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Sandy Hook Promise Launches Innovation Initiative In San Francisco

Sandy Hook Promise members Tim Makris, James Belden, Tom Bittman, Lee Shull, and Rob Cox joined the families of Daniel Barden, Avielle Richman, and Dylan Hockley, who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School December 14, for a press conference and town hall meeting in San Francisco on Thursday, March 14, that brought together the local grassroots organization and members of the Silicon Valley technology community to launch the Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative.

The initiative is intended to advocate for changes to eliminate gun violence, said Mr Makris, Tuesday, March 19, and he views the joining of the technology industry with Sandy Hook Promise as an ideal partnership to move forward on solutions to gun violence. According to a press release issued by Sandy Hook Promise, the initiative is “an unprecedented effort to combat the causes of gun violence through breakthroughs in research, new technologies and new applications of existing technologies.”

The technology industry in the San Francisco area is one that is “so fast moving and innovative,” Mr Makris said, that it seemed the best place to seek out solutions.

A technology committee headed by Jim Pitkow of San Francisco will be responsible for searching out and receiving technology-based ideas that will address three areas, Mr Makris said. Those focus areas are those of safe gun technology, including gun access and responsibility, as well as gun safety; school safety; and mental health applications.

Silicon Valley capitalists have formed a foundation to assist up-and-running companies to bring ideas to market, he said.

The press conference, held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, announced the initiative in the presence of Mayor Ed Lee and leaders of the venture capital community.

“We’re here on the three-month anniversary of our daughter Avielle’s death because we believe in the power of innovation to move us forward,” said Jeremy Richman, who with his wife Jennifer Hensel has started the Avielle Foundation to support brain health research. “We sincerely thank the technology community for working to turn our tragedy into transformation.”

Ron Conway, Silicon Valley “angel investor” and special advisor to Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative, stated in the press release, “We each have a role to play in making our families and communities safer. I’m playing the role I know best by promoting innovative approaches to stem gun violence in America.”

Mr Conway added, “Technology has been proven to solve today’s greatest social challenges and curbing gun violence in this country is one of the greatest challenges we now face.”

Other investors include Mike Abbott, Zack Bogue, Peter Fenton, Shana Fisher, Paul Graham, Georges Harik, Rob Hayes, Eric Hippeau, Vinod Khosia, Josh Kopelman, David Lee, Peter Lee, Ken Lerer, Alfred Lin, Jessica Livingston, John O’Farrell, Matt Ocko, Alan Patricof, Ian Sobieski, Dana Stadler, David Sze, Keith Rabois, Geoff Ralston, Danny Rimer, Hemant Taneja, and Jonathan Teo.

The Technology Committee to Reduce Gun Violence will provide domain expertise to the participating venture capitalists regarding promising technologies that merit funding, according to the press release. Interested parties can send their proposals to funding@sandyhookpromise.org, for consideration.

The initiative will include an incentive prize for the most promising new ideas. Interested parties can provide contact information at innovation@sandyhookpromise.org, and will be contacted when details are available.

A town hall forum and work groups followed the press conference, where technology companies discussed “the power of innovation to solve seemingly intractable problems.” At the working sessions, members of the Sandy Hook Promise Technology Committee to Reduce Gun Violence focused on the “latest technologies and social media best practices to increase public awareness and work toward common sense solutions.”

Mr Pitkow urged “big thinkers, entrepreneurs, companies, and engineers” to come forward with ideas to move forward the efforts to reduce gun violence. “Now is the time,” stressed Mr Pitkow.

This is intended to be the first of several nonpolicy initiatives Sandy Hook Promise will bring forth, explained Mr Makris, and is meant to complement and expand upon the efforts of the federal government.

The mission of Sandy Hook Promise is to support those affected by the tragedy of 12/14 and help the community heal, as well as to support comprehensive solutions to make our country safer from similar acts of violence. To learn more about the organization, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org. Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit corporation.

Sandy Hook Promise members Tim Makris, James Belden, Tom Bittman, Lee Shull, and Rob Cox joined the families of Daniel Barden, Avielle Richman, and Dylan Hockley, who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, for a press conference and town hall meeting in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, March 14, that brought together the local grassroots organization and members of the Silicon Valley technology community to launch the Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative.

The initiative is intended to advocate for changes to eliminate gun violence, said Mr Makris, Tuesday, March 19, and he views the joining of the technology industry with Sandy Hook Promise as an ideal partnership to move forward on solutions to gun violence. According to a press release issued by Sandy Hook Promise, the initiative is “an unprecedented effort to combat the causes of gun violence through breakthroughs in research, new technologies and new applications of existing technologies.”

The technology industry in the San Francisco area is one that is “so fast moving and innovative,” Mr Makris said, that it seemed the best place to seek out solutions.

A technology committee headed by Jim Pitkow of San Francisco will be responsible for searching out and receiving technology based ideas that will address three areas, Mr Makris said. Those focus areas are those of safe gun technology, including gun access and responsibility, as well as gun safety; school safety; and mental health applications.

Silicon Valley capitalists have formed a foundation to assistant up and running companies bring ideas to market, he said.

The press conference, held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, announced the initiative in the presence of Mayor Ed Lee and leaders of the venture capital community.

“We’re here on the three month anniversary of our daughter Avielle’s death, because we believe in the power of innovation to move us forward,” said Jeremy Richman, who with his wife Jennifer Hensel has started the Avielle Foundation to support brain health research. “We sincerely thank the technology community for working to turn our tragedy into transformation.”

Ron Conway, Silicon Valley “angel investor” and special advisor to Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative, stated in the press release, “We each have a role to play in making our families and communities safer. I’m playing the role I know best by promoting innovative approaches to stem gun violence in America.”

Mr Conway added, “Technology has been proven to solve today’s greatest social challenges and curbing gun violence in this country is one of the greatest challenges we now face.”

Other investors include Mike Abbott, Zack Bogue, Ron Conway, Peter Fenton, Shana Fisher, Paul Graham, Georges Harik, Rob Hayes, Eric Hippeau, Vinod Khosia, Josh Kopelman, David Lee, Peter Lee, Ken Lerer, Alfred Lin, Jessica Livingston, John O’Farrell, Matt Ocko, Alan Patricof, Ian Sobieski, Dana Stadler, David Sze, Keith Rabois, Geoff Ralston, Danny Rimer, Hemant Taneja, and Jonathan Teo. The Technology Committee to Reduce Gun Violence will provide domain expertise to the participating venture capitalists regarding promising technologies that merit funding, according to the press release. Interested parties can send their proposals to funding@sandyhookpromise.org, for consideration.

The initiative will include an incentive prize for the most promising new ideas. Interested parties can provide contact information at innovation@sandyhookpromise.org, and will be contacted when details are available.

A town hall forum and work groups followed the press conference, where technology companies discussed “the power of innovation to solve seemingly intractable problems.” At the working sessions, members of the Sandy Hook Promise Technology Committee to Reduce Gun Violence focused on the “latest technologies and social media best practices to increase public awareness and work toward common sense solutions.”

Mr Pitkow urged “big thinkers, entrepreneurs, companies and engineers” to come forward with ideas to move forward the efforts to reduce gun violence. “Now is the time,” stressed Mr Pitkow.

This is intended to be the first of several non-policy initiatives Sandy Hook Promise will bring forth, explained Mr Makris, and is meant to complement and expand upon the efforts of the federal government.

The mission of Sandy Hook Promise is to support those affected by the tragedy of 12/14 and help the community heal, as well as to support comprehensive solutions to make our country safer from similar acts of violence. To learn more about the organization, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org. Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit corporation.

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