Community Collaboratory was founded in April 2020 in WA state. The team is currently applying for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research Grant (SBIR) in September, 2020 to hire software developers and build a prototype of the website and app. Community Collaboratory will be a resource for individual community members, religious groups, public entities, and non-profit organizations.
We are working towards building healthier communities that are resilient because community members can more easily offer and receive support from one another to address barriers to healthcare, social services, and other resources.
Type of Organization
Startup - Newly established businesses, investable
Size of Organization
Organization Mailing Address
P.O. Box 22212
Seattle, WA 98122
Community Collaboratory Website/App
Community Collaboratory is a website/app that is being developed in Seattle, WA to make it easier for community members to find brief, safe, and flexible ways of offering and requesting support locally. Community Collaboratory uses a novel matching algorithm (i.e. like dating apps) that allows community members to find brief, flexible, and safe support that fits one’s comfort level, schedule, and needs. Paid staff (Community Health Workers) are always on-call and provide training, supervision, and additional support to community members. There will be clear safety guidelines, staff supervision, and ways to create private groups within the website/app (e.g. if church members only feel comfortable interacting with other members of their church). This feature means users can request/offer support within a private group (e.g. congregation) as well to the broader Community Collaboratory userbase. Our primary aim is to increase social support, improve access to healthcare and social services, reduce caregiver burden, and improve community resilience.
Category of Innovation
Digital Health - A digital health solution is a technology-based solution whose user is caring for or providing care for themselves (think of a personal app) or another individual (such as a doctor using a tool to help their patient)
Intended End User
Patient - Individuals who receive health care
Provider - Individuals or organizations responsible for providing care to patients (e.g. doctors, nurses, hospital/clinic administrators, etc.)
Payer - Organizations responsible for issuing or administering payment for the care received by a population of people (e.g. insurance companies)
Purchaser - Organizations responsible for purchasing health benefits for a population of people (e.g. employers or government entities)
Vendor - i.e. established company, non-startup
Problem (i.e. barrier, issue, complication, etc.) being solved for the end user
Many of us want to support others in our neighborhood and community. However, if we try to volunteer, we will find that many volunteer organizations require long-term commitments, intensive orientations, etc. These requirements are not feasible for many of us that have families, work, limited time, and irregular schedules. For example, the 2016 UK Community Life Survey (N = 3,027) found that 52% of adult respondents left a volunteer commitment because of limited time. Similarly, community members that need support often struggle to find support that is safe, brief, and flexible. In short, it is harder to offer and request support in your community than it needs to be.
Level of adoption (i.e. list of customers/users, testimonials, etc.), if applicable
If awarded this SBIR grant, Community Collaboratory will also be looking for community members to join the Community Advisory Board (CAB) to discuss how to keep the website/app accessible, safe, and inclusive. We will also be inviting community groups to beta-test the website/app in June 2021.
“I hear people in my community all the time talking about volunteer opportunities, but they have limited flexibility and time so they rarely engage; this app would be a great tool for busy people who can't make long term commitments, but who really want to help and connect with their community.” — Seattle resident, 34 years old
“As baby boomers retire, they are going to want/need ways to continue to feel productive, and to contribute. This seems like a very efficient way to both make connections and try different options to discover what kind of thing is a good fit. ...I like the word collaborative because the blessings go both ways, not just from the volunteer to the recipient.” — Anonymous, 62 years old
“Most people have some free time so this app is just the “go to” platform for finding a good fit for all types of volunteers to enrich their community. I’m glad someone created just this user friendly way to better everyone!” — Anonymous, 48 years old
Impact (i.e. measurable outcomes), if applicable
We hope to measure quantitative and qualitative outcomes by conducting a clinical trial of Treatment as Usual vs. Community Collaboratory on measures of social support, access to healthcare and social services, caregiver burden, and other mental health/quality of life measures for recently discharged hospital patients with long term health conditions.
List of Funding Sources (if applicable)
Currently applying for an NSF SBIR Phase I