NetSquared Projects

When Daniel Ben-Horin, the president of CompuMentor, asked me to help with designing outreach for the NetSquared Conference, he told me he hoped to get 30-40 projects to nominate them selves. The deadline for submissions was last Friday. On Thursday, there were about 40 nominated projects. It looked like everything was right no target. Then Friday hit, and over 100 new projects nominated themselves at the deadline.

The NetSquared community is a vibrant, powerful group. With nothing but online word of mouth outreach, 150+ innovative projects are now in the running for both monetary funding as well as access to the social and intellectual capital of the NetSquared community.

I’ve gone through the projects and below you’ll find my list of the hot projects you should keep an eye on. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the full list, become a NetSquared community member and vote for your favorite projects.

You’ll note that three of the ten projects I list are being launched by philanthropy bloggers. Maybe I’m biased. I think it has more to do with the way our blogging community is drawing innovative thinkers to our midst.

I list the ten projects in reverse alphabetical order: As someone who trades the traditional capital markets for a living, I understand the critical need for the social capital markets to develop. Xigi is mapping this growing space.

Throngz: A project of fellow blogger Albert Ruesga, this social network for activists “senses” when members are online and calls them together for live discussion.

NewsTrust: Ever notice how the “most popular” news stories are more News of the Weird than New York Times material? NewsTrust is a user rated journalism site that focuses on bringing the “best” articles to the top rather than the most “popular”.

MicroMentor 2.0: Sites like Kiva are bringing monetary venture capital to micro entrepreneurs. MicoMentor 2.0 brings them social capital by connecting them to a network of business experts who can provide advice.

GreatNonprofits: A community for sharing “consumer reviews” of nonprofits.

Global Lives Project: Creating interpersonal connections around the globe through immersive video installations. You’ve got to see this to believe it.

GiveWell: Another philanthropy blogger project. This site provides transparent, in depth charity ratings. It goes WAY beyond anything you’ll find at Charity Navigator or GuideStar.

Games For Change: Video games are growing up. Just as film started off as “pop” entertainment, then morphed into intellectual cinema, video games are making the same transition. Games For Change supports the development of video games designed to motivate social action.

FreePledge: I wrote up an extensive review of FreePledge last month. In short, this site has the potential to become THE shopping portal for charitably minded consumers.

ChipIn: A web based fundraising tool that lets anyone create a campaign and receive online donations in minutes. I’ve used it and in literally ten minutes had a professional looking website with donation receiving capabilities.


  1. Sean, thank you so much for the very nice shout-out to Throngz. Your support means a lot to me, however the voting winds may blow.

    May the best projects win: we’ll all be the better for it!

    Warmest regards.

  2. Gerry says:

    I’m part of a small network that put together the Source Tree project entry.

  3. Good luck, Gerry. Source Tree looks like a fascinating project!