. A final report-out will be part of the next Solutions Summit at the United Nations in September 2017.
Friday March 31 – Sunday April 2
3pm – 7pm | WeWork Union Station
Kickoff! Hosted by WeWork at their new Union Station location in downtown Denver, all Solution-Makers will give 5-minute presentations on their companies, projects, and goals for the weekend. Flight Teams will meet in person for the first time. This event is open to the public and will feature some of Denver’s best food & drink. Registration info coming soon!
9am – 6pm | Galvanize Golden Triangle
Teams will meet at Galvanize to get to work. They’ll determine what success looks like, build a plan, and start working on deliverables. All Flight Team participants should plan on being at Galvanize on Saturday for a full-day working session (breaks & food provided!). Saturday is not open to the public.
9am – 2pm
Report-out! Teams will work together in the morning. At lunch, all teams will be asked to present the progress they’ve made over the weekend and get feedback from other teams. Lunch & reports are open to the public. Check back soon for registration information.
What happens after April 2?
Teams are encouraged to continue working together over the next five months. Students might want to look into summer study-abroad opportunities or internships with these companies.
In September, Entrepreneurs and their flight teams will be invited to provide a full report on the work they have accomplished since the bootcamp. This will happen on or around the next Solutions Summit during the UN General Assembly in New York City in mid-September 2017.
Project X-ITE will serve as the convening body for this endeavor. However, we recognize that Colorado’s strength is rooted in its varied and diverse stakeholders. The goal is to have Colorado-wide participation from government, academic institutions, start-up incubators and accelerators, and other business mentors.
Academia: Boston University, Colorado College, Metro State University, Regis University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, University of Delaware, University of Denver, University of New Hampshire
Public Sector: CO Office of Economic Development, National Renewable Energy Labs, United Nations Foundation, United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Services, William Smith High School
Private Sector: 915 Labs, 10.10.10, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, Clear Comfort Water, Clique Studios, Convercent, Couragion, Essette, EyeBot, Fidelity Labs, Galvanize, Gates Corporation, GGP World, Gravity Network, HyprLoco, KBA&Associates, Latently, Mainspring Innovation, Nexus, P2Binvestor, PeakChange, Prosono, Revolar, Starfish, Techstars, Tortuga AgTech, VSCO, WeWork, Zenman
Nonprofit Sector: 17 Solutions, Kauffman Foundation, Innosphere, Piton Foundation, Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, Unreasonable, Village Capital
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The success of this project depends entirely on the “Flight Teams” that support each solution-maker to drive outcomes and results. The below description of each role will help delineate responsibilities and ensure that team members are aware of their time and resource commitments.
Pilot: Each team will have one pilot who oversees the team, drives meetings, and steers the team toward goals. Pilots are generally seasoned entrepreneurs or innovators with startup expertise.
Co-Pilot: Sourced from the Faculty at five universities across Colorado’s Front Range, Co-Pilots are faculty members who have expertise or experience in the subject matter of the entrepreneur’s company.
Crew: Each team consists of 5-6 Crew members who are responsible for research, plan creation, resource development and organization. Crew are comprised of students, community members, and faculty who will push the project along and are responsible for completing deliverables.
Solution Makers: The entrepreneurs selected by the UN Foundation to participate and benefit from “Flight Teams”. Solution Makers will work closely with Flight Teams to ensure that the work being done on behalf of their innovation is beneficial to their progress