Startup CEO reaches out to youth with BBBS [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

CMU grad and CEO of SolePower, Matthew Stanton, shares his success stories with youth in Big Brothers Big Sisters.

In July of 2013, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh received a Hive Grant to bring a new program called STARTup SOMETHING to life. The program would connect teens in Big Brothers Big Sisters with local technology-based start-up companies, allowing them to meet the founders and hear about how they got to where they are. Now, over a year later, the program is still introducing youth to successful mentors like Matthew Stanton, a CMU grad and CEO of his own start-up, SolePower.

On Saturday, Stanton shared the story behind SolePower and some of the biggest challenges confronting a startup with several dozen children and mentors at a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh “Start Something” event held inside TechShop in East Liberty’s Bakery Square.

A series of workshops connects children with the founders of locally based startups to cultivate entrepreneurship and inspire future innovators, particularly among children dealing with challenges such as incarcerated parents, single parents and low-income households.

The event was the sixth that Big Brothers Big Sisters has held in the region, and the first to use additional grant money from Google.

Among other local startups that have participated: iTwixie, a social network that aims to provide a safe, positive online space for “tween” girls; Digital Dream Labs, which develops tablet-based educational games; Thread International, which converts trash into fabric to reusable products in Haiti; and Assemble, a nonprofit learning space for children and adults in Garfield.

Read the full article on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review website.

Published September 27, 2014