At Infusionsoft, you know our purpose is to help small businesses succeed. We’ve attracted a great deal of entrepreneurs and business owners who have benefited nicely from our sales and marketing software. We have also built a powerful network of Certified Partners who provide strategic implementation services to help users maximize their investment in Infusionsoft.
Sean Tierney, founder of Automation Gurus, is an Infusionsoft Certified Partner who gives back to the local community through Accelerator-like events for nonprofits. He does this through something called a community-led effort known as Charity Makeover. On the site, he shares the journey and actual strategies that he’s adopting to scale the efforts of their charities. And in the interest of full-disclosure, Sean does operate a separate for-profit accelerator tailored for a limited number of small businesses, too.
He’s a serial entrepreneur who founded a software startup, a resource center to help fix the housing market and even ventured into an innovative cloud-based music startup. I first heard Sean a few years ago when he was sharing his advice and lessons learned amid his experiences as an entrepreneur. Most intriguingly was his approach to customer validation. An example showcasing his knack for customer discovery and validation is seen in these slides (and recording) that he shared at SEED SPOT, a local incubator focused on social impact ventures. In his spare time, he’s an audiophile who listens, writes and plays music.
Charity Makeover was founded on the heels of Startup Weekend. For the uninitiated, Startup Weekends are events where aspiring entrepreneurs focus on their ideas, validate customer demand and build the foundation of a thriving startup over the course of a weekend. It’s a worthwhile experience for entrepreneurs of all types. “There’s no better way to get good [at testing one’s ideas], meet awesome people and get real,” said Sean when remarking about what he loves most about these events. Sean has participated in seven of them.
I’ve participated at Startup Weekend Chandler and it’s quite exhilarating to learn various methods to prove out business ideas. The reality is that not many ideas make it beyond the 54 hours they were hatched in – but some do. It functions as more of a learning experience more than a fast-track to appear on Shark Tank or getting a billion-dollar offer from Zuckerberg.
Anyhow, getting back on track …
Sean decided to support existing causes that need a little extra attention and execution to be successful. This is where Charity Makeover comes in. He blends his experience derived from his startups, his involvement at Startup Weekends and his connections of capable volunteers to make it all happen. The makeover starts with a strategy session first to lay out the game plan. For one full Saturday every month, it’s full-blown execution from volunteers who are programmers, copywriters, photographers, social media professionals and even Infusionsoft experts. The work is scoped out in a series of ‘sprints’ that results in a powerful outcome for the charity. It’s a cool concept and it’s something that we at Infusionsoft support.
Seeds for Autism is the first recipient of Charity Makeover. Sean told me that he was moved by the story and the purpose of this foundation that helps people with Autism or Asperger’s by facilitating education and job training that promotes great work ethic in an environment tailored to their needs. You can learn more about this nonprofit on their site and keep tabs on the makeover progress on Charity Makeover’s blog.
If you’re in the Phoenix area, Sean would like your help. He’s looking for people to contribute their time and talent. This is a great opportunity to put your sales, marketing and technical skills to work for a good cause. Interested? Sign up as a volunteer! Charity Makeover is growing to support multiple charities at once in a similar fashion to how Startup Weekend has multiple teams. The latest charity they welcomed is the Tumbleweed Youth Shelter.
Sean also wanted to express a special thanks CO+HOOTS, a coworking space in Downtown Phoenix, for generously hosting Charity Makeover events.
I share this example of giving back because it reflects the ethos of our partner ecosystem. The act of dedicating oneself to give back to others in your community with no expectation of anything in return is noble. And this is something Infusionsoft strongly supports.
Read more about this post, Certified Partners Give Back to the Phoenix Community via Accelerator Events on The Infusionsoft Blog.