Home Stretch

To our 150 backers: thank you for joining us to create the Uni! Many of you have been working hard to spread the word, and we appreciate that, especially in these closing days. We’ve got ten days left to raise a remaining $5K at which point the funding is unlocked and we launch. If we fall short, we go home with nothing. Kickstarter is not a traditional approach, but we like the decisiveness. Please recommend us to a friend or colleague who might donate (http://kck.st/q8K69t). We’ll get there!

We’re excited to build the Uni structure and also the institution behind it, which will staff, support, and run programs. In weak economic times, a new institution needs to be lean and effective. In our field, that means we need to be a catalyst and a value-adding partner for existing nonprofit institutions already doing good work. Our business model is to create a staffed, insured, attractive platform for reaching the urban public, which can be shared by all sorts of partners involved in education and learning who otherwise would lack capacity to “go public” in this way. Leslie wrote a post here about calls we’ve already received from organizations who want to use the Uni as shared infrastructure.

Starting today and through next week, we’ll be on the ground in New York, activating existing relationships and making new ones in preparation for our future here. In keeping with the methodology of the Uni, we’re going outside, near where you already are, so you can stop by and meet us! We have two prototype book cubes and “cones” in tow, and we’ll grab a park bench in these locations, starting this evening:

  • FRI 8/5 5:30-7PM Union Square near playground
  • SAT 8/6 9-11AM Prospect Park near Grand Army Plaza
  • SUN 8/7 12-2PM Central Park near Met

We’ll post more detailed coordinates live on Twitter and our home page. We’d love to meet you, answer questions, and show you a cube.

Finally, back at the MIT shop, Alex and Costanza have been working on perfecting the rubber mold for the Uni cones that function as covers/seats. These will be made of Smooth-Cast 65D liquid plastic supplied by Reynolds Advanced Materials in Brighton, MA, an amazing resource for all kinds of creative projects. As soon as we hit our funding goal, we’ll put in the order and be ready to spin!

Thanks for reading and supporting. Please help us in these last few days by encouraging one friend or colleague to support the Uni. See you in the park!

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The Uni Project is the operating name (DBA) of Street Lab, a 501c3 nonprofit.