Innovation Calling – Fundraising Plus Technology Equals Big Money

Often with tech we think of big ideas, or over the top solutions with the latest and greatest technology. However, sometimes the ideas that have the biggest impacts are those that fix a simple solution.


In this episode, we talked to the successful company 99 Pledges who knew there had to be a better way to collect money for their kids’ school fundraisers. We talked about turning their idea into a successful company, and what’s on the horizon.


2:00 – Exciting announcements about live events and studios!

3:50 – The start of this business and why it was started

5:13 – How they were able to improve the amount fundraised dramatically

7:28 – How they’re helping prevent liars, cheating parents, etc

8:03 – The business model, and why they chose to go for-profit vs. non-profit

9:14 – Who can benefit from the platform’

10:15 – The marketing strategy and what has worked well for them

11:25 – A look into their marketing plan

12:14 – Why they are still so far ahead in their industry

14:00 – Why customization wasn’t the win that they thought it was going to be

16:21 – Syya shares a random story about how her name is getting more popular and how she had a stalker

17:30 – The biggest challenges they’re facing in expansion

19:00 – How they’re managing various user groups

20:30 – Breaking down how they’re connecting with their customers

20:51 – Syya and Erin start break out into hives

22:30 – How they get through the legal issues of their customers

24:00 – How much data are they able to gather based on their business set-up

25:10 – How much market share are they gathering?

26:50 – The road to profitability

27:50 – The cycle of the business, and their strategy to get through the valleys

29:00 – Syya finds out they might not really be true friends

29:50 – Brad shares a crazy story of getting hacked

32:30 – How the experienced changed his view on security

33:30 – Why you’re two-step authentication is crap and check out Yubi-Key

35:50 – More crazy stories about the information the hackers got

37:30 – Are we ruining our next generation of kids?

39:45 – Where is 99 Pledges going in the next 5-10 years?