Archive for the ‘Collaboration Stories’ Category

SaveUp: Helping Americans Play Their Way to a Better Financial Future

Posted on: November 12th, 2013 by social venture network No Comments

Guest Post by Priya Haji, SVN 2007 Innovation Award Winner and co-founder of SaveUp

Priya Haji is featured on Season two of Trep Life, an Inc.com original series exploring the life of an entrepreneur. The series is produced by SVN member Malachi Leopold. 

Priya_HajiSaveUp was born out of the recession. Americans were and still are dealing with some hefty financial problems, and I knew there had to be an innovative way to use technology and business to help solve them.

My co-founder Sammy Shreibati and I came across behavioral economics research on the success of prize-linked savings and lottery bonds outside of the US.  We also studied the way that gamification and new technology interaction have changed the way people interact with almost everything.

With SaveUp, we’ve taken that research and adapted it to become a new way to reward Americans for good financial choices, like saving money and reducing debt. SaveUp is free to any American and can be used with any financial institution. Users register their financial accounts, earn credits for saving money and paying off debt, and use those credits to play for prizes in a fun, daily game of merchant funded sweepstakes including a $2 million jackpot, travel, electronics and scholarships.

The most amazing part is that it’s working—SaveUp users report that the program helps them save more, pay off debt faster, and stay motivated as they work towards their financial goals. Since we launched SaveUp in 2011, our users have rebuilt over $1 billion in assets—and that number is growing every day.

The next challenge we face is sharing SaveUp with millions of Americans to build better financial habits and achieve their financial goals in surprisingly fun way.

I really enjoyed sharing our journey in the Trep Life series. They captured the real challenges of building the venture, and at the same time becoming a mom.  I hope this video can inspire other women and other social entrepreneurs to jump across the line and dive in to try to solve big problems in new ways.

Feeling inspired, delighted, or learned something new? Please share with a friend! And also be sure to check out new episodes airing every other week on Inc.com/TrepLife. For more behind the scenes footage of entrepreneur life follow Trep Life on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Back to the Roots Hustle to be the Next Agricultural Disrupter

Posted on: October 4th, 2013 by social venture network No Comments

Guest Post by Nikhil Arora, Co-Founder, Back to the Roots

Back to the Roots was founded during our last semester in college when my co-founder Alex and I heard in a lecture a random, crazy fact that intrigued the both of us – you could possibly grow gourmet mushrooms on entirely used coffee grounds.

What started off as an urban mushroom farm growing gourmet oyster mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds has since transitioned into a company with a far greater vision – to help every family across the country connect with their food again, through fun and easy to use products. Our first product was the Mushroom Kit, a small brown box that yields fresh, edible mushrooms in just 10 days! We launched our 2nd product, the AquaFarm, just a few months ago. It’s a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food – concentrating all the amazing features of aquaponics into a tank small enough to inspire anyone to become an urban farmer – green thumb or not!
We currently sell the Mushroom Kit throughout the country in Whole Foods, Nordstrom, and Home Depot.  We launched the AquaFarm this summer into Whole Foods & Nordstrom, and it will be sold nationally in Petco starting October 27th.

It’s been an incredibly fun, challenging, and exciting time for the company recently – a new product, our biggest distribution opportunity to date, and the chance to really elevate our brand from “the mushroom guys” to “Back to the Roots.”

Amongst all this change this past year, what hasn’t changed is the core values this company lives and grows by – Hustle, Passion, Family, and Universal Happiness.  We believe in our vision to our core, and are willing to give it everything we’ve got – through all the ups and downs.

And that’s why Trep Life is amazing and we were so excited to be part of the series. They’re capturing the true spirit of entrepreneurship and they’re showing that there’s really no secret to success  – it’s as simple as “are you willing to give everything you have to create something you absolutely believe needs to exist in the world?” If the answer is yes, you’ll be just fine. We hope you enjoy our episode and get inspired to launch your own business!

Feeling inspired, delighted, or learned something new? Please share with a friend! And also be sure to check out new episodes airing every other Tuesday on Inc.com/TrepLife. For more behind the scenes footage of entrepreneur life follow Trep Life on Facebook and Twitter!