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Eric Foster commented on Community Playdates

Good morning, Cyndi---

My feedback points are offered in the business/social entrepreneur lens that I hope is helpful.  Before that, I value and affirm your work and knowing you as a fellow Fellow.  Continued success.  Here are the points:

1. Innovative and distinctive:  Because of the lack of models, similar approaches and limitations, Community Playdate indeed is effective in being innovative.  I truly like the free-space concept for children to creatively encounter their learning.  Still, I think when innovation and 'first of its kind' are being communicated, it cannot be solely because of the lack of services in a market.  I would go a bit further if possible to give one clear example of how the learning tools are in fact, innovative.  For example, is the learning tool(s) via software, traditional---but creative instructors, materials, etc.----specifically innovative that no other learning provider has?  If so, I recommend providing brief and specific sharing to this fact.  Again, I see the innovation in the model and idea but you can score more points in highlighting how the specific product, service or good to the child is new and never done before.

2.  Communication---narrative and examples:  You really did well in framing and communicating the case for your model.  Going back to the your answer to 'Example,' if space allows, I would add a brief narrative of a generic named parent and child and what they would encounter when they step into Community Playdate.  That will strengthen your message and claims that a parent will have no fear, be a part of their child's development, etc.  For instance this would take the form of:  "When Melanie and her child enter into the sustaining and supportive space of Community Playdate, they both encounter the XXXXXXXX that starts their 5 hour cognitive interactive gameplay that provides XXXXXXXX with the help of an attending and affirming resident artist who gives them XXXXXXX."  If you are promoting innovative and claims of innovation to those who have never seen a similar model before, the 'user experience' narrative can be helpful.  You have the awesome ingredients here, but consider wrapping it up in the frame of 'what happens to a parent and child' when they touch my service on the first day?

3.  Founding Story:  It is a good start to see how you took what Katrina rendered for children and did something about it.  More should be stated however regarding what the Head Start fight and Battle Creek visit did in your time, sacrifice and intellectual resourcing to create the initiative.  In addition to the value of one's initiative, those who provide funds (foundations, lenders, etc.) for the use of social impact are often interested in the founder's struggle and sacrifice.  Can you tell us more from your Point of View and that of a child or parent that made you relentless in your drive to succeed and start such an impactful initiative?

4.  Financial and Value:  The sustainability area may be strengthened if you expand it from the usual 'I plan to get other sources of funding.'  Is there anything proprietary in the services, nominal fees and other social enterprise aspects that you envision money coming from?  If so, I would add that revenue source.  The value piece question is similar to the point regarding innovation.  You have a great opportunity to keep making that case!  In this regard, you use 'freely flow in open space' as a distinctive and value---You used that in the answer of how your project differs from other approaches.  It is at that point that I think you should define what 'freely flow in open space' specifically is for the reader.  I am sure this is more than just nice phrases-----it represents a different outcome.  However, if it is a distinctive result from what you do, I would share more. 

5.  Communication in general:  Good responses and clarity in your answers.  I would only offer you to keep reviewing for grammar points here and there.  

This is an awesome and new approach to the learning and development of children.  The goal of allowing them to freely discover themselves in open space will lead to great self-sufficiency and identity for them just as much as it will benefit their academic and cognitive skills.  This is great!