As entrepreneurs often we are faced with challenges and set-backs. By embracing those challenges as “opportunities” using a growth mindset – it allows you to be productive.

 

Gregg Hawn is the founder of TechnologyGives. TechnologyGives is a nonprofit organization that assists charitable and nonprofit entities to obtain and use technology to improve their operations, outreach and missions. This includes connecting technology providers and partners with non-profit entities who have technology needs.

For over 15 years, Gregg Hawn has advised Fortune 500, technology companies, government contractors and non-profit organizations on complex contractual, compliance, regulatory and legal matters. Gregg’s work has included the drafting, negotiation and enforcement of private and public sector services, licensing, media, teaming, non-disclosure, non-compete and related agreements.

Gregg has counseled technology contractors and companies on the interpretation and application of Federal Acquisition Regulations, Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations and agency specific procurement rules and regulations. His experience extends to intellectual property and contracting and compliance best practices; including development and implementation of policies, codes of conduct, and employee trainings.

Gregg Hawn has also acted as an advisor to technology startups and incubators, with a focus on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, Cloud, business intelligence Internet of Things, smart devices, and augmented reality.

Gregg actively supports community and charitable organizations, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and technology focused charities.

Where did the idea for TechnologyGives come from?

There is a concept called the “technology blind-spot” The adoption of digital technology is often ancillary to a charity’s core mission. Accordingly, there can be a lack of internal focus on technology advancements that could shape the way a charity operates, communicates and fundraises.

There are also a number of companies globally dedicated to making technology more accessible to those entities with needs. However, there is often a disconnect between companies with the desire and drive to support charitable efforts and the non-profit entities themselves.

With the increased convergence of business and digital technology,

TechnologyGives was founded to assist non-profits that have a need for technology to allow them to advance their missions at a more rapid pace.

The idea of TechnologyGives was based on the premise that non-profit organizations should have the ability to obtain the information they need to make smart decisions about implementing and using technology.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

On a daily basis, the operation of TechnologyGives includes identifying organizations with needs and aligning them with the most viable technology partners. After an organization with a need and a technology partner has been identified, coordination between the parties and technologies is an ongoing process that often needs to take into consideration both the immediate and future needs of the organization. To make this productive, a large amount of tracking, communication and collaboration is required.

How do you bring ideas to life?

TechnologyGives is driven by the focus of charitable outreach and providing innovations that improve people’s lives and the world around us. To bring this to life, TechnologyGives focuses on expanding its outreach and looking for new ways to assist non-profits take full advantage of technology trends and innovations that may maximize the non-profit’s reach and success.

What’s one trend that excites you?

A number of non-profit organizations have benefited greatly from use of the Cloud. The Cloud has the potential, if used correctly, to allow non-profits to leverage reduced costs, the ability for founders and employees to work from multiple devices (including mobile platforms), streamlined flow of information, and the ability to manage technological resources more efficiently.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Growth Mindset. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and ability are static and we can’t change in any meaningful way. Success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard. A “growth mindset”, thrives on challenges and see failure as a springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.

As entrepreneurs often we are faced with challenges and set-backs. By embracing those challenges as “opportunities” using a growth mindset – it allows you to be productive.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Innovate. Innovate. Innovate. Technology is ever changing. By not remaining stagnant and always looking for opportunities to innovate you will strive to make your organization better every day.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

There is no business that cannot benefit from technological innovation.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I highly recommend all entrepreneurs explore the Lean Startup methodology. This philosophy aims to shorten business and product development cycles by adopting a combination of hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning. The core of the lean startup methodology is that if a startup invests its time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers, they can reduce the market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches and failures.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

According to the Center for Charitable Statistics there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States. This figure includes charities, private foundations, and other types of non-profit organizations.

The charitable and non-profit world is changing rapidly with the advancement of technology. This includes the ways charities use social media and fundraise (such as crowd sourcing). The ongoing evolution of technology necessitates a continued need to assess and reassess the nature and type of technologies beneficial to non-profits and their missions.

By embracing new technologies and working with a wide variety of partners, TechnologyGives regularly helps non-profits assess their evolving needs and connect with the most beneficial partners.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Launching any business or entity is ripe with unexpected challenges. By believing that you can identify all potential issues ahead of time you are boxing yourself into a fixed growth plan and often you do not leave yourself the needed flexibility to adapt on the fly.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

There is a current gap in the non-profit world for data intelligence, cloud and communications technologies that tailor to the specific needs of non-profit and charitable entities.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

There are a number of online learning resources and continuing education on relevant technologies available at low-cost or no-cost for businesses, organizations and individuals. Topics includes cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, blockchain, and data intelligence. Regularly spending $100 or less to keep yourself and organization apprised on the latest trends often provides a significant return on investment.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Engaging a professional with experience on web and social media content development can be key to an organizations success or failure. At minimum, you or someone in your organization should have a key understanding of your web and social media presence and the tools needed to effectively manage it.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Start with the Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek.

Simon Sinek’s book brings to light a core motivator applicable to both business and personal life: leaders, products, and companies should start with the WHY.

What is your favorite quote?

“Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anyone can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.”

-Bill Gates

Key learnings:

• The ongoing evolution of technology necessitates a continued need to assess and reassess the nature and type of technologies beneficial to non-profits and their missions.
• Embrace a “growth mindset”. Thrive on challenges and see setbacks as a springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.
• Innovate. Technology is ever changing. By not remaining stagnant and always looking for opportunities to innovate you will strive to make your organization better every day.
• Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. There is no business that cannot benefit from technological innovation.

Connect:

http://technologygives.org/
Gregg Hawn on Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/gregg-hawn
Gregg Hawn on Technology Charities: http://gregghawn.org
Gregg Hawn on GitHub: https://github.com/gregghawn
Gregg Hawn on Blogspot: http://gregghawn.blogspot.com/
Gregg Hawn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gregghawn

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