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The best source for news and information about crowdfunding for good.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: April 2015

Reality Crowd TV Receives the 2015 Comcast Regional Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs Award

Reality Crowd TV one of 32 finalists to go on and compete for the Innovators 4 Entrepreneurs Grand Prize to be voted on April 27th, 2015.

Hartford, CT (PRWEB) April 22nd, 2015 – Comcast Corporation, a U.S. based international mass media conglomerate and the nation’s largest cable company and home internet service provider has started a new program to promote budding new entrepreneurs. The Company has recently created The Innovators 4 Entrepreneurs contest in which they are seeking to cultivate young entrepreneurs and assist them through technology and by providing seed capital. The 32 finalist receive a check for $10,000 and the grand prize is an additional $20,000.

Support Reality Crowd TV by voting for them Here!

There is also a mentorship aspect to the program in which the winner will have access to Comcast Executives, Sam Schwartz and Louis Toth, as well as other well-known and accomplished entrepreneurs like Robert Irvine and Patrick Fitzgerald. The company has selected 32 applicants out of thousands to be their regional finalists and go on to compete for the grand prize. Out of the 32 finalists, one will be voted on for the grand prize of $20,000. Voting will be held on April 27th, 2015.

With a bit of irony, one of the Comcast finalists, Reality Crowd TV, (RCTV) is also a company with a mission to help entrepreneurs, and has been doing so since its inception. Founded by, Manolis Sfinarolakis, in December of 2013, Reality Crowd TV engaged in a nationwide tour across the United States which included speaking engagements in Connecticut, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Jacksonville, Austin, Houston, Denver, and Seattle in an effort to evangelize the nascent crowdfunding ecosystem and the many participants in it.

RCTV plans to use the regional prize of $10,000, as well as the grand prize of $20,000 (if awarded), to add new features to their community, revamp their website presence, and purchase software systems to help manage their ever growing business inquiries. They also plan on applying for additional grant programs that will support the hiring of employees in the Northeast region of the United States.

Earlier this year, RCTV launched its new Virtual Incubator and Crowdfunding Network (VICN).

VICN is a Quora (quora.com) like platform designed for its users to draw upon the collective knowledge of the community to help entrepreneurs learn all the nuances of launching a start-up company. The platform functions like a social media site that allows entrepreneurs to connect with each other to share knowledge and resources.

RCTV will host their Virtual Crowdfunding Summit later this year as well, which will have many of the nation’s leading minds in crowdfunding speaking at the summit.

New Platform for Community Projects Launches

Liz Deering has created 121Giving as a platform to do crowdfunding for community projects. The first four projects are already being funded. Recently, we connected with her to learn about the effort; here’s what she told us.

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

While crowdfunding platforms are certainly not new, the way in which 121Giving has developed the technology – first as an ecommerce marketplace where cause-minded brands and nonprofits can do business together, then building out a charity site where nonprofits can publish their fundraising campaigns and show donors what their support will do to help their cause, and show donors exactly where their donation dollars are going – it’s the very first time this approach to fundraising and connecting companies, causes, and consumers has been done by any company on one platform!

The startup is hoping to help the city’s nonprofits raise over $250,000 in donations over the next 30 days through social media, word of mouth, and local media support. Right now, there are four crowdfunding campaigns that Austin citizens can donate to help Austin nonprofits urgently needing medical, cleaning and educational supplies; clothing; furniture; food and hygiene products; home goods, and non-perishable goods to help cancer patients, AID/HIV patients, homeless families, and low-income individuals that could use a helping hand to get their lives back on track.

How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

The startup is hoping to help the city’s nonprofits raise over $250,000 in donations over the next 30 days through social media, word of mouth, and local media support. Right now, there are four crowdfunding campaigns that Austin citizens can donate to help Austin nonprofits urgently needing medical, cleaning and educational supplies; clothing; furniture; food and hygiene products; home goods, and non-perishable goods to help cancer patients, AID/HIV patients, homeless families, and low-income individuals that could use a helping hand to get their lives back on track.

These include:

  • Front Steps: they help the city’s homeless find safe, affordable and long-term housing, and are hoping to raise $215,000 to provide 250 move-in kits for people relocating off the streets to transitional or permanent housing
  • Color Cancer: they serve cancer patients in Austin/Central Texas and are hoping to raise enough money to provide 50 cases of high-protein nutritional Ensure for cancer sufferers
  • Project Transitions: they serve people infected with HIV/AIDS and are hoping to raise $2,300 for medical, cleaning and comfort supplies to help 30-plus individuals cared for yearly at Doug’s House, the only Central Texas hospice facility for those with HIV/AIDS.
  • Rebuilding Together Austin: they are dedicated to finding and rebuilding safe, healthy homes for low-income residents in Austin and hope to raise $3,200 to help 30 families with home repair tools and volunteer supplies.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

121Giving is already hosting four crowdfunding campaigns that support Central Texas nonprofits. Ongoing and future campaigns will cover a range of products that nonprofits urgently need, including office, medical, cleaning and educational supplies; clothing; computers; furniture; food and hygiene products; electronics; home goods, non-perishable goods and more.

Check out the campaign:
Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @121Giving

New Campaign Launches to Meet Emergency Needs for Survivors & Families of the Kenyan College Terror Attack

Houses with Hope’s “United4Kenya” GoFundMe crowdfunding seeks to raise $200,000

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, April 23, 2015 – Houses with Hope, the U.S. based non-profit dedicated to assisting needy individuals and families in Africa, launched a GoFundMe campaign on Monday entitled “United4Kenya” to aid in providing immediate relief for the survivors and families of those killed in the April 2, 2015 attack at Garissa University College in Kenya.

The “United4Kenya” campaign’s goal is to raise $200,000 to provide emergency medical care, grief counselors and funeral expenses for victims and their families.

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Just three weeks ago, on April 2, 2015, Al-Shabaab terrorists stormed the Garissa University College campus in Kenya. The attack killed 148 people and injured 79 more, officially becoming the second deadliest attack in the country’s history.

“While this massacre happened three weeks ago, the lingering needs of victims and their families still remain,” said Houses with Hope’s Founder and President Ronna Jordan. “The surviving students that were wounded in the attacks were taken to the only public hospital in Nairobi, which unfortunately, isn’t equipped to handle that amount of people. Funds are needed now to help transfer these patients to private hospitals where they can receive adequate treatment for their injuries.”

Funds raised through “United4Kenya” will aid in providing this medical care as well as assist the families of the deceased, most of whom are extremely poor, and are struggling to pay for burial expenses.

“We know that $200,000 seems like a lot to raise in a short amount of time,” said Jordan. “But if only 40,000 people would simply donate $5 for what they would typically spend on a daily coffee, it would make a world of difference to these people and help them begin to rebuild hope for themselves and their country. Every little bit helps.”

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To donate to the “United4Kenya” campaign, please visit http://www.gofundme.com/united4kenya.

Houses with Hope has worked to help Kenyans in need since 2000. The organization, whose signature issue is providing housing for disadvantaged families in Africa, also provides assistance to humanitarian crises victims around the world. For more information on Houses with Hope, please visit, www.houseswithhope.org.

About Houses with Hope:

Founded in 2003, Houses with Hope is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in the United States. Since its inception, the organization’s primary focus has been helping orphans and disadvantaged families in Africa. The organization has built homes for families in need, provided assistance to orphans, schools and medical clinics, and has also helped fund local water projects. Houses with Hope also provides assistance for victims of humanitarian crises around the world, as well as disadvantaged U.S. families.

Funding Circle Announces $150 Million Investment to Fuel Growth

  • New investors include DST Global, Baillie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRock, Sands Capital Ventures and Temasek
  • Investment comes as lending through the Funding Circle marketplace passes $1 billion globally, benefitting over 8,000 businesses in UK and US
  • Chitra Nayak, previously COO of Salesforce’s Platform business, joins as US COO; and David Yu, previously CEO and CTO of Betfair, joins Funding Circle as Global CPO

Funding Circle, the world’s leading online marketplace for business lending, today announces it has raised $150 million (~£100 million) in equity capital, in a round led by DST Global, with participation from Baillie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRock, Sands Capital Ventures and Temasek. Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive placement agent for the oversubscribed round. The new funding will be used to consolidate the UK and US markets and fuel further growth.

The investment comes as lending to small businesses via the marketplace surges past the $1 billion mark globally, following sustained growth in both the UK and US markets. Investors at Funding Circle are on track to lend $1 billion over the next year, showcasing the huge potential of marketplace lending on the global economy.

Launched in 2010, Funding Circle is sparking a revolution in the way small businesses access finance, disrupting the traditional model of banking. Through the Funding Circle marketplace in the US, qualified individual investors and institutions can invest in successful small businesses looking for growth capital. In the UK, the Funding Circle marketplace is currently the fifth largest net lender to small businesses*, while in the US, lending in the first quarter of this year was seven times larger than lending in the first quarter of 2014.

Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle said: “We believe Funding Circle is the future of small business finance globally, and it’s a vision we share with some of the largest and most respected investors in the world. Today’s news is the next step on our journey to creating a sustainable, category-defining business in a multi-billion dollar global market, where businesses will come to the marketplace to borrow from all types of investors. This investment, alongside prudent risk management, will ensure Funding Circle’s long term future.”

Sam Hodges, US Managing Director and co-founder said: “Today’s capital injection will allow us to accelerate efforts in the United States and help us better serve the 28 million Main Street small businesses many banks have left behind. This year, we’ll continue to invest heavily in technology and talent as we build a transparent, sustainable and diverse marketplace that helps American small businesses get access to the $40 billion per month they need to expand and grow.”

“We are delighted to support Samir and the team at Funding Circle as they continue to grow and deliver value to both sides of their marketplace,” said Yuri Milner, founder of DST Global.

In addition, Funding Circle has bolstered its leadership team with the appointments of Chitra Nayak as US Chief Operating Officer and David Yu as Global Chief Product Officer.

Nayak, the former COO of Platform at Salesforce, has extensive experience building global businesses. She grew Salesforce’s pipeline from $350 million to $2 billion during her time leading the company’s global sales development. The former CEO and CTO of Betfair, Yu has extensive experience driving forward successful technology companies. As Betfair’s CEO, he grew revenues to over $600 million by emphasizing the development of new products and spearheading the company’s geographic expansion.

In total, Funding Circle has now raised $273 million in equity funding, and existing investors include Index Ventures, Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital. In July last year, Funding Circle announced its Series D round for $65 million, and welcomed Robert K. Steel, CEO of Perella Weinberg Partners, to the board.

Michael Rubin, Managing Partner of Sands Capital Ventures said: “We look forward to supporting Funding Circle as it continues to transform small business lending with efficiency, transparency and industry leading customer service.”

By bringing together industry leading risk management and cutting edge technology, Funding Circle’s proven marketplace model enables businesses to access finance in days compared to months with a bank. Independent research has found that three in four businesses would come to Funding Circle first in the future, ahead of a bank.**

*Based on Q4 net lending figures included in February’s Funding for Lending data, and Q4 Funding Circle lending (£98.5m) minus repayments (£26.7m).

** Nesta, Banking on Each Other, 2013 – Funding Circle UK data only.

 

2nd Annual ‘Give Local America’ Hopes To Beat 2014’s $53 Million In One Day

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

The current record for a single day crowdfunding event was set on May 6, 2014 at $53 million. On May 5th, 2015, nonprofit organizations across the country will work to break that record using the online platform Kimbia for the second annual Give Local America event.

The remarkable program will involve thousands of nonprofits, each promoting its own cause. Some community foundations organized nonprofits in their respective communities for a collaborative effort, like the Seattle Foundation, which raised over $12 million with the nonprofits in its community.

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Kimbia’s Managing Director for the Give Local America initiative Lori Finch will join me for a live discussion about the prospect’s for this year’s effort to set a new record for a single day crowdfunding event. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Tweet questions beforehand to @devindthorpe.

More about Kimbia:

Kimbia is a flexible, best-of-breed, online fundraising and crowdfunding platform that enables nonprofits to create deeper and more valuable donor relationships. It does this by helping nonprofits to engage more omni-channel supporters, who give to and share the mission across many channels. In other words, it’s a fundraising platform and campaigns optimized for the Internet and the age of mobile, putting donors at the center of all development activities. Ultimately this approach results in greater brand awareness, giving and lifelong loyalty.

Finch’s bio:

With an extensive background working with nonprofit organizations, Lori is uniquely suited in her role of managing relationships with Kimbia’s community partners, helping to ensure their success. Lori serves as the Managing Director of Give Local America coordinating the strategy behind the largest single day, online crowdfunding event in history, raising $53 million in 2014. Prior to Kimbia, Lori spent six years at The San Diego Foundation where she served as Director of Nonprofit Programs, developing education resources and tools for hundreds of local nonprofits. She holds an MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and a B.S.B.A in Finance from Georgetown University.

Let Your Love Flow For The Environment With The Refreshing Release of American Made Glass Love Bottles on Kickstarter

It’s almost Earth Day, wondering what can you do to help support our environment every day?

Jump start your heart, embrace your love of the environment, and let the water flow with the new American Made release of Love Bottle the well-known reusable glass bottles made of 100% non-toxic materials on Kickstarter now!

Please help spread the word about their crowd-funding launch today: http://kck.st/1DrQRXt

Raise your glass to this refreshing eco-friendly business founded by female entrepreneur and Mom of two, Minna Yoo of Portland, Oregon with their first run of bottles five years ago. Studying neuroscience and nutrition in college, Minna was seeking a way to find the best ways through preventative medicine to achieve and improve optimal health. She says, “water became an obvious answer as water is one of our basic needs, but many Americans don’t drink enough of it.” Drinking out of her own glass bottle she had hand-written the word “love” on with tape, she realized her mission to create “love” as a forever message in a bottle.

The new 500ml Love Bottles will introduce a slimmer tapered silhouette bottle design fitting almost all cupholders for easy transport, will shine with dual color designs by professional artists on the bottle, and at the bottom will showcase a raised heart affirming “U R Loved” as your message in a bottle. The team at Love Bottle is rallying for your support fundraising for the release of 250,000 bottles Made in the USA.

Whether you are an on-the-go commuter enjoying your refreshing water at the office, a parent staying hydrated to keep motivated throughout the day, a teen on a walk in the park with friends, let Love Bottle become a part of your everyday love and appreciation for the environment. Love Bottle’s mission to love our planet, love our bodies, love our communities, love our voices, and love ourselves resonates throughout their passionate mission behind this earth-friendly company.

Love Bottle has developed a program called Choose Your Bottle, Choose Your Charity as a way to highlight, bring awareness, and raise funds for causes that are important to you. Each month they highlight a new charity that needs support. You can write in to nominate an organization that you feel is doing great things in this world, and they help raise awareness for your cause. Love Bottle donates $1 of their profits to 3 different organizations. 2 standing partners and a 3rd rotating charity. You can choose to give to Global Water to get clean water to people who need it, or to Arbor Day Foundation, which will plant 1 tree for every bottle sold. Their first rotating charity will be Friends of the Children.

Love Bottle currently does have their product available online but are also transitioning into their new American Made bottles that will be produced with an expected delivery date of July 2015 available for consumers.

Learn more on Minna’s company at: LoveBottleUSA.com

Seed Equity CEO Joins GoodCrowd.info for Live Interview

In the three years since the JOBS Act was signed into law by President Obama, the world has seen a tremendous proliferation of equity crowdfunding sites. Many, however, anticipated a more rapid implementation of the Act’s Title III rules for investment crowdfunding from ordinary investors. A small group of companies organized themselves as broker-dealers under the old rules and are now doing business. Seed Equity is one of this breed.

Founder and CEO Todd Crosland says, “Seed Equity was built by successful and experienced entrepreneurs and investors, who aren’t only experts in the industry, but have a passion for it. Seed Equity currently has investors, entrepreneurs and members in over 90 countries and has made one international investment to date in a startup that is based in London and came out of the Tech Stars London accelerator.”

“The company’s goal is to connect startups and growth companies with investors from around the world. Those investors can then like, follow, mentor and invest in these startups, which may have the ability to possibly make a large impact,” Todd continues.

Like the other broker dealers in the space, Seed Equity screens deals carefully. “Our investment committee does its due diligence when vetting companies wishing to raise capital on Seed Equity’s platform. That due diligence includes a background check on all officers, directors and 20% shareholders. After that’s completed, then and only then, can a company list their offering on our platform,” Todd says.

There is growing excitement in the industry about “Regulation A+” and Seed Equity intends to be a player in that space as well. “New SEC rules known as Reg A+ provide significantly higher fund raising levels of up to $50m in a 12 month period and provide a landmark attempt by the SEC to allow non-accredited investors to invest alongside institutions and accredited investors. Seed Equity Ventures will look to utilize this new rule as an option for companies it raises capital for,” Todd concludes.

The platform is an appropriate place for social entrepreneurs to raise capital, especially when they have a great technology and growth prospects.

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Todd will join me for a live discussion about the platform and how it can be used by social entrepreneurs to raise money. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Tweet questions beforehand to @devindthorpe.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Seed Equity:

Seed Equity Ventures is a registered broker dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member of both FINRA and SIPC. Seed Equity Ventures provides investment banking services to startups and growth companies from around the world.

We believe the best entrepreneurs should be funded, no matter who they are or where they live.

Investors throughout the globe should have a voice to choose what the future should look like. They should be able to support entrepreneurs who will build that future.

Right now, only entrepreneurs in a few select areas who know the right people can be funded and only then if their vision matches the criteria and schedule of certain VC firms or angel investors.

There are a few thousand VCs in the world who control which entrepreneurial ventures live and which die. We believe that power should be given to millions of people throughout the world.

Seed Equity was founded to provide growth equity to entrepreneurs and their startups in exciting industries throughout the world. Whether they are located in San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Bangalore, London, Shanghai or Tel Aviv, Seed Equity’s mission is to help find the best and brightest entrepreneurs and connect them with global investors.

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity

Todd’s bio:

A seasoned entrepreneur, Mr. Crosland has demonstrated the ability to build successful teams and companies. Mr. Crosland was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Interbank FX, LLC (“IBFX”;www.IBFX.com), from 2001 until he sold the firm in 2011. IBFX was a Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer registered with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. IBFX was also authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

IBFX was a worldwide leader in retail Forex trading services. IBFX offered individual traders, fund managers and institutional customer’s proprietary technology and tools to trade Forex online. IBFX saw Global customers grow to over 40,000, in more than 140 countries. Annual trading volume reached $750 billion. IBFX had 120 employees and offices in Beijing, China; Seoul, South Korea; Sydney, Australia; Salt Lake City, Utah and London, England.

IBFX and Mr. Crosland have received many awards, including: The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and numerous Inc. 500 awards.
Mr. Crosland’s career includes many real estate development projects. From 1992 – 2008, Mr. Crosland developed over 1,000 residential building lots. The largest project was the 14,000 acre development, Wolf Creek Ranch, (www.wolfcreekranch.com), located near Park City, Utah.

In 1996, Mr. Crosland purchased Rex Industries, (www.rexindustries.com), a 75 year old Industrial Steel Manufacturing company. Mr. Crosland remains the owner and Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Crosland holds a B.A. in Business (Business Finance) from the University of Utah. He also currently holds the following Securities Licenses: Series 7, 24, and 63 and previously held series 3 and 30 Licenses.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to our content here.

Devin D. Thorpe

“A” Student Needs Help To Attend University Camp

Lucas Mckenzie wants to attend a career exploration program this summer in hopes of helping him to prepare to become a doctor. In order to make this happen, he, with help from his mother, is raising money here. Recently, we connected with his mother Darlene Guemsey, to learn about the effort; here’s what she told us.

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

I’m helping my son raise the tuition for a quality summer college experience. Here’s his pitch:

I am a junior at Cypress falls High School and have been nominated to represent my school and community with Envision experience, with 10 different medical universities to choose from.

By attending the tour, I will join other motivated students from around the country for an experiential leadership/career exploration program.

As you can imagine, this will be a powerful experience, enabling me to interact with respected professionals in various fields of medicine, while building relationships with students who will be my future colleagues.

Attending this program will enable me to further my interest in the field of medicine and reach my career goals.

I maintain a 3.75 GPA, am involved in ROTC and 4C activities and was recently awarded for exemplary academic participation!

Imagine if you had been given this opportunity for a life-changing experience when you were in school and were unable to participate for lack of funds. That is why I am writing to you today.

My participation in the program depends on whether I can raise $3700 in sponsorships. The program down payment is $450 and the rest is due in 15 days after that. I am investing every dollar I can of my own money to make sure I don’t miss out on this unique experience and am also taking on extra jobs to raise the funds I need. In addition, through my family, friends and neighbors, I am hopeful about reaching this goal! My down payment must be paid no later than May 15th, and fund raising will end on May 1st.

Your support for my sponsorship request would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! God Bless.

Sincerely,
Lucas Mckenzie

To donate go here,
https://enroll.envisionexperience.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x89662d445

User name-mckenzie
password-Redheadcow3189

lucas

How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

The full tuition is 3700.00
place holder – 450.00
anynom donors -905.00
balance = 2345.00

The 3700.00 goes a dorm for 9 days, 2 meals a day, transportation around town, 5 days of hands -on experience in a real hospital and a tour of Hofstra University. The tuition does NOT cover round trip airfare, spending money or breakfast.

Envision Overview from Envision Experience on Vimeo.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

I’m helping my son to raise funds,so that he may attend a 9 day tour of his choice of 10 medical universities!

My son is a very bright, well mannered, and respecting young man! He has never been in trouble and loves school. I’ve been raising him without his father’s support for 3 years now! I cannot come up with what he needs on my own, so Im hoping the quote ” It takes a village to raise a child” will come into play here!

This is a wonderful opportunity for him. The students will also have the privilege to take in the attractions in several of the cities they visit! They will also get 2 college credits if they participate!

I could go on and on about my son but then it would be a book!

Check out the campaign:
Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @funnymomiof7

Mobile Payments App for Restaurant Goers Seeks to Feed the Hungry

Full Society Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Finalize App Development

Baltimore, Md. (April 16, 2015) – Up-and-coming tech startup Full Society has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the final stages of development for its mobile payments app. Once completed, the app will empower restaurant goers to donate to charities fighting hunger while dining out, all within a single mobile payment platform.

Full Society is currently in its seed funding stage and is participating in ETC Baltimore’s Accelerate Baltimore Program. The startup is one of just a handful of companies that were selected for the program.

The campaign will run for 30 days on the Indiegogo website. As part of its fundraising campaign, Full Society has partnered with Dinner Lab to provide perks for donations of $125 or more, including memberships and discounts to Dinner Lab events. The Indiegogo campaign is available at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-restaurant-bill-pay-app-that-gives-back/x/10474900.

“Even though hunger is such a well-known issue, most people only consider donating to charities around the holiday season,” says co-founder and CEO Paige Cantlin. “The Full Society app will give users the opportunity to give in small increments year-round each time they enjoy the privilege of dining out.”

Full Society believes that their app will not only make paying restaurant bills fast and easy, but will also take significant steps towards solving America’s hunger epidemic. Currently about 46 million Americans struggle with hunger, of which 12 million are children. Once the Full Society app is launched and for the remainder of 2015, all donations will go directly to two partnering charities: Helping Up Mission and Paul’s Place.

“Helping Up Mission and Full Society share core values centered on serving others in need and impacting our neighborhoods, cities and beyond,” says Robert Gehman, Executive Director of Helping Up Mission. “We are very grateful for our partnership with Full Society, and applaud them for their vision and compassion!”

The startup’s research into mobile payment options and evolving credit card technology revealed that, within the next five to ten years, mobile bill-pay options will become rampant and necessary for daily living expenses. The Full Society app fulfills that need in 2015 through an easy-to-use interface, which caters to socially active, tech-savvy food enthusiasts who want to pay, split, tip and give back all in one place. On the back end, Full Society is creating software that will link to restaurants’ existing POS systems, and allow servers and restaurant owners to track orders and send the bills–sans paper–to their patrons.

In preparation for the app’s release in summer 2015, the startup is seeking city dwellers in the Baltimore and D.C. area to spread the word about Full Society, participate in their Indiegogo campaign, and sign up as beta users to test out the first version of the app.

Learn more about Full Society’s mission here: http://www.fullsociety.org/. To sign up for the beta, visit http://www.fullsociety.org/new-page-1/.

About Full Society

Full Society is an innovative technology company devoted to simultaneously finding creative and sustainable ways to solve both real business and pressing social problems. Founded by Paige Cantlin, an MBA student at Johns Hopkins University, the app was initially conceived as part of a class project. Full Society’s mobile payments app is expected to launch in summer 2015.

Repairing Our Global Food System 5AM Provisions, Inc. is Launching on May 3rd on Indiegogo

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca., April 15th, 2015 – 5AM Provisions, Inc. is on a mission to make amaranth to a sustainable staple food for global food security. This May is an important month for 5AM Provisions, Inc. The Whole Grain Council announced amaranth as the grain of the month in May, while May is also the Celiac Awareness month. It is the best timing to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and create awareness about the benefits of amaranth. To get a basic understanding of amaranth, 5AM Provisions, Inc. has created this infographic:

http://www.5-am.co/5am-amaranth-infographic/

“I’ve been working on this idea for over 2 years,” says Waldemar Juschin, founder of 5AM Provisions, Inc., “timing couldn’t get any better to launch our company this May on Indiegogo.” On May 3rd, 2015, 5AM Provisions, Inc., will have their products on Indiegogo for pre-order. 5AM products consist of cold-pressed amaranth oil, amaranth flour, and amaranth grain. “We’ve developed the technology, created our branding, and did extensive research about the health and environmental benefits of amaranth. Our last piece to get started is taking pre-orders. With achieving only $200,000 worth of pre-orders, we will be able to open our facility and ship our products,” says Waldemar Juschin.

Amaranth is an ancient grain that is high in iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and calcium. Further, amaranth is a complete protein, containing adequate proportion of all nine essential amino acids and is especially high in lysine. Importantly, amaranth is a gluten-free grain and the perfect source of protein, minerals, and vitamins for people with celiac disease and those with a vegan diet.

PastedGraphic-3 Amaranth-gluten-free-recipes 5AM Organic amaranth oil cardiovascular disease

 

Amaranth has a secret; a mighty nutrient called Squalene. Amaranth oil is the highest plant-based source of squalene. Studies have shown that amaranth oil and squalene may help to reduce blood pressure, used for treatment of cardiovascular disease, inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and improve skin related issues.

“My mother, Elvira, passed away in November 2013, after living with cancer for over seven years,” says Waldemar Juschin, “during her last year, her health got worse and we looked into alternative medicine and came across amaranth oil. The health benefits that my mother received from amaranth oil were simply amazing. Her quality of life increased by so much, that I made it my personal mission to make amaranth oil available to those who really need it.”

Amaranth is drought resistant, takes less than half the amount of water to grow than wheat, and only one-third the amount of water than oat grains. One of the most important concerns of agricultural sector is water shortage and we can resolve that issue by replacing traditionally used grains with amaranth grain.

“With amaranth, we are able to cut down our meat consumption because it has a complete protein profile. Our high meat consumption is one of the reasons why we are facing a global agricultural crisis,” says Waldemar Juschin. Another environmental benefit of amaranth is that it can save 6 million sharks every year. “Squalene is a highly demanded ingredient in the cosmetic industry. Most of the squalene currently comes from the livers of deep-sea sharks,” he continues, “once we scale our company by expanding our manufacturing, we can provide a global supply of plant-based substitute for shark-derived squalene.”

5AM crowdfunding

After 5AM Provisions, Inc. expands its manufacturing, it will become vertically integrated and grow its own amaranth grain in East Africa while creating jobs for hundreds of local farmers. The Company’s focus to create jobs is particularly narrowed down to empowering female farmers. These new jobs will improve the female farmers’ quality of life by providing them with annual income that is above the poverty line, an accessible, nutrient-dense food source, and preserving their farms for future use.

Waldemar Juschin wants to start a global conversation. A conversation that will finally provide a solution for unresolved issues that have plagued our planet for the past generations. In his Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, Waldemar will reach out to Jamie Oliver, Sheryl Sandberg, and Leonardo DiCaprio. For what and why, we will have to wait until the video is released.

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