SEATTLE, Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- X4Impact, a market intelligence platform for social innovation, launches during the 2020 UN General Assembly to support innovation and collaboration between U.S. nonprofits and social sector organizations in the wake of COVID-19 with free access for all, thanks to Microsoft and other partners.
X4Impact offers insights to create and scale technology for the public interest (Tech4PI). Built on Microsoft Azure, it uses the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals framework to aggregate challenges, ideas, solutions, over $2 Trillion in money flow, and 80+ million pieces of aggregated knowledge from trusted sources.
During its private beta period, the platform delivered tangible results, including connecting ideas with funders, helping nonprofits to raise the visibility of systemic issues, and helping social entrepreneurs to assess the addressable market opportunity and inform the best path to market.
"The technology sector has mastered the fundamentals of matching and networking technologies, powered by AI to help us find a driver, a book, a place to stay, or people to meet. Yet the process of identifying systemic social problems, understanding the friction points, having access to trustworthy sources of information or an understanding of the economic and human impact is still done manually for the most part," said Shelly Kurtz, co-founder of X4Impact.
X4Impact wants to democratize access to data aggregated from the private, public, academic, and philanthropic sectors.
"X4Impact fills a critical gap in the social impact space by creating a single online destination to support over one million charitable organizations with the technology solutions they need to address complex social issues," said Justin Spelhaug, Microsoft VP and Microsoft's Global Head, Tech for Social Impact. "The rich data intelligence and collaboration tools allow social entrepreneurs and technologists to harness the power of the cloud to become global citizens, working side by side with the nonprofits, local governments, and academic institutions."
There are four key components of the platform, all classified under the UN SDGs.
Safe Search Engine for Social Innovation - A domain-specific knowledge graph was created using AI to aggregate millions of units of knowledge from trusted published and unpublished sources.
Social Impact Funding Tools - More than 655,000 IRS filings from charitable organizations, SEC filings from technology startups, and active federal government grants are continuously updated, analyzed, and classified by AI to create an interactive money flow tool to show the total social impact market by geographic area, UN SDG and other factors. Enhanced functionality will be delivered monthly to ultimately help answer questions such as: Who is funding what? Who to partner with?
Also, X4Impact features public and private grants with the ability for grant-making organizations to create new visibility to a diverse applicant pool through on-demand grant publishing and for grant-seekers to discover new funding opportunities.
Challenges & Ideas Collaborative - X4Impact allows subject matter experts to use a private Wiki experience to collaborate in documenting systemic problems and ideas to address those problems.
Solutions Showcase - A comprehensive collection of mission-delivery technologies and services aggregated and organized for easy discovery by organizations in need of technology, or by funders seeking catalytic impact investing and philanthropic opportunities.
Among the change makers with early access to X4Impact we can highlight:
- AutoLung was created in response to the ventilator shortage with a software solution to optimize outcomes via the cloud. "As a lifelong medical professional, it's stimulating to see innovation in the medical space that focuses on improving medical access for marginalized communities," said Derel Finch, M.D., FCCP. "X4Impact gives us a platform to seek partners, attract funders, and collaborate in accelerating the deployment of such critical technology."
- One of the environmental impact opportunities of our time is eliminating single-use plastic. Thanks to Footprint, this dream can be a reality. "We are proud that X4Impact and Microsoft are highlighting Footprint's work to create a healthier planet as a catalyst for positive change," said Troy Swope, CEO, Footprint. "Using the platform also helps us gain visibility among the nonprofit sector and understand the addressable opportunities ahead."
- CWI Labs utilizes X4Impact as a platform to attract attention to the issue of economic mobility for Black and Hispanic communities and collaborate on research linking workforce inclusion to public policy.
"When the pandemic started, we seized the moment and decided to stop all other efforts to accelerate the launch of X4Impact and make it free for all,'' said Shelly Kurtz. "As we wake up from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession, we believe in a renaissance period where we will focus our energy on solving our pressing social issues."