Blog

Johego Wins $55,000 Donation from Amazon

Good news! Johego just received $55,000 in free credits and technical consulting services from Amazon, which is the largest provider of cloud computing services in the world.

As with our grant from Heroku, we were able to secure the donation thanks to connections we made through StartX, the global business accelerator Johego is participating in this summer. With only a few weeks left in the program, I’m excited to see what other partnerships we can secure! I will be sure to keep you posted!

– Michael

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Johego Wins $100,000 Donation from Heroku

Johego Heroku Announcement

GREAT news! Johego just received $100,000 in free credits from Heroku, whose platform-as-a-service we use to host the server that runs our smartphone application.

We were able to secure the donation thanks to connections we made through StartX, the global business accelerator Johego is participating in this summer. I’m excited to see what other partnerships we can secure during the rest of the program! Happy 4th of July, everyone!

– Michael

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Johego Joins Global Business Accelerator

I am absolutely thrilled to inform you that Johego was accepted into StartX, one of the top three business accelerators in the world!

2017 Accelerator Rankings
Image Credit: Seed Accelerator Rankings Project

The admission process for StartX is highly competitive, with only 8% of applications accepted. I will be joining StartX in Palo Alto, CA during their Summer 2018 cohort, receiving one-on-one mentorship from top Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs, customized educational programming, fundraising support, and more. In the meantime, our data engineer Krushna and our frontend developer Michael will continue their work in St. Louis developing version two of our software, which is scheduled to launch this summer in Northeast, Central, and Southwest Missouri.

StartX describes itself as “an educational non-profit that accelerates the development of Stanford’s top entrepreneurs through experiential education and collective intelligence.” I could not be more excited to participate.

– Michael

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Johego Wins Transportation Contract

Improving Transportation in Northeast Missouri
Photo Source: Wikipedia

I am pleased to announce that Johego has secured a contract to improve transportation systems in Northeast Missouri, in partnership with Missouri Foundation for Health, Health Literacy Media, The Mission Center, Families and Communities Together, and OATS Transportation. As part of this contract, Johego will:

  • Expand and refine our app to include additional transportation providers located in Northeast Missouri.
  • Integrate Uber and Lyft functionality with our app to enable users to request rides to service providers listed in our directory.
  • Complete a public information campaign through various social and community media for the aforementioned transportation features to be made available through our app.
  • Conduct a frequency analysis of one year of OATS ridership and service denial data to inform future federal and foundation grant applications for sustainable expansion of transportation service and ridership in Northeast Missouri.

During a series of community-based asset-mapping activities during late 2017 and early 2018, public service professionals from throughout Northeast Missouri identified transportation as a critical social determinant of health, affecting not only access to healthcare resources but also employment, social opportunities, and more, particularly for the poor and the elderly. We will keep you posted as this project progresses.

– Michael

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Johego Joins Regional Leadership Institute

Leadership Northeast Missouri

After a lengthy blog and social media hiatus, I am happy to report that I was one of 15 community leaders competitively selected for the inaugural class of Leadership Northeast Missouri, a regional leadership institute designed to help participants enhance their leadership skills and gain a deeper understanding of the region. During several all-day learning and networking sessions, I will have the opportunity to connect with other local leaders and develop strategies to address various issues facing the region, including:

  • Rural Broadband
  • Healthcare Infrastructure
  • Transportation Systems
  • Workforce Development
  • Navigating Government Systems

I am particularly excited to see how Johego’s software can be modified to help address these issues. In the meantime, I look forward to sharing other significant updates as they occur.

– Michael

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2017 in Review

Celebrating a Successful Year

It is with a joyful heart that I share my reflections on everything Johego has accomplished over the last twelve months. The 2017 calendar year began with renewed focus: Johego had recently completed our first contract, a $6,052 interdisciplinary research project for Missouri Foundation for Health, and I had just finished a 10-week entrepreneurship training program through Square One at the Center for Emerging Technologies:

Square One, Class of 2016
Square One, Class of 2016
(Photo Credit: Center for Emerging Technologies)

Being in the Right Place

Through Missouri Foundation for Health’s “Healthy Communities” program, community organizers and health literacy experts organize coalitions of medical and social service providers around community-led initiatives to improve health outcomes in their region. In January, the Healthy Communities coalition in Hannibal, MO initially decided to focus on increasing awareness of the medical and social services already available in their region, by creating a paper-based directory they could hand out to their colleagues and clients. One of Johego’s allies happened to attend that meeting and told them about the technology Johego had been developing. Intrigued, the coalition invited Johego to give a presentation at their next meeting, ultimately deciding to pay us $4,732.26 to pilot our technology in their community instead of relying on a more traditional, paper-based approach. After several months of design, development, and testing in conjunction with our on-the-ground partners, Johego officially launched our smartphone application on iOS and Android in September, which got picked up by local and regional media:

Johego Interview with WGEM
Johego Interview with WGEM
(Photo Credit: Health Literacy Media)

Earning Institutional Credibility

A few weeks later, based on the success of our pilot program in Hannibal and our robust business plan, Johego was selected as a winner of the prestigious Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition at Washington University in St. Louis, out of an initial field of 154 participants. Meanwhile, we continued to work with our on-the-ground partners to better understand their needs, including at Project Community Connect, my favorite event of the year:

Johego at Project Community Connect (Photo Credit: Johego)
Project Community Connect 2017
(Photo Credit: Johego)

Gaining a Huge Opportunity

Shortly thereafter, I was given the opportunity to present Johego’s vision to senior personnel at Missouri Foundation for Health, an organization that is focused on addressing health issues of underserved Missourians from a systemic perspective. The result of that conversation was a $268,392 contract that will enable Johego to:

  • Add 18 additional counties to our coverage area, allowing nearly 1.1 million Missourians to access our services.
  • Create a browser-based equivalent of our smartphone application so that anyone can search our directory using their laptop and desktop computers, including police officers in their squad cars.
  • Provide information about the hours of operation, financial requirements, and documentation requirements of services listed in our directory, enabling our users to more efficiently obtain the help they need.

Although Johego still has a long way to go in order to actualize our vision of making connecting people in need with medical and social services as easy as finding showtimes for movies, this contract represents a major, if somewhat unbelievable, step forward for us. In the coming weeks and months, I will be introducing you to the newest members of our team, including two additional full-time staff members, and I will be sharing updates about our work as well as opportunities to get involved. In the meantime, I can’t thank you enough for your support.

– Michael

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Johego Wins $270,000 Contract

I am thrilled to inform you that Missouri Foundation for Health has awarded Johego $270,000 to expand our services throughout Northeastern, Central, and Southwestern Missouri.

This award represents a huge milestone in Johego’s development, and it occurs only nine months after securing our first customer in Hannibal, MO and only two months after winning the prestigious Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition at Washington University in St. Louis. This contract will enable Johego to, among other things:

  • Add 18 additional counties to our coverage area, allowing nearly 1.1 million Missourians to access our services.
  • Create a browser-based equivalent of our smartphone application so that anyone can search our directory using their laptop and desktop computers, including police officers in their squad cars.
  • Provide information about the hours of operation, financial requirements, and documentation requirements of services listed in our directory, enabling our users to more efficiently obtain the help they need.

This also means that we are hiring.

We are currently seeking to add two full-time staff members to our team: (1) a data engineer / backend developer and (2) a frontend developer / product designer. If you are interested in applying, please click on the image below. If you know someone who may be interested in using data science and software development to connect people in need with the services they need, please share this link with them via email or on social media.

The Johego Team

We would not be where we are today without the support of our friends, family, and colleagues in Decatur, Hannibal, St. Louis, and beyond. Thank you to everyone for your support!

– Michael

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Johego Wins Washington University’s Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition

I am delighted to report that Johego was selected as a winner of Washington University’s Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition!

Johego Wins Social Enterprise Competition
Dr. Heather Cameron & Michael Kehoe at the Award Ceremony
(Photo Credit: Rameez Ul Hassan)

Johego was one of 154 social enterprises to participate in this year’s competition. Here’s how the year-long competition worked:

The Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition Process: 2016-2017
The Competitive Process: 2016-2017
(Image Credit: Washington University in St. Louis)

In addition to the financial benefit, this prestigious award represents a validation of the technology and business model Johego has developed to help social workers, police officers, and other public servants connect people in need with resources: overnight shelter, medical assistance, mental health treatment, and more.

The award comes as Johego prepares to scale its innovative approach based on the success of its pilot project in and around Hannibal, MO. If you haven’t seen WGEM-TV’s coverage of our pilot project, we encourage you to check it out. Thank you to everyone who helped us during this twelve-month competition!

– Michael

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Solidarity with Texas

Hurricane Harvey is an unprecedented disaster for the United States.

“Just how unprecedented is this? Well, remember the flooding that New Orleans experienced with Hurricane Katrina? Most places saw about 10 to 20 feet of water thanks to levee failure, inundating about 80 percent of the city. Now, if we took the amount of rainfall that Texas has seen and spread it over the city limits of New Orleans, it would tower to 128 feet in height — roughly reaching as high as a 12-story office building.”
The Washington Post, 08/27/17

Hurricane Harvey is particularly catastrophic for the poor.

“While many South Texans evacuated North per the recommendation of Governor Greg Abbott, poorer or disabled residents may not have had the resources or the capability to follow that advice. Many undocumented immigrants, as well, may have chosen to stay behind because Border Patrol refused to suspend its checkpoints during the storm. (The governor did affirm, however, that shelters will be exempt from immigration enforcement.) Some inmates were evacuated, while others are weathering the storm in place.

“Within cities, poor communities of color often live in segregated neighborhoods that are most vulnerable to flooding, or near petrochemical plants of superfund sites that can overflow during the storm. This is especially true for Houston—a sprawling metropolis, where new development has long been spreading thinly across prairie lands that help absorb excess rainwater. And it’s long been understood that the city is unprepared to handle the effects of a storm as unprecedented as this one.”
The Atlantic, 08/27/17

Johego is asking you to help with Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery.

If you want to donate money (or blood) to the Red Cross, you can do so here:

Donate to the Red Cross

Another initiative to support is the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund set up by Global Giving, here:

Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

I’m donating 1% of my annual salary from Johego to assist with disaster relief and recovery, and I’m asking you to thoughtfully consider making a contribution to Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts that is substantial and significant to you as well.

– Michael

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Update from Hannibal, MO

Training Session in Hannibal

Some of our supporters have wanted to learn more about our work in Hannibal, MO. We are happy to share our story.

Since our beginning, Johego has believed in the importance of building partnerships when attempting to address public needs: in fact, that belief is the basis for why we chose Johego for our name. In Hannibal, MO, we have had the fortune to work with outstanding partners: Families and Communities Together, Health Literacy Media, and The Mission Center, among others.

Because of their relationships with the community, Johego was able to accomplish our objectives in Hannibal, MO in relatively short order:

  • During the initial creation of our directory, they helped Johego mobilize a dozen volunteers who together made 226 phone calls to social service providers from the region in order to validate the information Johego collected about them via web scraping.
  • Once our smartphone application became available for download on iOS and Android, they helped us connect directly with over fifty social service professionals from the area, whom we trained in-person how to use our app. The above photo was taken during the first of those sessions.
  • During those training sessions, we encouraged these professionals to use our smartphone application to inform us when we need to update our directory — for example, when a provider changes their phone number. During the first four weeks following the first training session, we received 41 update requests, resolving each within 13.7 hours on average. We are particularly proud of that accomplishment, as most social service directories are updated only once each year!
  • Meanwhile, we have recorded over 3,000 search data points based on how people have been using our smartphone application to connect with social services. In the future, such information may be able to help policy makers, funding agencies, and direct service nonprofits more efficiently allocate their resources.

In the coming weeks, Johego will be releasing our smartphone application to the public throughout northeast Missouri. We will be sure to keep you posted on that front, and if any other exciting developments occur.

As always, thank you for your support!

– Michael Kehoe

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