The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Kansas City 2015, May 2-3

The Lean Lab

The Lean Lab is an innovation laboratory for K-12 education. The Lean Lab launches innovative and excellent education solutions through community events, consulting, and an incubator program. Our ongoing community events serve a diverse, growing network of educators, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders who convene and learn about best practices in innovation and education while offering and sharing their expertise. The incubator program is an annual application-based fellowship where fellows turn early-stage solutions into prototypes to test and launch in partnership with schools and students. Additionally, schools and educational organizations take advantage of The Lean Lab's consulting services in innovation to develop new solutions, programs, and services for their communities.

In order to develop educators and community leaders as entrepreneurs who better Kansas City education, The Lean Lab upholds the following core beliefs:

Creativity & Innovation. The Lean Lab is committed to enlivening the work in education with innovation and creativity. The Lean Lab commits to supporting precesses that promote innovation and creativity, both internally in our work, and externally in how we support the work of others.

Connected Community. The Lean Lab acknowledges the necessity of connected communities. We believe in the power of bringing people together. The Lean Lab commits to convening people on an ongoing basis, as well as practicing reciprocity in helping other communities and organizations achieve their missions.

Child-Focused. The Lean Lab exists to create the conditions where all children have access to an excellent education. In this vein, The Lean Lab commits to maintaining a steadfast and diligent focus on the aspirations and needs of children in our local communities. The Lean Lab commits to supporting ventures, ideas, and organizations that ultimately benefit all students in our communities.

Commitment to Diversity. The Lean Lab embraces diversity in all its forms - racially, economically, culturally, organizationally, etc. The Lean Lab acknowledges the diversity of urban cities and will work to consistently reflect the diversity that exists.

What new functionality we are looking for

We would like to see a website that more clearly demonstrates what we do through integrated branding (events, consulting, incubator program). Ideally, each Lean Lab brand would be integrated with our social media platforms, ticketing, and payment processing to make our sales cycle and on-boarding more seamless. Navigation between each brand would be clear and simple both for web-based and mobile browsers. The ability for us to add blog posts, additional media, and new events is essential, so some backend system that is simple to use would be great. Finally, we would love to see a design element that continues the idea of our logo's switchboard/lab theme to visually lead the user through each of the functional elements of the website to visually build our brand.

How the new functionality will help

We oftentimes hear from the many people we meet with that they visited our website, but "still aren't clear about what The Lean Lab does." We acknowledge this frustration with both current and new clients, but in our efforts to address the problems, we have been limited by our lack of skills involving coding/web development. We currently build our website through a drag-and-drop tool, so everything from color, style, navigation, menu bars, etc., is extremely limited. As we continue to grow and more administrators, educators, and Kansas City leaders begin engaging with us, it is critical that we capture their interest immediately upon entering our site. Currently over 50% of our visitors only visit 1 page and many users leave within 5-10 seconds. Furthermore, we have had to use third party sites for all of our ticketing and event coordination, thereby adding another step for clients to get lost in the process of engaging with us.

We would love the opportunity to work with a dedicated team who has ideas on how to ease these steps for our users, while providing an eye-catching and engaging website that reflects our mission of innovation in education.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

3 Messages from Supporters

2015-03-24 13:39:40 UTC
Jean Nobile

Katie and Carrie are kick ass women who are making huge sacrifices to fill the need they found in the education world. The irony associated with the future innovators in our country (children) and the lack of innovative practices involved in their daily lives (education system) is astounding and devastating to understand. Give 'em something great to work with so they can take their brand to the next level & continue making a difference!

2015-03-24 15:57:25 UTC
Luke Norris

I have never been so excited about the future of education in Kansas City as I was when I got a chance to learn about LeanLab and see the amazing work and passion Katie and Carrie bring to their work, and the KC community. Their approach to applied learning--helping people build skills/muscle in innovation is the most profound way to impact the system of education.

2015-03-25 23:40:13 UTC
Neil Thawani

As a developer, I support these folks. Huge fan.

Our Mission

The Lean Lab envisions deeply connected communities where all kids have access to excellent and innovative educational opportunities. Therefore, our mission is to create these opportunities by launching innovative, excellent education solutions. The theory of change is to accelerate students' access to these solutions, so that by launching 8 ventures annually, with each venture agreeing to impact at least 500 students in 5 years, we will have built the capacity to impact all 70,000 public school students in KCMO in less than 20 years.