ENTREPENEUR INNOVATOR INVESTOR

Charity

CASSANDRA HARRIS

Cassandra is dedicated to supporting young talent and entrepreneurs especially. She believes in the power of young people and their potential to shape our future. 
She believes Fortune 500 companies can support and accelerate startups for mutually beneficial gains. She is dedicated to inspiring these leaders to empower growth driven ventures by working to unlock access to essential internal resources. 

It is no secret that the greatest treasures are found in the most remote, inaccessible and difficult places where we must pursue them with great energy and even greater risk. It’s the same with our lives.

In 2018 and 19 Cassandra and her team launched a corporate accelerator programme designed to collect resources from corporations which was backed by Tata Communications, Singularity University and Sir Richard Branson through their affiliation with Virgin Unite. The startups that joined gained exclusive access to hard-to-reach corporate resources including capital that allowed them to scale quickly and the corporates got to fully embrace innovation in a way that future-proofed their business. Besides obtaining investment and free resources to scale, selected startups were also invited to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island to pitch their business models as part of the programme.

In 2018 and 2019 Cassandra worked closely with the founder of Xprize Foundation and Singularity University, Peter Diamandis, to bring Xprize to the UK and to channel investment and support from Fortune 500’s and UHNWIs into existing Xprize incentive competitions. XPRIZE runs large-scale global incentive competitions which crowdsource solutions to the world’s grand challenges.

Since the founding in 1996, they have designed and launched sixteen prizes with more than $150 million in cumulative prize purses in areas related to Space, Oceans, Learning, Health, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Safety, and Robotics.

Another $200 million in incentive prizes are in development. Cassandra also worked closely with Naveen and Anu Jain on their $1 million Women’s Safety XPRIZE a global competition that challenged teams to leverage technology to empower communities with a transformative solution that ensures women’s safety. The Women’s Safety XPrize was awarded at the United Nations In NYC to Leaf Wearables, based in New Delhi. The company makes Safer Pro, a wearable device that allows users to press a button to send an emergency alert to a community of responders

In 2011, prior to launching venture development studio Venturespring, Harris co-founded the ‘digital transformation’ company, Freeformers, a social enterprise that combines digital skills training with business acceleration support (teaching young kids how to code). The initiative drew interest from the press and garnered celebrity support.

Harris has experience working with influential leaders in the UK to spur social innovation. In 2015 her business launched the Smart City Challenge campaign backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson and IBM. The campaign joined the increasing calls for solutions to smart city living and working.

In 2013, Harris launched a programme, in partnership with the Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) in Bristol to help young women, whom had been victim to domestic violent relationships, to boost their employment prospects, raise self-confidence and develop a better awareness of digital technology.

In 2014, she launched a pilot to help ex-prisoners from HM Prison East Sutton Park into tech roles.

In 2015 Cassandra was selected to serve on the board of Children in Crisis, a charity founded by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, to give children in some of the world’s poorest countries the education they need to help transform their lives. Children in Crisis aims to support children to read, write, think, pursue their life goals and contribute positively to their communities.

Cassandra was asked to be a judge at CDI Apps for Good. An award winning education movement where young people in schools learn to create apps that can change their world