A Productive Newsletter: New Beginnings

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Last week was bittersweet. Through our work with the AT&T Aspire Acceleratorprogram, we held a graduation event for the eight incredible social impact organizations we've been working with over the past 6 months. Celebrating these organizations was the sweet part. Our team has helped these impact-focused entrepreneurs accelerate their visions of reaching more kids in more places. It has been an amazing experience, and we're a little bitter that it's coming to an end.

The truth is, there's nothing to be bitter about. These eight organizations now join a group of alumni that gets more impressive after every class. These 27 organizations, and their impact on our education system, represent the body of impact work that we've helped create with our client:

  • To date, AT&T Aspire Accelerator companies have extended their impact to 22.6 million students.

  • Others are noticing the impact our entrepreneurs are having too! To date, Aspire companies have raised an additional $35 million in investment dollars after the initial AT&T investment.

  • And perhaps my favorite part: these organizations are creating opportunity for more people to get involved in this work. They’ve created 149 new jobs in their social impact organizations collectively. 

Though I will miss working with these eight organizations on a day to day basis, that feeling is quickly surpassed by a feeling of tremendous gratefulness for the opportunity to work with them.


What do you think?

I've struggled with what the voice of this newsletter should be. I think I've decided that I'm going to stick to telling the stories of impact from our clients, and the entrepreneurs we work with through them. We are privileged to be a part such extraordinary work, and sharing with as many people as possible makes the most sense to me. As always, please reach out to me directly if you'd like to learn more about our work or would like to talk to us about yours - we'd love to hear about it and help if we can!


What Are We Reading?


Where Will We See You Next?

A Productive Newsletter: Welcome!

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A few years ago, we  left our corporate jobs with the hopes of putting our efforts towards much more impactful work. Looking back on the last four years, I am happy to report that we've surpassed our own expectations. This is the first issue of our newsletter, wherein you can expect to hear about some of the work we've done for our incredible clients, what we've learned about effectively running impact investment programs, and amazing stories of the people we've met along the way.

At this point, you might be saying to yourself: "That sounds great! Who are you again?" and that would be a fair question.

The short answer is that we are Sandro Olivieri and Amy Mandrier and we run a company called Productive. Maybe you've interacted with us through our work running the AT&T Aspire Accelerator Program? Perhaps we met you through our work in helping DirecTV fund the most innovative sustainability tech in Latin America? We may have just met at a conference or meet up.

Here are our faces if that helps jog your memory:


It's ok if you don't remember. If you're on this list, it's because we know you share our passion for impact and that governments and corporates can be at the forefront of positive change for our communities.

At Productive, with the help of our clients, we've figured out a thing or two about how to design programs to drive positive social impact and we're hoping that's something you'd like to read about. You can expect to read a bit about how we designed and implemented one of the premier EdTech Accelerator programs in the US, profiles of the amazing social impact entrepreneurs we've worked with along the way, some best practices in corporate/startup relations, and news of our work.

We're excited to start this dialogue with you. You can expect our first official newsletter next week, and an update once a month (with news as merited). We’ll post updates here, but if you’d like to receive them straight in your inbox, please let us know!


What Are We Reading?

These are not all "current", but since this is our first newsletter, I wanted to share some of the things that have gotten me thinking over the past few months.

  • Mixed feelings about this suggested level of rigor before an EdTech company can get to revenue.

  • Encouraging to see this model emerge as an alternative to the above.

  • Not so much reading as much as listening to the last season of StartUp, wherein we have fallen in love with Harlan’s use of the term “underestimated” to replace “underrepresented” founders.


Where Will We See You Next?

  • We’re enabling the AT&T Aspire Accelerator graduation on Nov 7th and 8th in San Francisco. If you're in the area and would like to come meet our graduating entrepreneurs, let us know!

  • We'll be enabling DirecTV's Best Use of Technology for Sustainability award again this year. We'll host the winners here in the Bay Area in January. Please let us know if you're interested in meeting the winners!