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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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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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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Johego Secures First Customer

I’m delighted to announce that Johego is partnering with Families and Communities Together (FACT), a coalition of social service agencies in and around Hannibal, MO. FACT’s collaborative programs are focused on increasing the number of:

  • adults working,
  • children and youth succeeding in school,
  • healthy children and families,
  • young children ready to enter school,
  • children safe in their families and families safe in their communities, and
  • youth prepared for productive adulthood.

In order to support their programs, FACT is paying Johego to, among other things, expand our directory to include social services in and around Hannibal and to train local social service professionals to access the directory through Johego’s smartphone application on iOS and Android, by the end of April 2017.

We are tremendously excited about this opportunity. Thank you to The Mission Center and Health Literacy Media for helping make this possible!

– Michael Kehoe

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We Don’t Do This Often

2016-12-01_johego_team

An Exciting Opportunity for Johego:

An anonymous supporter has generously offered to sponsor a 1:1 donation-matching campaign on behalf of Johego. This means that, for the next week only, any and all donations to Johego, up to $5,000 total, will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

Why This Matters:

Back in April, Johego had its first-ever in-person fundraiser, and the response from the community was inspiring. Here are some of things your generosity made possible:

  • We built a smartphone application on iOS and Android, supporting more than 100 categories of social services and over 1,250 service providers.
  • We began formally field-testing our application with social workers, police officers, and other public servants.
  • We significantly expanded our team, adding one paid employee, three new board members, and two outside advisors, all of whom make Johego stronger.
  • We secured a grant from Missouri Foundation for Health, one of the largest philanthropic organizations of its kind in the United States.
  • We successfully applied to, and completed, Square One, a competitively selected entrepreneurship development program.
  • We developed partnerships with local nonprofits and for-profit companies that will help us deliver better services and position us to become more competitive for additional institutional support.

You Can Help Us Do More:

With your help, we can keep this momentum going: expanding the geographic coverage of our application, completing formal field-testing, and leveraging that momentum to apply for substantial funding from philanthropic foundations and other target partners. This donation matching campaign means that, for the next week only, any and all donations to Johego, up to $5,000 total, will be matched dollar-for-dollar, thereby doubling your impact.

If you are able, please send us a tax-deductible donation of $50 or more today, so that we can continue to build on our successes:

Donate

If you prefer, checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 23261, St. Louis, MO 63156. In any case, on behalf of the Johego team, thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

– Michael Kehoe

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Strengthening Social Services

At its core, our mission has been, and will always be, strengthening social services.

For much of our existence, Johego’s slogan has been Revolutionizing Community Development. Despite our previous blog entries about building a social movement, Johego has never been interested in revolutionizing community development for its own sake: rather, our hearts and minds have been moved by the reality that, every single year in the United States, tens of millions of dollars are unnecessarily spent by nonprofits creating and maintaining redundant (and quickly outdated) directories of nearby social service providers. For every dollar spent in this fashion, one fewer dollar is available for directly help people in need.

Meanwhile, as we’ve written about previously, despite a great number of nonprofits, congregations, and government programs dedicated to serving the public interest throughout the United States, more than 45 million people remain in poverty, including one in five children. During the 21st Century in the United States, this should not be the case. At its core, then, our mission has been, and will always be, supporting and strengthening those individuals and groups who are working day-in and day-out to deliver the social services that are necessary for human well-being and progress.

With that said, you may have noticed that Johego’s website and social media profiles have significantly changed during recent days. Nonetheless, Johego remains as committed as ever to improving community development, including mobilizing volunteers on behalf of social service providers, but we wanted to make sure that our branding best reflects our core mission. To that end, we are happy to announce our new slogan, Strengthening Social Services, and our new logo, which you can view below:

Johego Logo

We are currently working on a couple of initiatives to help bring our efforts to scale. We will be sure to keep you posted as they progress. In the meantime, thank you so much for your interest and support.

– Michael

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We Like It Here

Decatur, We Like It Here. For as long as I can remember, that has been the official motto of my hometown: Decatur, IL. Although the slogan has been associated with various community development efforts for decades, it has also been the source of no small amount of (tragic) comedy: in 2007, even The Colbert Report got in on the action through its Better Know a District series. Nonetheless, I am happy to report that, thanks to the work of countless people working in and out of the public eye, Decatur has dramatically and quantifiably improved.

Recently, Decatur’s slogan has taken on additional meaning for me and for Johego. Exactly one month ago today, Johego held its first-ever in-person fundraiser, at The Decatur Club in Decatur, IL. The response from the community was inspiring: despite a hailstorm that flooded nearby streets, we were able to raise nearly $37,000 in pledged and matched donations!

Photo: Johego Fundraiser in Decatur, IL (April 21, 2016)
Photo: Johego Fundraiser in Decatur, IL (April 21, 2016)

It’s hard to overstate how much Decatur’s generosity has meant to Johego: these funds will not only directly support our efforts to improve community development through technology, but they will also make it easier for us to secure large-scale grants from like-minded charitable foundations. When the right connections are made, things truly grow better together than they do separately.

In closing, I am delighted announce another opportunity to help Johego bring our community development efforts to scale: during the fundraiser, one generous sponsor offered to match up to $25,000 in donations made to Johego! Currently, we are approximately $3,500 away from maximizing this opportunity. Thus, if you are able, we ask that you consider making a donation of $25 or more today, in order to double your impact:

Donate

Whether or not you are able to donate, we appreciate your interest in our success. Thank you so much for your support!

– Michael

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