What would you do if you were suddenly offered $100,000? Like most individuals aged 18-29, we immediately thought to use that money towards paying off our tuition fees and use the remaining to invest. However, our research revealed that only one in three of those same individuals currently invests in the stock market. Why is this? One reason is that most of us do not have $100,000 sitting around, but investing does not have to be this way. We recognized a huge opportunity in recent crowdfunding trends, with over $34 billion USD raised worldwide in 2017, that we can position our business in.
At the same time, we are aware of the struggle of start-ups trying to get capital and gaining traction. With FundOn, we hope to alleviate the struggles that innovative entrepreneurs face through quicker fundraising and increased media exposure.
What it does
FundOn provides students with a tailored list of startups based on the causes they care about (i.e. clean technology, sustainable fashion, environmental protection, etc.), capital available to invest, and their risk profile. This way, students are able to experience the world of investments with as little as $10. What makes FundOn unique is that we understand what is preventing young people from investing, and we are confident we can bridge that gap. Our research shows that when asked why they do not invest, their top two responses were "I don't have enough money" and "I don't know how to properly invest". Therefore, we first help students overcome the fear of risk and lack of financial resources by asking only for small amounts of capital while providing ongoing investment tips and tutorials. We also increase the financial literacy of students by having them start investing early and understand the concept of risk and value of a long term horizon.
How we built it, and challenges we ran into
When creating FundOn, we took it upon ourselves to not only try and create something new and meaningful, but to make the overall Hackathon experience more meaningful to our team members. This resulted in us trying new technologies that we were not used to (React, Google Cloud, CSS, etc.), opposed to those that we were already very comfortable with (MongoDB, Python, etc.). Once we visualized ourselves in the shoes of the end user, we made a plan of approach, where we chose to really challenge ourselves and push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, while still creating a presentable project in the end. The main challenges came via the technologies we chose to use, as we had very little experience with front-end development, especially React and CSS, and no experience hosting a website using services such as Google Cloud Platform. Everyone on our team is very proud to be able to present a demo-ready product, made of technologies that we are embracing for the first time.
Our team consisted of three developers, one designer, and one business student. With our diverse experiences and collaborative work style, we were able to share ideas, delegate work effectively, and overcome challenges together. We all shared a passion for financial technologies, and we are incredibly proud of what were able to achieve at StarterHacks 2020.