My name is Miguel Morin and I am the founder of CoVoucher20. When countries started locking down, I knew that a crisis of this size could mean the end of millions of businesses in local tourism. I have used my background in software development and my recent passion in entrepreneurship to launch CoVoucher20 in record time.
During the Great Depression in the United States, the uncertainty around the economy caused people to stop spending money. This slowdown in the circulation of money caused a cascade of shutdowns: businesses saw a drop in income and could not pay their staff or their loans, owners and employees could not pay their mortgages, banks foreclosed on mortgages, and millions became homeless, living in shanty towns called "Hoovervilles."
It is essential that circulation of money is not cut off. We have therefore created a platform to help the money keep flowing.
What it does
Anyone can buy fully insured vouchers for a vacation in the future, which in turn means the business can pay their staff, who in turn can keep paying their mortgages and buying what they need, despite being isolated at home and unable to work. We are all doing our bit to slow the spread of the virus - and now there is an opportunity to keep businesses afloat.
How I built it
Project Lead Miguel Morin has studied and worked in the world's top universities, with a BSc Computer Science from Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), a PhD in economics on the Great Depression from Columbia University (New York), a post-doc in Economics at the University of Cambridge (UK), and a post-doc in artificial intelligence at The Alan Turing Institute.
When countries started lockdowns, I pivoted my previous company (puzzli.org of smart toys to teach children to read) into supporting local businesses.
Challenges I ran into
Managing a team of volunteers under sleep deprivation has been both challenging and rewarding.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We have programmed the whole platform that is scalable, and live in 35 countries and 19 currencies. We did all this in record time.
What I learned
We learned about lean service creation, testing hypotheses, and failing quickly. We also learned that founders grow with problems, that the value of a company is the sum of problems solved, and how much we can grow.
What's next for CoVoucher20.org
Validating the business model with hotels and consumers.