We sat down with the Committee Members of Kintone’s Social Impact Challenge committee to learn more about who they are and what they’ll be looking for in applicants.
Meet Nicole Jones
Nicole Jones is the Senior Marketing Manager at Kintone, where she leads the marketing efforts and branding strategy for Kintone. In between her journalism career at local CBS and NPR stations, she’s served as an Americorp volunteer, on the board of Young Women Social Entrepreneurs and more recently, a UC Master Gardener in Alameda County.
For Nicole, the Social Impact Challenge is not only important to San Francisco—it’s also an imperative part of Kintone’s personal values. “The Social Impact Challenge was inspired by an event that we have in Japan at our parent company called Chiikura, which accelerates local businesses who are in the community and brings out people from the community to support them.”
At its heart, Kintone is about making teams better through tech; the Social Impact Challenge is an extension of that philosophy in the community. According to Nicole, “Kintone cares about democratizing problem-solving, not just within organizations or teams, but within the community. Social Impact Challenge is our answer to that.”
As a committee member, Nicole is looking for people who have a clear idea of the community they want to affect: “We’re looking for someone who’s using tech in a very creative, innovative way. We’re also looking for someone who knows their target audience, who knows the community that they’re serving and the problems that they’re dealing with.”
Meet Neetal Parekh
Neetal is an attorney-turned-entrepreneur with a proven track record of delivering interactive learning experiences, creating dynamic content, building audience, and providing strategic guidance on social entrepreneurship, social intrapreneurship, and social impact. Neetal is currently the Founder and CEO of Innov8social, a resource for social entrepreneurs around the world.
For Neetal, events like Social Impact represent a new approach to the way people think about business and social mindfulness. “Social Impact matters because I think we’re seeing a major paradigm shift in the way we think about business,” she said in an interview. “Business is not now separate from how we also serve the community and the environment.”
Neetal believes blurring the lines between business and social giving empowers more people to see their everyday work as a potential act of service to their community. “More people want to be involved in their community, and I think technology and business can be that bridge.”
Finalists looking to win Neetal’s approval should consider the larger impact of their idea: “One of the things I’m looking for in candidates is have they thought through the target group they’re trying to impact. The beneficiaries, the users, the people actually purchasing the goods or service.”
Meet Rachel Kenemore
Rachel brings 10 years of community development, public health, nonprofit leadership and management experience to her work. She currently serves as the Development and Communications Manager at Hamilton Families, a leading nonprofit organization working to end family homelessness and disrupting the cycle of poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2016.
Rachel views the Social Impact Challenge as a unique opportunity for social-minded people in the Bay Area. The event’s minimal application requirements lets a wide variety of candidates pitch their ideas: from fully-formed organizations to one or two-person teams with just an idea.
“The Social Impact Challenge matters because it’s an incubator for new ideas and innovation. It’s an incredible opportunity for leaders and visionaries in the Bay Area to come together and bring new ideas to the table to solve our biggest challenges,” she said.
While Rachel is looking for new ideas, she believes the concept is only half of what matters. “I’m also looking for someone who brings humility and an understanding of what they don’t know.”
Meet Emmy Negrin
Emmy is a results-driven leader of talent development, social impact and diversity programs that transform cultures and drive business results. Emmy currently leads the Diversity & Inclusion and Learning & Development team at OpenTable. Her previous roles include Program Manager and Chair of Yahoo Pride at Yahoo!
Similar to Rachel, Emmy views events like Social Impact as equalizers that give people with a range of experience the ability to present their ideas on equal footing. “Events like the Social Impact are really powerful because they help level the playing field,” she said. “You just have to have a great idea and a passion behind it and you can compete alongside anyone else.”
“As a committee member, I’m really a fan of the concept of conscious leadership. And I think that authenticity is rare in a lot of entrepreneurs today. Sometimes people do it because they see it can make a lot of money. Social Impact is a totally different thing. It’s really starting with the why.”
For Emmy, Social Impact is about finding people with a passion for their work. “If you have that idea, if you have that something that keeps you up at night...or maybe it’s been that deep seed in you for a long time and you never thought it might be possible to explore it, this is a great opportunity.”
Want to Join the Social Impact Challenge?
Although the application period is closed, you can still help choose the winning team! The Social Impact Challenge is uniquely set up so that the audience votes for the winning team. Even better, the full cost of your admission ticket goes directly to the organization you vote for (even if they don’t win).
Register today and help support Bay Area leaders who are making a difference.