As software engineers, we are deeply invested in leveraging technology for public good. When we noticed how our friends often request very specific venmo payments ($3.89 instead of $4.00, for example), we saw the potential in taking this spare change and directing it towards worthwhile causes.

What it does

givmo links up with your venmo account and gives you the option to round up your venmo payments to the nearest dollar and donate that spare change to a charity of your choosing. Givers can link up with their friends to form teams and donate as a group, competing to see who can put the most towards the goal. We also see the potential for givers to link up with massive public groups hosted by celebrities and institutions, as well as to let teams compete with one another. Giving back has never been so fast, so easy, and so fun.

How we built it

We built givmo in React Native so that we could simultaneously create a product for iOS and Android. Although our long-term plan is to pitch the product as an in-built feature for venmo, we created a distinct app to better illustrate our concept. We linked up our frontend with Node.js and Mongoose and ran it using AWS.

Challenges we ran into

Each member of the team tested his or her comfort zone when working on givmo, and learned a lot in doing so. We had to build out a custom API to mimic venmo payments due to venmo's restrictions on the use of its own API.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We created the app! I think the entire journey for everyone was a new one and also a hard one because we all didn't really know each other, and we decided to embark on a 36 hour journey together. I think that was one of the most challenging things we did physically and mentally and hopefully it pays off!

What we learned

Use your mentors!! We were especially stuck on an AWS issue for two and a half hours, and had we thought about asking for mentor help a little earlier than we did, we would have wasted a lot less time. We also learned that you have to improvise! We couldn't find a workable Venmo API for the time being, we didn't let that stop us from going forward with our idea, we just had to kind of custom create a database system that mimicked the way we would interface with the API.

What's next for givmo

We're planning to continue building and growing givmo, adding in features like competition between teams, global scoreboards, and real-time payment tracking. In the long run, we want to pitch our product to venmo and integrate givmo into the app itself.

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