|Name: Yannick Lanner-Cusin
NYU affiliation: Stern
NYU status: Graduate
|Did you enter last year?: No
Do you have any teammates?: Yes
How many, including yourself?: 3
High Concept Statement
The HQTrivia of civic engagement, Civix taps into users’ latent desire to support local causes with a mobile first, real time donation platform.
We believe that people are not inherently complacent; however, the modern world demands solutions for civic engagement that meet people where they are: that means mobile. Current civic engagement journeys fail to leverage proven financial, social, and mobile engagement tactics; therefore, Civix seeks to occupy that space.
Our competition includes traditional crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe and non-profit crowdfunding sites such as Causes, CaseVox and Chuffed. Traditional crowdfunding is geared toward profit-seekers and non-profit crowdfunding does not focus on civics and does nothing to foster community engagement. There is one civic crowdfunding site called Citizinvestor but it is still looking to raise seed funding.
Civix amplifies the frequency and impact of users’ civic engagement through gamification. Each user’s contribution has an immediate financial impact on causes they care about while also exposing popular causes to larger donations via an algorithm that aggregates funding pools. Causes get funding; users get an interactive, low-friction, meaningful experience.
Users commit to donating 1$ a week towards civic engagement. Each week, users get a chance to use one vote to support a local nonprofit. Nonprofits that receive the most support on a local level are immediately allocated a percentage of committed donations. The winning nonprofit and remaining local funds enter a larger regional pool the following week. At launch, Civix will retain 8% of donation volume to cover payment processing fees (2.2% on average), maintain the app, source additional nonprofits and build awareness. As donation volume increases, we can reduce our 8% take rate and operate well below industry averages of 20-30% overhead. Additionally, a rich and engaged user base generates unique and actionable data that can be monetized to further substitute operational expenses and expand Civix’s reach.
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