Online entrepreneur SaraJoy Pond wants to send a message to users: “Change the world or your money back.”
Pond recently demonstrated that with a good heart and some hard work, it’s possible to reach your goal of improving the world. She and her business partners, Shawn Moore and Josh McLane, won first place and $10,000 in the BYU Social Venture Competition. They will use the money to launch their organization, called the Tipping Bucket.
The Tipping Bucket utilizes social networks to raise money for entrepreneurs who want to change the world but lack enough funding. Through Facebook and iPhone applications, the Tipping Bucket will present a different project each week for the online community to consider.
“These projects may be anything from repairing weathered playground equipment at a park in Provo to starting an AIDS clinic in Western Africa,” said Pond, a PhD student studying Instructional Psychology and Technology.
Site visitors contribute money to the bucket simply by clicking on it; each click adds one dollar. Each of these projects has a funding goal—the “tipping point” that will enable it to launch—and a deadline.
If the bucket tips to the launch point before time runs out, pledged donations are collected and the project moves forward. If not, none of the transactions goes through and a new project gets its turn in the bucket.
Pond and Moore are currently working on developing the Web site and supporting applications, as well as seeking additional funding options to start the organization. They hope to present the first project by January 2010.
The BYU Social Venture Competition requires students to submit a business plan that meets a social need in areas such as poverty, education or energy. The competition encourages students from across campus to share their interests in local, national or global social issues, with awards to the most original and promising ideas. It is sponsored by the Center for Economic Self Reliance, part of the Marriott School of Management.
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1 June 2009