The old Blaine-Sumner Middle School on Peoria’s south side is looking to make a big impact and needs your help! After months of conducting research, determining feasibility, planning, strategizing, the time has come. Today, Impact HUB Peoria releases its “Love Your City” campaign on Indiegogo.
As part of the team working to make the dreams of this co-working, business incubating, socially impacting space a reality, it has been an entrepreneurial learning work-in-progress itself. As individuals, we have recognized a need in Peoria that isn’t being met. Young, creative, and often inexperience people of all colors and social backgrounds don’t have a place to take their raw ideas and turn them into a profitable business model.
Sure, there are “organizations” out there that may claim to fill this void, but the one thing that all of those loose, fragmented entities are missing is collaboration. Since we set sail on this voyage many months ago, we have thrown ourselves into the pressure-cooker known as team participation. This was to be the main sticking point that would differentiate our movement from what others had failed to offer. So far, many generous people have come in and volunteered their time and resources to help launch this endeavor.
Peoria shares the fate of many cities in that it has many networks of driven and creative people, but all seem to be working in their own “bubbles.” There is one great thing over here, another over there, two more across town, but there is no mechanism to connect these dots. Ingenuity runs deep in Peoria. Its claim to fame is Caterpillar, Inc. This is a blessing and a curse as has been documented in other Rust-Belt cities where one major employer is king of the hill. A lot of talent pours into the area, even stays in the area for a long time, but as mentioned before – it doesn’t have a place to regenerate into new, bold ideas.
While as a team we have come a long way in getting the HUB up and running, there is still something that is needed – money. Like many other grassroots and bootstrapping movements, we are still seeking financing to make this a sustainable product. Often times, in our current lending environment, good ideas aren’t good enough for traditional financing, therefore, we have taken a more progressive look at how to raise funds.
Yes, I’m at it again! My initial foray into the crowdfunding pool was with my project GO URBAN. I sought out to raise funds to renovate a house in one of Peoria’s older, blighted neighborhoods that has more upside than meets the eye. Ultimately, my goal was to create a movement that would surpass the sole gains of renovating a house all the while connecting a network of people to change the culture in Peoria. While the end product of that project will be released this Friday, it is my pleasure to spread the love on this campaign which sets out on a higher purpose as well.
Love Your City is a campaign looking to raise $80,000. A big ask? Yep. A big task at hand? Yep. Already the work done has gone to preserve a building that would have otherwise been torn down. Community members have rallied together to get it to the point where it’s at right now, but we need a bigger push to get it over the finish line.
Please take a couple minutes and check out our campaign. Contribute early and often! If you can’t, there are still plenty of ways to get involved.