6 of 6
BACKNEXT
The Extraordinaries
The Extraordinaries
The Extraordinaries cofounders Jacob Colker and Ben Rigby

San Francisco
Funding:
Social entrepreneurship grants and competitions
Amount raised: $105,000 from We Media and EchoingGreen; undisclosed sums from other sources
Launched: July 2008

Starting out, the three founders of The Extraordinaries didn't have much cash or an idea that was fleshed out enough to approach investors with. To fund their site, which connects mobile phone users with quick "micro-volunteering" opportunities, they took a different tack and applied for social entrepreneurship grants and competitions.

"We lost a lot of them," CEO Jacob Colker says. But it wasn't all bad: "It helped us refine our idea and refine our talking points, get a great sense of clarity around what our offering is and what we want to do."

Eventually they started winning. Media consultancy We Media awarded The Extraordinaries $25,000 in February 2009; then came other big wins, including a grant from the Knight Foundation and $70,000 from EchoingGreen, which invests in ventures that tackle civic challenges.

The prizes and grants came with few strings attached. Some organizations follow up to make sure The Extraordinaries is making progress on its social engagement goals. "There is quite a bit of pressure to maintain our focus and to do that," Colker says. "[But] for us, that's what we set out to do. We set out to have an impact, so we appreciate that encouragement."

More galleries

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Mar 24 2010 | 5:16 PM ET
More Galleries
7 hot businesses to start now It's hard to predict what businesses will take off, but these startup ideas have been drawing tons of interest from entrepreneurs and their customers on Thumbtack.com. More
How will a minimum wage hike hit businesses? Thirteen states increased the minimum wage on Jan. 1, and President Obama supports raising the federal rate to $10.10. 4 small business owners weigh in on how an increase would affect them. More
America's favorite businesses From a science camp for girls to a kombucha brewer, communities around the country voted on their favorite small businesses. These 12 came out on top, each scoring a $250,000 grant from Chase and a trip to Google's headquarters. More
Sponsors

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.