CivicXcel Team Highlight: FAMin

On February 10th, Civic Hall Labs will be hosting a CivicXcel demo day where each of the teams in our accelerator give live demos of what they’ve been working on. If you’re interested in attending the event, contact Savannah Badalich at savannah@civichalllabs.org.

In anticipation of the event, we’re catching up with a few of our CivicXcel teams to find out what made them come up with their ideas, and how their experience in the program has been.

This week, we’re talking with Vittorio Watson, the founder of FAMin.

Founded in 2016, FAMin’s mission is to give families the power to stay connected and to share resources. People use FAMin to both share moments in their children’s lives, and crowdfund their needs alongside family and friends.

They were among the first teams selected for CivicXcel, and it’s been exciting to watch them iterate on this idea.

We caught up with Vittorio to learn more about how he came up with this idea, and how his experience in CivicXcel has been so far.

What life experiences have made you personally invested in bringing FAMin to life?

Growing up in Brooklyn in a non-traditional home. Seeing firsthand the effects of fatherless homes around me and in the neighborhood drove me to want to make a change in my family and in my community.

What does ultimate success look like for FAMin? How do you picture it helping people?

The true mark of success for FAMin would be for families to remain connected and to reduce the number of underrepresented families going through the legal system. Ideally, families learn the importance of saving and finance and meet their goals together.

What have you learned through CivicXcel that has meaningfully changed the way you are approaching your work?

Through working with CivicXcel we have learned that design thinking is an ongoing process if you intend to build a product around the needs of your user. It’s not something you can just tackle in the beginning of your project and think that you’ve got it figured out.

What’s one piece of advice that you would suggest to other people trying to jumpstart their own civic tech idea? *

I would suggest that people seeking to jumpstart their own civic tech idea get out and talk to their users. There is no better way to know if you are actually building the right thing than to actually speak to your user.

Thank you very much to Vittorio for speaking with us.

If you’re interested in knowing more about these projects or meeting the creators at the demo day, please reach out at savannah@civichalllabs.org.

CivicXcel is sponsored by Comcast NBC Universal.