2016 Grants Challenge

#StoryTeching: Delivering civic innovation via storytelling & technology based incentive challenges

Idea by ProduceAthon

We mobilize local talent to create campaigns and tech-based solutions that inspire civic engagement, address our greatest civic needs, and unite the non-profit, private, & public sectors.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

1 - 5: The Cities of: Los Angeles West Hollywood, Santa Monica, & Long Beach, 6 - LADWP, 7 - USC Institute for Creative Technologies, 8 - UpToGood, 9 - YouTube, 10 - WeWork, 11 - General Assembly, 12 - Howling Wolf Productions, 13 - Propper Daley

Please describe your project proposal.

ProduceAthon, in collaboration with the Cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, & Santa Monica will create a new program that catalyzes local talent – developers, designers, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and makers – to build marketing solutions & innovative tech-based prototypes around city-identified challenge sets. We will match talent teams with subject matter experts, business accelerators, & investors to ensure their concepts are scalable, sustainable, & deliver measurable impact

Which of the CREATE metrics will your proposal impact?​

Arts establishments

Manufacturing activity

Employment in the creative industries

Gini coefficient

Jobs per capita

Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”)

Minority- and women-owned firms

High growth startups

Patents per capita

Venture capital investment

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?


South Bay

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to CREATE?

ProduceAthon will help make LA the best place to create by fostering civic innovation & entrepreneurship in our region.

ProduceAthon is a forward-thinking social innovation lab. After streamlining the process of mobilizing skills-based volunteer teams to deliver effective & resourceful digital stories on social impact, we recognized the need for a more-comprehensive program that maximizes the creative energy and sustains the impact generated from our events. To realize this vision, we launched, a stand-alone entity that combines storytelling & technology innovation to solve our most pressing civic challenges.

The ProduceAthon has 3 components: (1) An Innovation Academy (2) A Hackathon-modeled event (3) A mentorship and funding component that brings our leading volunteer-based teams’ concepts & civic prototypes to market.

The Innovation Academy sources local talent & exposes them to pressing city-identified challenges. This platform empowers talent with background information, tools, and data sets necessary for developing innovative and meaningful civic solutions & communications strategies. We will foster creativity & entrepreneurship through learning modules that delve into various civic topics, including water & power, government efficiencies, small business economic development, aging in place, and health & wellness. We will assemble Elite teams from this academy and mobilize them to CREATE in our second component – the Hackathon event – where they will build-out their concepts, ideas, & stories in an accelerated timeframe.

The 2nd component of the ProduceAthon is our 72-hour HackAthon event, where elite teams have 72-hours to prototype solutions, develop implementation plans, & deliver digital stories & communication strategies on their selected civic challenge set. We will connect teams with subject matter experts from City Staff, LADWP, & USC’s Institute of Creative Technologies; storytelling and marketing experts from Propper Daley and Howling Wolf Productions; & non-profits currently on the ground tackling the teams’ selected civic challenge sets.

ProduceAthon will nurture & expand our region’s entrepreneurial & civic innovation economy. We will ensure lasting & measurable impact through our 3rd component by matching our leading elite teams with venture capital funders, mentors, & business accelerators to help bring their prototypes to market & sustainably scale their concepts. We will ensure distribution & visibility of the digital content & marketing campaign developed during the ProduceAthon through distribution partners like UpToGood, furthering public awareness of & engagement with our region’s civic challenges.

By creating opportunities & catalyzing engagement in civic innovation, we will develop a more inclusive and creative local economy that unites the non-profit, private, & public sectors through intentional collaboration & help make LA the best place to CREATE.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Having mastered & streamlined the process for facilitating skills-based volunteer teams towards delivering high-quality, low-cost digital stories and communication strategies in the social impact space, we have: (1) put over 3,500 hours of skills-based pro bono hours into equipping non-profits with stories, marketing campaigns, & videos that push forward their civic missions (2) delivered over $450,000 of pro bono value to non-profits, enabling them to re-invest those dollars directly back into supporting their cause & (3) mobilized over 300 creatives and industry thought leaders towards active participation in initiatives through our Storytelling-themed ProduceAthon events.

Additional metrics of success are defined as follows:

(1) NPO Impact: Visibility & engagement resulting from digital content distribution, # Volunteers resulting from digital content production & distribution, $ raised from digital content usage & execution of communication strategy

(2) Private / Public Sector Impact: total venture capital raised to bring prototypes to market, # successful pilot programs launched, total jobs created through launch of pilot programs, $ saved in delivering more effective & efficient government solutions

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?



Community outreach

Network/relationship support