Inspiration

From New York to Buenos Aires I’ve seen poor youth clinging to a sense of self worth by getting odd jobs (selling candy on the street) or resorting to crime to provide for themselves (and their families) materially. If there were legitimate ways for entrepreneurial, self motivated young adults to get the phones, tablets, sneakers and jeans required for surviving this socially turbulent chapter in their lives could we see a world where the kids turning heads in these communities aren’t dealing drugs but hard working students developing real skills for real future jobs? How can social impact donors reward the actual process and effort of acquiring skills, vs abstract scholarships that are given beforehand to study something in the future? GoSOFI! Stands for “Self Organizing Financial Incentivization,” connecting donors, students and evaluators. Using GoSOFI! self motivated student in a slum can learn 3D modeling while micro payments for completing online coursework, eventually receiving a blockchain secure certification that can be used to get 3D modeling work anywhere in the world.

What it does

GoSOFI! allows donors to fund micro rewards as young adults in slums complete daily lessons in free online coursework, resulting in the eventual blockchain certification of that skill which can be used for future employment. While the platform can be generalized to any skill from creative writing to 3D modeling, our MVP will focus on coding (i.e. Free Code Camp) and tracking of students progress. Students will complete lessons in our hosted version of Free Code Camp and receive micro payments for each lesson.

What's next for GoSOFI!: Decentralized Scholarships & Skill Cert

After the recent Hackathon launch on September 9th we’ve garnered the interest of an incredible lineup of mentors and team members. As we proceed through the first planning week we will begin developing lists of requirements, finding interest/commitment levels, and planning new meetings in NYC and online.

Feel free to check out our first executive summary, with a focus on coding skills. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wZ2dLoTl80RYlYSUdf72mpRLep_5w7WT29T_j66UuLg

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Updates

Chris Sorrentino posted an update

Week 3 deliverables

Tech Stack

Ethereum blockchain - Truffle framework to easily interact with the Ethereum blockchain to hoist the smart contract

Smart contract - Written with Solidity language

Payment gateway • Sponsors: MetaMask Chrome browser extension to easily accept Ether sponsor payments • Students: Ether wallet of choice

Demo - TestPRC

Dev Roadmap POC 2017 • On-chain • Truffle • MetaMask • Single page application

MVP 2018 • Private sponsors • Oracle verifies coursework • Marketing • Full-featured web app • NGO Utilized for onboarding

1.0 2019 • uPort identity verification • Business Partnerships • Courses added • Recruiting tools • Talent database

2.0 2020 • Corporate sponsorships (primary revenue source) • Tailored courses

Market customer acquisition

DISCOVER A/B Testing for user segments • Advertising Campaigns • Visual design • Messaging • User flow • Surveys & questionnaires

ATTRACT Multi-channel • Website sign-up • SEO • Linkedin Outreach • Kickstarter campaign • NGO - On the ground partnerships

CONTENT STRATEGY Organic • Blogging & Vlogging • Social media • Newsletters • Webinars • Podcasts

Paid • Social media campaigns • Ad banners

Print • Posters in schools

CONVERT Measuring Results

  1. Social media followers
  2. NGO promotional codes
  3. Ad banner click rate
  4. Newsletter open rate
  5. SEO analytics report

PROTOTYPES: Landing page: https://gosofi-szvhecqdte.now.sh/ Smart contract: https://github.com/hsavit1/gosofi_webpage User flow: https://balsamiq-wireframes.appspot.com/?state={%22action%22:%22open%22,%22ids%22:[%220B74Mcm8h7xOiQVl2N1dGRklMb2c%22],%22userId%22:%22116218818782207724281%22}#

Branding • Ad campaign • tagline • language • logo

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Chris Sorrentino posted an update

Week 2 Deliverables v2

Who are your clients/users?

Poor youth in urban areas who have access to the internet either through mobile provider or community centers. 

Traits: • Self-motivated • Desire to learn • No money for higher ed • Too many hours working with no time to learn a skill • Could benefit from scholarship • Banked or unbanked

Donors Seek transparent ways to contribute to education programs and track student progress 

Traits: • Philanthropic • Tired of waste, fraud and abuse in NGOs • Has a social responsibility • Wants everyone to have equal access to education

Value Proposition:

Impact micro-scholarships and blockchain secure certifications

More than 3.8 billion people world-wide are connected to the internet. With all the resources to learn online, poor, unskilled youth still aren’t incentivized to leverage online courses to acquire real-world job skills. Why are Nigerians famous for email scams, Romanian’s for cam girls, and inner city slums for petty theft violence? They have good English and good internet, yet not enough access to higher education. Sadly, some of the world’s most brilliant minds are left behind.

Real-time micro-scholarships GoSOFI! disrupts this model and captures those brilliant minds with real-time rewards for effort and skill acquisition, versus the current system of evaluating past grades.

Micro-scholarships can help pay for living costs so students can use more time studying instead of working. Rewards are earned for each lesson completed and certifications are received upon course completion. Once certified, the student is added to the talent database.

Digital ID and Crypto-currency on-boarding Digital IDs are captured and Ethereum is deposited in the students digital wallet as payment. Distribution includes:

Online and brick and morter participating merchants
Trading crypto coins for goods and services
Debit card access
Ethereum Savings account incentive Thus, empowering financial inclusion and money management while introducing digital currency to the banked

Big data with AI learning Learnings allow businesses and governments to measure improvement in specific skills (e.g. language learning) and knowledge (e.g. Dengue prevention) in at-risk communities through these “micro-scholarships” payments.

Corporate Responsibility Initiatives Investing in developing countries helps bridge cultural gaps. This allows companies to invest in local talent and specific skills to create a sustainable job force and opportunity for those who otherwise wouldn’t have it.

Go-to-market strategy Test Market • Villa 31, Buenos Aires larget city slum, Argentina • H.S. Seniors with no opportunity for higher education • Targeting companies that need specific skills • Train students for the exact skills needed • Incentivisation to companies is that they save money training for the specific skill then costly recruiters • Targeting the Brilliant Minds • Partner with Voluntarios Sin Fronteras and Fundación Uniendo Caminos, which run English and tech education in area slums to identify potential students

Marketing Initiatives • Social Media Campaigns • Reaching out to Social Initiative corporate • Integrated Ad campaigns with partnering companies

Digital Identity Management • uPort, Civic

Digital Currency integration • Wallets: Jaxx, Exodus, Mycellium

Educational Online Courses for Certifications • Kahn Academy • Free Code Camp

Ethereum promotions with Goods and Services • Local and regional merchants ( mobile provider) • Online merchants (Amazon)

Employers • Companies wanting remote workers (B.P.O.) • Companies wanting to hire and train local staff

Corporate Companies • Global Corporations for training and hiring • Global Initiative Responsibilities fulfillment

Blockchain backed Certification • Proof of lessons finished is added to the blockchain • Verified Certification of the course completions

Phase 2

• Community Based Organizations (CMO) for rural village connections • Moodle (e.g. customized courses)

Type of Risks Strategic • Students aren’t finishing courses that time beneficial for donors • Current education platforms can lobby to more prevent movement of digital currency and technology • A previous test case in South America gave away laptops and achieved digital integration but didn’t increase performance • Cultural differences will need regional adapting • Could be difficult to show that they got the students got jobs directly as the result of GoSOFI! • if your graduates don’t happen to have a higher success rating in job-hunting

Compliance • Local governments setting regulations hindering progress • Complying with international and local tax laws

Financial • Donations are based on progress. If progress is low, micro-scholarships won’t be available • Scholarships money not being used to benefit the student

Operational • Servers go down

What will be the impact on Vulnerable Populations and how is it measured? Poor youth are given can earn to learn Micro-scholarships will incentivize poor students learn relevant skills sets. After the completion of courses they have a Blockchain backed Certifiable skill that will follow them across borders. This provides security and validity and will be part of the student’s digital identity.

Examples of how skills are measured Our platform will integrate AI and machine learning to measure:

Patterns of time spent on lessons
Course completion issued
Skill distribution in geographic segments
Aggregated data of the types of skills in most demand
How many courses before a job connection

Accurate costs The GoSOFI! algorithm will budget the required amount to produce a skilled individual, versus recruiting firms and university donations. This results in more money to invest for the students.

Government and NGOs Through these “micro-scholarships” and tracking of the earnings spent, businesses and governments to measure at-risk communities

Specific skills sets
Knowledge, such as Dengue prevention

The Architecture and development road map Initial implementation of GoSOFI! will use a standard full web stack architecture.

Front End • Reactive interface allowing presentation to conform to size constraints of the standard display devices from cellphones to laptops • Implementation of the reactive front will use bootstrap and react.js for interactive functionality

Backend • MondgoDB for data storage and retrieval. • Node.js and express (framework) will be used to code business logic and communicate to the client through a RESTful API • Blockchain interaction will use web3.js on both the front and backend

Impact criteria and how its measured Impact for Donors We do not measure our evidence on emotional user stories, rather we seek evidence of impact through systematic collections of representative data based on big populations and patterns

Examples of Actionable impact measurements • The number of students who complete a courses and obtain a jobs on the GoSOFI database within milestone time periods •The number of students who are able to quit their part time jobs and study full time thanks to their GoSOFI income • Efficacy of a courses by giving the same test at the beginning and end then comparing the score • Geographically measure if certain cultures are better at certain skills

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Chris Sorrentino posted an update

Week 1 Deliverables

Hackathon Challenge: Impact for Identity/Vulnerable populations

Problem:

The world’s best, largest, and freest university is the internet, yet poor youth have not been incentivized to leverage it for developing real world job skills. How can we incentivize education, skills and job training, to vulnerable youth populations.

Current scholarship models speculate on future outcomes based on past results. This means working youth are penalized versus their wealthy peers who have tutors, studying time and additional tools for learning at home. The "C" of a student who works a full time job is lost compared to the "A" of the student with private tutors for each subject.

Why are Nigerians famous for email scams? They have good English, coupled with good internet, yet not enough opportunities. Why are poor women in Argentina making money as cam girls rather than finding non exploitive work? There is both a physical and virtual 3rd world, and connectivity can result in harm without the proper skill sets to avoid being taken advantage of.

Blockchain Solution:

GoSOFI! Stands for “Self Organizing Financial Incentivization,” . The platform connects donors, students and both digital and human oracles. Donors can fund smart contracts which issue micro-rewards to students as they complete online coursework. Upon completion of the course students will receive a certification secured by ethereum's blockchain and audited by GoSOFI!.

The blockchain technology will facilitate:

-Automated distribution of micro scholarships based on coursework completion, turning the scholarship model on its head. Actual effort towards acquiring a measurable skill is rewarded vs speculating on future performance.

-Smart contracts with partners incentivizing certain skills in certain regions

-Immutable, auditable certification of said skills to equalize employment opportunities for remote workers

-The pseudonymous nature of blockchain means donations to an open scholarship fund are traceable, and the receiver of that automatically distributed fund can send thank you notes back, therefore build a relationship with their donors. What was considered a bug is a feature in GoSOFI.

-Simple tokenization allows sponsors to gift rewards for students without human intervention (i.e. vouchers for digital and physical goods.)

-Banks the unbanked, inclusion of those that don’t have access to a bank account More capable of using other types of technologies to help in identification of people. AI and other identity

By reaching individuals in these connected, poor communities we can aggregate the data of their skills, interests and needs geographically, and hone in on which initiatives creates the biggest social impact.

Market Size: Urbanization rates are on the rise in developing countries. The potential size of the social impact market is youth (or adults) who suffer economic disparity, yet have an, an internet connection. Our test market in Buenos Aires largest slum, Villa 31, sits next to one of the most privileged neighborhood and therefore, has nearly identical 4G internet service. This is similar in Rio de Janeiro and many of the biggest cities in the developing world.

Current Solutions: There are a range of free education resources, but none provide financial rewards for poor youth completing these online courses. There are NGOs involved in vulnerable youth, yet by definition they can only focus on specific fields due to their physical and financial limits.

Team: Xavier Lavayssière -Developer Tony Rose- Developer Paul- Developer (no email yet) Maria Alvarez- International educational development Aditi- Consensys Academy (mentor)
Chris Sorrentino- Social business entrepreneur Selva- UIX (mentor) Rachel Turner- Visual design, marketing, strategy, content Ben - Accounting/law (not confirmed) Marjan- Social impact consultant (mentor) Cooper- Education industry/business mentor (no email yet)

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Chris Sorrentino posted an update

Week 2 Deliverables v2

Who are your clients/users?

  1. Learners Has access to the internet either through mobile provider or community centers. Traits: • Self-motivated • Desire to learn • No money for higher ed • Too many hours working with no time to learn a skill • Could benefit from scholarship • Banked or unbanked

  2. Donors Seek transparent ways to contribute to education programs and track student progress Traits: • Philanthropic • Has extra funds to donate • Has a social responsibility • Wants everyone to have equal access to education


Value Proposition Impact micro-sholarships and blockchain backed certifications More than 3.8 billion people world-wide are connected to the internet1. With all the resources to learn online, poor, unskilled youth still aren’t incentivized to leverage online courses to acquire real-world job skills. Why are Nigerians famous for email scams, Romanian’s for cam girls, and inner city slums for petty theft violence? They have good english and good internet, yet not enough access to higher education. Sadly, some of the world’s most brilliant minds are left behind.

Real-time micro-scholarships GoSOFI! is disrupting this model and capturing those brilliant minds with “micro-scholarships” that reward real-time effort and skill acquisition with online courses versus the current system of evaluating past grades.

Incentivisation to learn Micro-scholarships can help pay for living costs so students can use more time studying instead of working. Rewards are earned for each lesson completed and certifications for course completion. Once certified, the student is added to the talent database Blockchain backed

  1. Transparent and direct, p2p donation distribution
  2. Smart contracts for defined goals rather than the current bloated, bureaucratic NGO management
  3. Certification that’s always accessible regardless of a disaster event

Digital ID and Crypto-currency on-boarding Digital IDs are captured and Ethereum is deposited in the students digital wallet as payment. Distribution includes:

  1. Online and brick and morter participating merchants
  2. Trading crypto coins for goods and services
  3. Debit card access
  4. Ethereum Savings account incentive Thus, empowering financial inclusion and money management while introducing digital currency to the banked

Big data with AI learning Learnings allow businesses and governments to measure improvement in specific skills (e.g. language learning) and knowledge (e.g. Dengue prevention) in at-risk communities through these “micro-scholarships” payments.

Corporate Responsibility Initiatives Investing in developing countries helps bridge cultural gaps. This allows companies to invest in local talent and specific skills to create a sustainable job force and opportunity for those who otherwise wouldn’t have it.


Go-to-market strategy Test Market • Villa 31, Buenos Aires larget city slum, Argentina • H.S. Seniors with no opportunity for higher education

Targeting companies that need specific skills • Train students for the exact skills needed • Incentivisation to companies is that they save money training for the specific skill then costly recruiters

Targeting the Brilliant Minds • Partner with Voluntarios Sin Fronteras and Fundación Uniendo Caminos, which run English and tech education in area slums to identify potential students

Marketing Initiatives • Social Media Campaigns • Reaching out to Social Initiative corporate • Integrated Ad campaigns with partnering companies

Digital Identity Capture • uPort, Civic

Digital Currency integration • Wallets: Jaxx, Exodus, Mycellium

Educational Online Courses for Certifications • Kahn Academy • Free Code Camp

Ethereum promotions with Goods and Services • Local and regional merchants ( mobile provider) • Online merchants (Amazon)

Employers • Companies wanting remote workers (5CA Call Center) • Companies wanting to hire and train local staff

Corporate Companies • Global Corporations for training and hiring • Global Initiative Responsibilities fulfillment

Blockchain backed Certification • Proof of lessons finished is added to the blockchain • Verified Certification of the course completions

Phase 2
• Community Based Organizations (CMO) for rural village connections • Moodle (e.g. customized courses)


Type of Risks Strategic • Students aren’t finishing courses that time beneficial for donors • Current education platforms can lobby to more prevent movement of digital currency and technology • A previous test case in South America gave away laptops and achieved digital integration but didn’t increase performance • Cultural differences will need regional adapting • Could be difficult to show that they got the students got jobs directly as the result of GoSOFI! • if your graduates don’t happen to have a higher success rating in job-hunting

Compliance • Local governments setting regulations hindering progress • Complying with international and local tax laws

Financial • Donations are based on progress. If progress is low, micro-scholarships won’t be available • Scholarships money not being used to benefit the student

Operational • Servers go down


What will be the impact on Vulnerable Populations and how is it measured? Poor youth are given can earn to learn Micro-scholarships will incentivize poor students learn relevant skills sets. After the completion of courses they have a Blockchain backed Certifiable skill that will follow them across borders. This provides security and validity and will be part of the student’s digital identity.

Examples of how skills are measured Our platform will integrate AI and machine learning to measure:

  1. Patterns of time spent on lessons
  2. Course completion issued
  3. Skill distribution in geographic segments
  4. Aggregated data of the types of skills in most demand
  5. How many courses before a job connection

Accurate costs The GoSOFI! algorithm will budget the required amount to produce a skilled individual, versus recruiting firms and university donations. This results in more money to invest for the students.

Government and NGOs Through these “micro-scholarships” and tracking of the earnings spent, businesses and governments to measure at-risk communities

  1. Specific skills sets
  2. Knowledge, such as Dengue prevention

The Architecture and development road map Initial implementation of GoSOFI! will use a standard full web stack architecture.

Front End • Reactive interface allowing presentation to conform to size constraints of the standard display devices from cellphones to laptops • Implementation of the reactive front will use bootstrap and react.js for interactive functionality

Backend • MondgoDB for data storage and retrieval.
• Node.js and express (framework) will be used to code business logic and communicate to the client through a RESTful API • Blockchain interaction will use web3.js on both the front and backend


Impact criteria and how its measured Impact for Donors We do not measure our evidence on emotional user stories, rather we seek evidence of impact through systematic collections of representative data based on big populations and patterns

Examples of Actionable impact measurements • The number of students who complete a courses and obtain a jobs on the GoSOFI database within milestone time periods •The number of students who are able to quit their part time jobs and study full time thanks to their GoSOFI income • Efficacy of a courses by giving the same test at the beginning and end then comparing the score • Geographically measure if certain cultures are better at certain skills

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