Happy 2023! Holy moly – it’s been months since an update from Community Gearbox. And despite the silence there’s actually a bunch going on that we’re excited to share.
So, without further ado, here’s what we’ve got!
- 🌟 Community Gearbox was accepted into REI’s national Embark program for emerging startups. (We’re now four weeks in)
- 🌎 We were also accepted into NextCycle Washington’s Circular Economy Accelerator. (We’ll be pitching investors at the end of March)
- 💪🏽 We raised $30k in grants! – Including one with King County Parks and our new community partner QPOC Hikers.
- 🏽 Did we mention our two new amazing community partners? QPOC Hikers and Golden Bricks Events (We’ll be sharing more about them over the next few months)
- 👩🏻🔬 Two research teams from UW’s Human Centered Design and Engineering program are leading usability research on Community Gearbox (one is a masters capstone project) AND we have another team from UC Berkeley’s Berkeley Innovation group joining us as well.
- 🧡 A big shout out to Kaye Michalak, who’s been working behind the scenes to help us apply for grants and build our partnerships
- 💭 Lastly, the amazing folks at Dream Labs have poured a bunch of work in to moving our prototype to a new platform where it can grow into an alpha and beta!
The bad news
Last year we quickly hit the usability ceiling of the prototyping tool we had for Community Gearbox and have since been making an effort to migrate the product to a new platform.
Its taken more time and labor than initially expected, especially since we’re a team of barely more than 1 full time person and are juggling a number of things. But over the last bit of time we’ve been able to accomplish all of the above.
Where we’re headed next
Over the next few months we are:
- focusing on working closely with our partners to iterate around a new set of features for organizations and groups to gather, share, and care for material resources as a community.
- finishing up and making the most of the two business accelerators that we are in,
- and working with the student human centered design teams to conduct customer and usability research.
🤞 Fingers crossed we’re able to publish a new release of our app across the app stores late April or sometime in May!
How can you help?
- The UW students working with us are in need of research subjects for the week of February 20th! And we still have a few more slots to fill. If you could imagine using Community Gearbox as part of your organization or with a group that you are a part of and would be open to participating in a 45 to 60 minute study PLEASE reply to this email. *And thanks to our recent funding I’ll be able to compensate you with a $35 gift card 🙂
- Find a time to say hi! Its a new year and we’re doing our best to reconnect with folks from last year. Plus if you jumped on our early prototype or waitlist, but haven’t connected with us yet, I’d love to chat with you. REI has tasked us with having an ungodly amount of 1:1’s and it would be great to get your perspective on either how you and others already pool, share, and take care of material resources OR how you’d hope Community Gearbox would work.