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What do you get when you mix a hot pizza lunch with a beautiful storyboard and 15 of Portland’s most brilliant creative minds?  An amazing…video!  Or at least we hope.  Those of you who have followed along with our progress might remember that we made some pretty amazing connections coming out of our Springboard with Lift360.  And this magical lunch just so happens to be one of them.  

This week, Simon had an exiting challenge in front of him: pitch School Square at The VIA Agency’s “Lunch and Learn” series to see who might want to support us in making an amazing video to share our vision.  But the stakes were high.  This marks a critical juncture in School Square’s (albeit short) history and it feels pretty urgent for the team.  The creation of this video has the potential to change the game for us by kick-starting our fundraising efforts (pun intended) and turn our new platform from a mock-up into a reality.   

The “Lunch and Learn” series provides interested staff the opportunity to learn more about potential in-house pro-bono projects or projects they might be interested in supporting outside of working hours.  We were already pitching to a somewhat interested crowd – they’d read about School Square in a company email and Simon’s call to action had resonated with them:

“We look to you, VIA, to help us dream up a plan to engage a national audience in our vision of connecting communities, supporting teachers, and inspiring kids like never before. Engage them, excite them and help them realize that a financial contribution to School Square is a contribution to the health and happiness of the our schools, children and collective future. ”

After sharing what School Square is all about, Simon opened the floor for Q&A and was anxious to get a read on the crowd’s investment.  As we’d hoped, he said he could really sense the excitement from a handful of staff present.  Some of them even shared that they had forwarded his email to educator friends and family in Brunswick and even San Francisco.  What was their response, you’re wondering?  They thought School Square was pretty awesome, too.  We can’t get enough of that kind of feedback from teachers – it reminds us how important our technology is in supporting their work.  

After the presentation, Simon had the chance to speak with VIA’s art director and copywriter who agreed to check out our storyboard and provide some much appreciated feedback.  It’s an awesome first step in the right direction.

From here, though?  We wait.  

Soon we’ll have an idea about whether we’ve got the greenlight for inhouse direction or not.  We certainly hope it’s the former…

Stay tuned.