Another day, another crowdfunding platform. This one is a little different, however. StandApp is a crowdfunding platform designed to raise money for nonprofits specifically on mobile devices. It’s also the only one founded by a 10-year-old.
Like so many kids, eight-year-old Vivienne Harr started a lemonade stand to make money. But her desires were a little different from most lemonade-hawking children: Instead of raising cash for herself, she declared that all proceeds would go towards ending childhood slavery–and she wouldn’t stop selling lemonade until she reached that goal. By day 173, after a dose of media attention, she hit $101,000 in sales. Harr was even invited to ring the opening bell for Twitter’s IPO at the New York Stock Exchange.
In early 2014, her father, Eric Harr, quit his day job to turn Vivienne’s ideals into a real business. Make A Stand lemonade, which donates 5% from each sale to the company’s foundation, is now available across the country. But the Harrs still wanted to do more.
Armed with investments from an array of high-profile people, including Twitter founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, the family launched StandApp on October 1. “We seek to close the gap between the moments of empathy and action. We want people to be able to launch a crowdfunding campaign in their phone inside of 60 seconds,” says the elder Harr. “Crowdfunding is friction-filled. We want to make it compassionate fun.”
For now, users can only launch campaigns on StandApp to raise money for 25 hand-selected nonprofits, including Donors Choose, Doctors Without Borders, and WildAid. More groups will be added over time.
The bones of StandApp’s technology were programmed at Square’s College Code Camp, an immersion program for female engineering students. Vivienne explained her vision for the app to the women in the program, and they started coding StandApp.
“I kind of saw myself from when I was a kid in her. The app–the whole point–is that even if you’re small, you can do something that changes the world,” says Bri Connely, a Code Camp alum and one of the engineers behind the app.
Vivienne Harr would agree with that assessment. She says that she’s most excited about the app’s potential to help “anyone make a difference.”
After the media rush of the past few years, though, her dad is trying to give her a normal life. She’s now going to public school (instead of being homeschooled), and isn’t going to be the face of StandApp in the same way she was for the lemonade business. Instead, she’ll serve as the company “Chief Inspiration Officer.”