The Heart Series Conference

Last week I got schooled… I carpooled to downtown LA with my awesome colleague Caroline, received a name tag that surprisingly spelled Kalon correctly, and even enjoyed lunch time cafeteria style. All for a very specific cause…  Giveback Homes was invited to participate in The Heart Series: A 2-day conference for socially conscious companies working toward bettering the world.

I firmly believe that creativity and collaboration are at the heart of any modern start up venture. Especially any concept that strives to incorporate social entrepreneurship into its bloodline. Thanks to the kind and innovative minds behind The Heart Series, I had the opportunity to network and learn from some genuinely inspirational people and ideas.

People and companies I had never heard of 48-hours ago, now linger in every inspired conversation I have. In our industry of underfunded game changers, your best marketing tool is an inspired and informed person who can clearly and concisely tell your story. We don’t have commercials or huge online marketing campaigns. We really don’t even have clients or consumers… We have “supporters” as Dave Heath, CEO of Bombas, a ridiculously comfortable “one for one” athletic sock company so articulately put it. Consequently, our longevity and success is dictated by how well our supporters can retell our tale. So make sure you have a good one!

Probably the best story I heard all week was that of Ido Leffler. A bald shampoo salesman that managed to parlay his passion for beauty products into a conglomerate of cool. With a little chutzpah, Ido managed to conquer some awkward cultural boundaries and woo Walgreens into stocking Yes to Carrots. Now everyone, including Target, says Yes to Ido and his stable of savvy socially responsible products that include Yoobi and Cheeky Home, both “one for one” products intended to address social issues like the lack of school supplies and world hunger respectively.

 The most amazing concept I was introduced to, aptly named Omaze, is the brainchild of two unemployed Stanford Graduate Students. Refusing to spend all of their beer money at a charity gala for the chance to hang with Magic Johnson, Matt and Ryan went all Robin Hood on their a$$ and decided to launch a company that would give the masses the opportunity to indulge in once in a lifetime experiences that were otherwise only enjoyed by the uber rich. Omaze’s beauty is in their simplicity...  

Choose your dream experience.

Whether you're a sports-nut, fashionista, or tech-geek, there's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you. Look around and find one (or ten) dreams you'd like to live.

Like the chance to blow $h%t up with Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Support a great cause.

Each experience is matched with a specific cause. Donate to be automatically entered for the opportunity to win. The more you donate, the better your chances of winning.

And the winner is...

The process works just like a charity raffle. Once the deadline to enter for the experience passes, we collect all the entries and select the winners through a computer generated random selection process.


So have no fear if you are still in the funemployed boat… there is still hope for you to conceive your brilliant brainchild. However, if you are looking to jump ship and dedicate your efforts to a company that has successfully reinvented the charitable auction platform, I hear Omaze is hiring.

It’s no secret that the minds and imaginations that shaped and attended the conference are onto something big. Even FORBES forecasts that “within 5 years, social entrepreneurship will be the industry standard” FORBES 2011. If you do the math, that means everyone in that room is a trendsetter and we are all on the precipice of a paradigm shift.

Cheers to a productive and lucrative 2015. Thanks to everyone that attended, spoke, participated and inspired at The Heart Series. We would love to invite you all to join the Giveback Homes Team for our #RIDEtoBuild event at Soul Cycle in Newport Beach on March 7th. Dave from BOMBAS was even kind enough to hook up some socks for our swag bags! #beebetter

Check our socials for details @givebackhomes. Let’s keep the conversation going!

- Kalon McMahon @Kalonmcm