Giving back has never been this innovative. Leena Patidar is the brain behind a new tech app that makes it effortless to do some good this year by donating to a cause you’re passionate about. Coin Up is an innovative social impact app, enabling users to “round up and donate” their everyday credit or debit card transactions until reaching a self-designated monthly goal. SO COOL! The great news for charities and donors alike? Whether it is a one time at the point of sale or monthly donation, every contribution counts and somewhere, someone’s world becomes a little bit brighter! We had an opportunity to interview Leena Patidar and asked about her story, how she came up with her idea and the future of Coin Up.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
I have been an entrepreneur for 15 years and a major theme for my career has been innovation. As I was looking for the “next” opportunity, I started going down the path of social entrepreneurship. I found it so much more rewarding at every level and decided that I wanted my next company to be rooted in the social impact sector. Coin Up started almost 3 years ago and we first went live on the App Store about 1.5 years ago. We now have donated thousands of dollars to our nonprofits and hope to keep expanding this circle of giving back through everyday spare change.
How did you come up with your business name?
We took a little while to come up with the right name! We asked so many people, the team went back and forth, we looked up all kinds of names, but finally – as it should be, a millennial who resonated with what we are doing came up with the perfect name for us – Coin Up (for your charity), just as one would “Man Up for their responsibilities!”
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
Our nonprofits simply sign up online at www.coinupapp.com. Once they sign up and provide us with their information, our team reviews their application and checks to make sure they are a qualified nonprofit. A team member then follows up with the nonprofit to finalize the registration and answer any questions. After that, the nonprofits are great about engaging their donors through emails, social media, events, and PR. The more effort made here, using our 90 Day Marketing Tool Kit or their own marketing collateral – the more results they see.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
The uniqueness is that individuals can give through their everyday transactions, without a second thought. If everyone continues to donate the “spare change” that they have done for over 80 years, we can continue to support our amazing nonprofits and communities as we evolve into a cashless society. Its fun to see the round up from each transaction and to see how even $10 a month (the price of one lunch) can supply a day of education, a week’s worth of meals, or clean water for a day.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
If we can get hundreds of thousands – even a million people on the app at an average of $20 per month, we could process $20 million a month for our nonprofit partners and lift everyone up by doing good! Ronald McDonald Houses have been raising millions of dollars through collecting spare change at the cash register. That is one group of people, eating at one restaurant, that raises almost $30M per year! What if we can get more groups of people, with all their credit card purchases, donating everyday without taking an extra moment of their time? This is significant and easy and it is time for the Future of Giving!
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
Surround yourself with incredible smart people, a hard-working team, and positive mindset. There are days that the going gets tough and if you surround yourself with this incredible team – they will keep you motivated! Also, don’t be afraid to pivot as your business evolves and see the bigger vision for where your company can go.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
“Your significance lies at the intersection of your passion and your competence”. It is so powerful when your skills fall into place with what you love to do. It doesn’t feel like a job or building your career, it feels like it is all just who you are.
What have been some of your achievements that you are most proud of? Why?
I am proud of starting various businesses because I have learned and gained so much from each one. I worked on one of the first internet banking platforms in 1996 and it is now part of a major banking institution in the Midwest. It was amazing to create the UI/UX (those terms didn’t even exist when I was doing that) out of nothing – without anything to compare it to or build from and see this platform come to life. It came full circle as we develop the now well known “UI/UX” for Coin Up.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
Join Coin Up App today!! It is so simple to download from the App Store or at www.coinupapp.com and see how your everyday spare change can make an impact for a charity or cause that you care about!