An Irish social entrepreneur has raised €400,000 from a number of high profile investors including Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Albert Wenger, managing partner of New York-based venture capital firm Union Square Ventures, to help improve the quality of life in Irish communities.
Paul O’Hara raised the money for his social entrepreneurship platform ChangeX, which is aiming to bridge the gap between communities across Ireland and ideas that have been proven to help lives.
The platform has signed up a number of popular social entrepreneurship projects including CoderDojo, Men’s Sheds and GIY (Grow It Yourself), with the aim of expanding them to more communities throughout Ireland.
Mr O’Hara said great ideas are often hard to find, and even harder to get started once you do find them. The ChangeX platform aims to help people find ideas, and guide them through what’s required to implement them.
Other investors include Storyful founder Mark Little, Irish financier Dermot Desmond, Realex Payments founder Colm Lyon, DFJ Esprit partner Brian Caulfield and John O'Farrell, general partner of Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Union Square Ventures managing partner Albert Wenger said there is no reason to re-invent the wheel to make a community a better place to live.
“No matter how much time we spend on the Internet we still live in a local community and it’s up to each of us to make our community stronger. Through ChangeX you can discover what has worked in other communities,” he said.