For Austin Creator Awards, entrepreneurs are eager to pitch their ideas

When Elisabeth Jordan found out she was a finalist at the Austin Creator Awards, the founder of The Human Impact couldn’t wait for her chance to share how her organization helps homeless people.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” says Jordan, whose Dallas-based nonprofit addresses the practical needs of people who don’t have a home while focusing on the root causes of the problem. The group doesn’t currently have an office of its own. Instead, Jordan and her team spend their time on the streets with the people they are serving.

Launched by WeWork, the Creator Awards will take place on June 27 at Austin’s ACL Live at The Moody Theater. Over the course of a year, WeWork will be giving out more than $20 million at events taking place in cities spanning the globe.

Subsequent events will take place in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Winners from each event will come together for the global finals, to be held in New York City on Nov. 30.

Jordan says winning at the Creator Awards would be transformational for her organization. First she’d be able to hire two community advocates to provide services for homeless people where they live. And if The Human Impact takes home one of the top prizes? Jordan says her group could expand their work into another city.

There are three categories of Creator Awards: the Incubate Award for great ideas or specific projects that need funding, the Launch Award for young businesses and organizations that need help getting off the ground, and the Scale Award for more established operations aiming to get to the next level. Jordan is competing in the Launch category.

Marcus Blackwell, founder of the Atlanta-based Make Music Count, has created a new way to teach kids math.

Marcus Blackwell, founder of the Atlanta-based Make Music Count, shares Jordan’s excitement about being a Creator Award finalist. He’s also in the Launch category.

“I’m excited to compete because this is a huge platform to share the work we are doing with a large audience,” says Blackwell. “I’m also excited to be surrounded by that great energy.”

Make Music Count helps students learn math through music, making difficult concepts like algebra less intimidating. The students range from the third to the ninth grade.

How does it work? Blackwell created a teaching method where the answers to the math problems play out as chords or melodies to songs the kids already know.

“Seeing that math can be applied to learning your favorite song on the piano is a great way to change your attitude towards math,” says Blackwell.

If he wins at the Creator Awards, Blackwell says he can transform the in-person classes into an online platform that would reach more students.

Heather Spalding, COO of Cambrian, says the company is “doing some really exciting and innovative things.”

Heather Spalding, chief operating officer of Cambrian, enjoys talking about the company and its technology.

“We’re doing some really exciting and innovative things,” says the Kansas City entrepreneur. “I love seeing the amazement on people’s faces when I show them what we’ve already built and share our vision for where we’re going.”

For mobile devices, Cambrian uses augmented reality to help you envision home improvement projects. You take a photo of the room you want to remodel and then simply tap the screen to apply different paint colors or flooring.

Lincoln Stephens, founder of The Marcus Graham Project, is competing in the Scale Awards. Over the past 10 years, the Dallas nonprofit has worked to provide innovative learning opportunities for minorities looking to break into the media world.

The WeWork Thanksgiving Tower member’s excitement echoes that of many of the finalists.

“I am excited to share the importance of our mission in training and mentoring young professionals of color in a field where we are grossly underrepresented,” says Stephens.

 

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