Looking to Partner Up September 1, 2020

Looking for a CTO who wants to make a difference in the world!

Celyn Brown @celynbr

Is anyone looking to use their skills to make a difference in the world? We're looking for a CTO to join our startup team. We're building SaveForward, an app that helps socially-conscious millennials on a limited budget to save toward making a microfinance loan - so they can see the direct difference they make in someone’s life, while parting with very little. These loans empower an underbanked individual to start or grow a business, and lift themselves out of poverty. You can see the difference you’ve enabled someone to make in their life - changing the future for themselves, their family, and their community.

  • The Role -
    We already validated an MVP web prototype with users, crowdfunded our first few loans, and are in the process of building a native app for a public launch. We're looking for someone who is willing to code (React Native, Node JS), help strategize, and eventually oversee the development team. We're backed by the MaRS Start program and the Metaii Accelerator.

  • Our Story -
    I travelled to Nasik, India, and saw firsthand how predatory lending had become detrimental to the community. The orphans I worked with had lost their parents to suicide because of over-indebtedness and poor farming conditions. I wanted to change the world through financial inclusion, but wasn't sure how.

Meanwhile, during my masters, I realized I was spending upwards of $40 on snacks and coffee that I didn’t need. I wanted a quick and easy way to divert the money to someone in need, the moment I resisted spending it. This sparked the idea for SaveForward, an app that motivates you to save redirects a portion of the savings to an ethical microfinance loan. My friend, Chris, joined me in developing the initial web platform.

The first loan we crowdfunded empowered Gladys, a single mom in Kenya, to improve her crop farming, meet more demand in her village, and upgrade her living conditions. We're passionate and excited about evolving the app and making an even bigger impact.

Check out our website: www.saveforward.ca

  1. 3

    Hi @celynbr, nice action you're doing. Congrats! Just my two cents about your product, as a user: if you had a way to integrate with challenge banks, would be awesome.

    Here in the UK for instance, we have https://monzo.com. There are loads of seamless integrations we can do using IFTTT (https://ifttt.com/search/query/Monzo).

    Or partnership direct with them. Obviously, it's not a easy thing to do, building this partnership.

    Feel free to post articles, questions on our Social Entrepreneurship group

    1. 1

      Thanks @Leo! Appreciate your thoughts. We definitely have plans for this down the road, once we have a bit more funding :) Many exciting things on the horizon.

  2. 2

    I really like the idea behind this. Especially predatory loans which is a very large problem in India.
    How are collections of loans being solved.
    I am a software engineer with a breadth of knowledge in fintech. Would love to discuss more on this.

    1. 1

      Hey @gabber12 - would love to connect. We're partnering with MFI's that have been certified by a 3rd party for their social performance (e.g. Smart Campaign). Please shoot me an email! [email protected]

  3. 2

    Hi @celynbr, firstly excellent cause you are pursuing, just wanted to ask how does SaveForward differentiate from something like Kiva or the likes?

    1. 1

      Hi @Axe - great question! We're targeting individuals who want to make a difference but feel can't part with very much at once and are hesitant to commit to a set monthly amount - they want more control over how and when they contribute, and to link it to their actual spending and budget. The app helps motivate them to spend less through gamification, as well as providing motivation beyond themselves to resist guilty purchases more often (empathy and knowing a portion of their savings will go to empower someone else).

  4. 1

    Hi Celyn Brown,
    I am interested in the position.

    1. 2

      Awesome! Can you please send me an email with your experience and/or LinkedIn profile? [email protected]

      1. 1

        Hi Celyn,
        I have sent email from [email protected]