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 The mission of the "Your Mark on the World Center" is to solve the world's biggest problems before 2045 by identifying and championing the work of experts who have created credible plans and programs to end them once and for all.
Crowdfunding for Social Good
Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: July 2014

New Company Helps Low-Wealth Families Start Investing For Free

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Recently, I profiled the SOURCE partnership among Village Capital, the Hitachi Foundation and Investor’s Circle. SOURCE, Solutions from Our Country’s Entrepreneurs seeks to stimulate social entrepreneurship through a competitive process that provides seed capital to curated and cultivated mission-driven ventures. The first cohort is focused on financial services for low wealth populations and two companies have been chosen.

The top two are WiseBanyan, a service to help people begin investing with no fee and as little as $10, and eMoneyPool, a platform to facilitate pooling money to foster savings as an alternative to payday loans.

On Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 3:00 Eastern, I will visit live with Herbert Moore, co-founder of WiseBanyan, and Ross Baird, the executive director of Village Capital about the selection process, the social impacts and Moore’s business. Tune in right here then to watch the interview.

More about Village Capital:

Village Capital builds enterprises that solve the world’s most pressing problems through a unique peer investment model. Village Capital recruits enterprises worldwide addressing major problems in energy, agriculture, health, education, and financial services; operates three-month accelerator programs, and invests in companies at the end picked by their peers. Over the past four years, Village Capital has operated 27 accelerator programs, recruited over 400 companies, and invested in over 40 companies. Alumni–91% of which are still in business–have created 6,000 jobs, served 6 million customers.

More about WiseBanyan:

WiseBanyan is the world’s first free online financial advisor. WiseBanyan recommends, invests, and manages fully-diversified portfolios for clients for free and with no minimums to start. Built on the belief that investing should be a right and not just a privilege, WiseBanyan minimizes fees and helps people start as early as possible. By providing access to high-quality investment expertise to individuals of all levels, WiseBanyan has allowed thousands of clients – many of whom are Millennials – to call themselves investors for the first time. You can sign up for an account in less than 10 minutes starting with just $10, and WiseBanyan takes care of the rest.

Baird’s bio:

Ross developed the Village Capital concept in 2009, and has led the development of 27 programs worldwide, supporting over 400 entrepreneurs. Before launching Village Capital, he worked with First Light Ventures, a seed fund focused on impact investments. Prior to First Light, Ross worked on the development of four education-related start-up ventures: the Indian School Finance Company in Hyderabad, India, the National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and two ventures using technology to promote civic participation. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.Contact:


Herbert Moore

Moore’s bio:

Herbert is the co-founder & CEO of WiseBanyan. He believes that high quality investment service should be available to individuals of all levels. Prior to WiseBanyan, he was the head trader at Ansbacher Investment Management, a quantitatively focused commodity trading advisor in New York. He has also held positions on the investment team at Azimuth Trust, a fund of hedge funds in New York and at Smith Barney, one of the largest wealth managers in the country.

Herbert is passionate about finding ways to bring client focused innovation to the world of personal finance. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Economics from George Washington University and a Masters of Science in Engineering from Stanford University. He holds the series 65 designation and is a registered investment advisor.

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StartSomeGood Pop Up Shop

The crowdfunding site for social entrepreneurs, StartSomeGood, is running a crowdfunding campaign on its own site, calling it a pop up shop, offering a variety of goodies for mission-driven people who are keen to do good.

Among the goodies offered are a number of ebooks, including my book, Crowdfunding for Social Good, which includes a few stories gleaned from the StartSomeGood site. Other items include shirts and posters.

StartSomeGood plans to use the proceeds to support technology upgrades for the site.

On Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 7:00 PM Eastern, CEO Tom Dawkins will join me from Australia for a live discussion about the offering.

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

More about StartSomeGood:

We exist to empower you to become a social innovator. By providing social entrepreneurs, changemakers and non-profits with the tools you need to rally your community and raise funds, together we can turn ideas into action and impact.

The truth is there is no shortage of problems in the world. But the good news is there’s also no shortage of people with the ideas and passion to address those problems. These are our people, the changemakers. Too often however, the vision for change doesn’t come packaged with the resources needed to make it happen. StartSomeGood provides social entrepreneurs with a platform to raise funds and build a community of supporters – all in a fun, engaging and community-driven way. Our site taps into the power of community, allowing social entrepreneurs to ask for financial support from supporters from around the world. We give them the tools to update their supporters and provide unique rewards in exchange for support – on their first campaign, and for future campaigns down the road.

We’ve taken the crowdfunding model – which is growing in popularity world-wide – and customized it to reflect the unique needs of social entrepreneurs.

Tom’s bio:

Tom Dawkins is a serial social entrepreneur and the Australian co-founder of StartSomeGood. He previously founded award-winning Australia non-profit Vibewire and was the first Social Media Director at Ashoka. He has worked with numerous non-profits, associations and government entities to help them tell their stories and build community. He’s founded a film festival, opened Australia’s first co-working space and set-up a Burning Man Theme Camp with his wife Kate. They returned to Australia in 2012 after four years in the US in time for the birth of their first child, Bodhi. 

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

MWCN To Recognize Utah’s Fastest Growing Companies

For the past 20 years, the MountainWest Capital Network has been recognizing the fastest growing companies in Utah as the Utah 100. There is still time for Utah companies to apply to recognition before the final dealine on July 14, 2014.

The MWCN Utah 100 event is one of the most anticipated business functions of the year, with many of Utah’s most prominent entrepreneurs and executives. The event will be held on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

On Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM Mountain Time, Rob Brough, Executive Vice President of Zions Bank and Chair of the 2014 MWCN Utah 100 program, will join me for a live discussion about the application process and the event. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes

More about Zions Bank:

Zions Bank is a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation that operates more than 500 offices and 600 ATMs in 10 Western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. As a full-service bank, Zions offers commercial, installment and mortgage loans; trust services; foreign banking services; electronic and online banking services; automatic deposit and nationwide banking and transfer services; as well as the more familiar checking and savings programs.

More about the MountainWest Capital Network:

The MountainWest Capital Network is Utah’s first and largest business networking organization devoted to supporting entrepreneurial success through:

  • fostering the dynamic flow of information about capital formation and distribution,
  • educating and mentoring excellence, and
  • recognizing and rewarding performance
  • networking activities which promote synergistic relationships.

We accomplish this through signature activities and events, such as the Utah 100, real-time Deal Flow reporting and recognition, MWCN Entrepreneur of the Year event honoring Utah’s uber-entrepreneurs, and presentations by industry experts.

Rob’s bio:

Rob Brough is the executive vice president of Marketing and Communications for Zions Bank. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rob joined Zions Bank in February of 1997 as a public relations representative. In his current position, he is responsible for overseeing the communications, public relations, advertising and community relations activities for the Bank, its 135 Financial Centersthroughout Utah and Idaho and its various subsidiaries.

Prior to joining Zions Bank, Brough spent two years with Salt Lake City-based Bremer Public Relations. He received a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Utah.

In addition to his responsibilities at Zions Bank, Brough is also active in community affairs. He currently serves as chair of the Hale Centre Theatre Board of Trustees. He also serves as a member of the Road Home Board of Trustees, the Utah Junior Golf Association Board of Trustees, the BYU Athletics Advisory Council, the United Way of Salt Lake Young Leaders Steering Committee, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Utah Board of Directors, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area Board of Trustees.

He and his wife Holly and their three children live in Salt Lake City.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to Devin’s content here.

New Crowdfunding Portal To Fund Veterans Entrepreneurs

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day it seems apt to recognize the newly created crowdfunding site TwistRate focused on helping America’s veterans with their entrepreneurship.

Veterans are twice as likely to be entrepreneurs as the rest of the country; 1 in 7 veterans own a business.

On July 3, 2014, Evan Hafer, a veteran himself and founder and CEO of TwistRate, will join me for a live discussion about the launch of the new platform. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about TwistRate:

TwistRate is Americans coming together online to build the innovations, dreams and causes of America’s veterans, service members, law enforcement, outdoor enthusiasts, fishing and hunting communities.

TwistRate is a safe and secure platform that brings together people’s passions and ideas with people like themselves to fund and share with like-minded people. 

Part social, part finance, all American. We bring your ideas to life, giving you the tools to take your great ideas to others in your community so they can benefit from your ingenuity. TwistRate brings communities together to fund their own, build their own and make their own – all on their own. 

TwistRate was founded by Special Operations veterans who wanted to create a special place for the community that gives their all, protecting and serving their country, their cities, their neighbors and their brothers in arms.

TwistRate and you make the American Dream a reality by connecting the dreamers with the dollars.


Evan’s bio:

Evan Hafer, CEO of TwistRate, is an avid hunter, fisher, gun enthusiast and outdoorsman. He spent the first 14 years of his career serving in the U.S. Army as an infantryman and Special Forces solider (Green Beret), deployed throughout the globe conducting operations and training. Throughout his personal and professional life, Evan has been surrounded by innovators who have created technologies, gadgets and adaptations that enable themselves and those around them to work and play harder. An entrepreneur and active investor, Evan has his own fly fishing and river guiding company and, by working with innovators from around the globe, has helped others bring their inventions and passions to life, as he and co-founder Jeff Kirkham founded TwistRate. 

During his service In the Army, he trained journalists how to survive in combat theaters, led African Contingency Operations, trained indigenous forces to protect their nations, provided high-risk security operations and conducted countless missions. Post-military, he conducted similar operations for government agencies, worked for a nanotechnology company by developing commercial and defense industry products and spent years training law enforcement and government personnel in crisis response training. In 2013, he founded the Crisis Response Education Foundation (CREF), a non-profit devoted to helping law enforcement through the teaching of Special Forces operations training. He got his start as an instructor after he graduated from the University of Idaho when he attended the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant.

Evan and his co-founder created TwistRate to be the online fundraising platform for the innovations, ideas and passions of America’s veteran, service member, law enforcement, outdoor enthusiast and shooting communities. TwistRate brings groups together to fund, build and make their own American Dream a reality. Within TwistRate, he sets strategy and leads the TwistRate team, helping his members bring their ideas to others in the TwistRate community. 
Evan has led training teaching classes on close quarters combat, advanced pistol and carbine courses and ocean hunting, and he and Jeff are the authors of the first civilian Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC)-certified active shooter course.

Evan is a passionate outdoorsman who prefers the remoteness of the Frank Church Wilderness area in central Idaho to any other place on earth. He is most passionate about his loving family, wife Kate and daughter Nara.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to Devin’s content here.

Procter & Gamble Sponsors UNICEF Effort To Save Babies In 25 Developing Countries

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Every year 58,000 babies die from maternal and neonatal tetanus or MNT, all in the developing world.  UNICEF, with support from Procter and Gamble’s Pampers, is working to eliminate MNT around the world. The battle against MNT in Indonesia is nearing its end.

The partnership between Pampers and UNICEF is an example of growing and powerful trend for corporations to be significantly and actively involved in solving social problems. The tie between Pampers and saving babies is obvious and clearly stands to benefit the brand as well as the babies, but that doesn’t make the financial support less helpful.

UNICEF praises Pampers for its long-term support of the initiative, noting that “sustained financial resources” are required to successfully eliminate the disease and to save lives.

On Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 1:00 Eastern, Dr. Rownak Khan, Senior Health Specialist for UNICEF, will join me here for a live discussion about the program. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about UNICEF:

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.


Dr. Rownak Khan, UNICEF

Dr. Khan’s bio:

With over than 17 years of experience in public health in developing countries, Dr. Rownak Khan took the position of Senior Health Specialist at the United Nations Children’s Fund, New York Headquarters in 2010.

Previous to this appointment, she worked in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. During her career in public health with UNICEF she has focused on children’s vaccination programmes and has worked closely with national governments to develop policy, strategy and plans to provide vaccines to women and children, especially for vulnerable and difficult to reach population.

In Bangladesh, a country with highest number of neonatal deaths due to neonatal tetanus in the 1980s, Dr. Khan coordinated maternal and neo-natal tetanus elimination efforts in the late 90s and early 2000s which lead to elimination of the disease in 2008.

She also has implemented the MNTE programme in the remote and highly conservative areas of northern Afghanistan. At UNICEF Headquarters, Dr. Khan has worked in various other disease control initiatives such as Polio Eradication and the Yellow Fever control programme, with a specific focus on marginalized and difficult to access populations.

Dr. Khan is also part of the on-going effort in UNICEF to reach the most underserved populations with vaccines and other essential health services – the centre piece of the Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination programme strategy.

Dr. Khan has an MD from Dhaka Medical College in Bangladesh and an MSC in Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in UK . She also has training in Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to Devin’s content here.


Real Estate Crowdfunding Builds Communities

AdaPia d’Errico, Chief Marketing Officer of the real estate crowdfunding portal Patch of Land, will be speaking at the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference (SECFC14) on September 26, 2014 at Snowbird, Utah. 

On July 3, 2014 at 2:00 Eastern, AdaPia will join me for a live discussion about the critical role that real estate plays in a community and how crowdfunding for real estate can have a positive impact on a neighborhood.

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

More about Patch of Land:

Patch of Land is a marketplace lending platform that connects borrowers who require short term funding for their real estate projects with accredited and institutional investors seeking uncorrelated returns from passive income real estate investments.

Patch of Land is a privately owned company based in Los Angeles, CA providing accredited and institutional investors easier access to short-term, asset collateralized, fixed income securities through its proprietary P2RE “Peer-to-Real-Estate” lending marketplace. Patch of Land is the online marketplace solution to inefficient, slow, fragmented and obscure short- term real estate lending, providing a fast, efficient, transparent and consistent service to real estate borrowers and professionals, who may not qualify for traditional financing.


AdaPia’s bio:

AdaPia d’Errico is an entrepreneur, investor, and mentor with broad experience across retail banking, financial planning, international finance and capital markets, strategic brand and intellectual property development, crowdfunding and online community building. As Chief Marketing Officer at Patch of Land, she leads strategic partnerships, and drives brand awareness while positioning the company at the forefront of P2P real estate lending and debt crowdfinancing. She has co-founded two businesses with women partners, coached female entrepreneurs, taught and mentored business students, and frequently speaks on Women 2.0 topics in crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, and fundraising for start-ups. AdaPia has a BBA from the University of British Columbia.

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