Flywire Announces New Partnership With Vietnamese Banking Group VPBank For International Tuition Payments

Flywire, a U.S.-based fintech firm that provides global payment and receivables solutions for education, healthcare, and commercial enterprises, announced on Thursday it has formed a new partnership with Vietnam-based banking group VPBank for International Tuition Payments for Vietnamese students.

Flywire reported that through the partnership it will enable Vietnamese students to make their international tuition payments in VND, through their preferred method, including bank transfers, which are very popular in Vietnam. The joint offering also provides an intuitive, digital workflow for the submission of necessary documentation required by local regulations. 

While sharing more details about the collaboration, Ryan Frere, Vice President of global payments for Flywire

“Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing countries of origin for international students around the world, and as the country’s economy continues to grow at a rapid rate, so too does the number of Vietnamese families sending children to study abroad. Many of Flywire’s client schools in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia already have large Vietnamese student populations. Our collaboration with VPBank makes it significantly easier for those schools to serve students at higher levels in this important market.”

A VPBank spokesperson went on to add:

“The cooperation with Flywire demonstrates the bank’s dynamic thinking and actions, which reaffirms its advantages in technology, its ability to capture market demand and create the most convenient experience for customers.”

MPOWER Financing Secures $100 Million Loan Facility From Goldman Sachs

MPOWER Financing, a U.S. fintech that provides educational loans to international and DACA students, announced on Tuesday it secured a $100 million loan facility from Goldman Sachs. According to MPOWER, the latest facility brings the total loan financial capital to $200 million.

Founded in 2014, MPOWER Financing is on a mission to removing financial barriers to higher education in the U.S. and Canada. The company noted in order to accomplish this goal, it partners with universities and investors to lend to high-potential students who are left out by traditional banks.

“In addition to providing students with access to the financial resources necessary to attend and complete college, MPOWER builds students’ credit histories, provides them with personal finance education, and offers essential financial products to prepare them for life after college.”

Speaking about the facility, Manu Smadja, MPOWER Financing CEO and Co-Founder, stated:

“We’re excited to work with a mix of top commercial and impact-focused investors to ensure that bright students from around the world can fulfill their educational aspirations. The number of international students coming to North America has more than doubled over the past decade, and with our borderless financing we can enable even more bright minds to come.”

Lana Lodge, SVP of Business Operations at MPOWER Financing, added:

“This summer has been transformational for MPOWER. We’ve been honored by the industry recognition received for our product and the acceleration in demand for our loans. This partnership with Goldman Sachs puts us one step closer to securitization of a new, global, impact-focused asset class.”

Royal Bank of Canada Launches New Mobile Banking Experience For Students

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced on Wednesday the launch of its new mobile banking experience that is specifically for students. The RBC Mobile Student Edition was notably designed in collaboration with students to enable features that matter most to them.

“The Student Edition hones in on Generation Z (Gen Z), which encompasses all high school and post-secondary age students. According to RBC internal research, only 38 percent of post-secondary and 33 percent of high school students feel that they have their finances under control. With easy access, customizable features, familiar design and quick touch definitions, this new edition within RBC’s existing mobile app is tailored to students’ digital preferences and enables them to learn how to manage their finances.”

While sharing more details about the feature, Sean Amato-Gauci, Executive Vice-President of Cards, Payments, and Banking at RBC, stated:

“Gen Zers are true digital natives, and it was essential that their input lead the development of the Student Edition. We worked closely with a group of young Canadians throughout the entire process – from the initial research phase through to final testing. With their insights on how they engage with content and interact with money, we were able to deliver a mobile banking experience that’s in line with the apps that they know and love.”

Key Features of the RBC Mobile Student Edition including the following:

  • Simplification: Prioritized key features are front and center for easy navigation, such as quick access to accounts, send money features, insights on spending, setting up reoccurring account transfers and a carousel to scroll through accounts.
  • Personalization: The ability to choose nicknames and colors for accounts and upload contact photos allows students to interact with the app in a way that best suits their behavior and, in turn, obtain a “clear” financial overview.
  • Tailored Content: Contextual definitions for financial terms, coupled with money management insights, help make banking easy to understand.

Erica Nielsen, Vice-President of Payments, and Banking at RBC, then commented:

“Our goal is to help students learn about money management and gain confidence. Banking with RBC is more than managing money. We empower young people to confidently take on the challenges they face by supporting them in understanding their financial future.”

RBC then added that clients who are under age 22 and have downloaded or updated to the most recent version of the RBC Mobile app (available on Android and iOS) will have access to the Student Edition.

SoFi Announces Completion of First Offering of Rated Pass-Through Certificates

Fintech unicorn SoFi announced on Wednesday it has completed its $200 million offering of post-graduate student loan asset-backed certificates issued by SoFi Alternative Trust 2019-C (SAT 2019-C). According to SoFi, the Certificates are rated single-A by DBRS and mark the first rated pass-through certificate transaction issued by SoFi and the first publicly rated student loan pass-through transaction in the securitization market.

“The Certificates are secured by a portfolio of fixed-rate loans originated through SoFi’s private student loan refinancing program and use a pass-through structure whereby all payments will be allocated to the Certificates until its balance is paid in full. Unlike traditional student loan ABS transactions, SAT 2019-C does not use overcollateralization or bond subordination as forms of credit enhancement.  The A rating assigned to the certificates by DBRS reflects the strong credit attributes of the borrowers. The portfolio has a weighted average credit score of 783 and a weighted average annual income of $175,746.”

While sharing more details about the Certificates, Michelle Gill, CFO of SoFi, stated:

“We are pleased with the investor response to this offering. It provided us with an additional source of liquidity within our broad-based funding capabilities, while allowing us to meet the needs of investors seeking high quality assets.”

SoFi repoted that it plans to offer additional rated pass-through certificates as part of its ongoing ABS programs. The company added:

“With this transaction, SoFi has sponsored eight offerings in the asset-backed market in 2019, totaling $4.1 billion, and the company continues to be a top-ten ABS sponsor, ranking seventh among all sponsors and first among online lenders in 2019. SoFi has completed 26 rated student loan ABS transactions since its inaugural issuance in 2013. The company has originated over $42 billion across its personal loan, student loan and mortgage products.”

P2P Employment Marketplace bitJob Announces New Partnership With Insurtech Lemonade

bitJob, a blockchain-based peer-to-peer employment marketplace for students, is announcing today its collaboration with insurtech startup, LemonadeThe duo reported that the insurance API that Lemonade has developed will be integrated into the bitJob marketplace, and will allow students that are already homeowners to receive customized rates for rental and homeowner insurance with one click. The cooperation between Lemonade and bitJob notably makes insurance policies (such as homeowners, condo, and renters), quoting, and policy creation more approachable for the student segment.

While sharing more details about the partnership, Dror Medalion, Co-Founder and CEO of bitJob, stated:

“The employment market is moving towards online jobs without the need for physical access to offices or factories. We love to call this era the Industrial Revolution 2.0. We are very excited to work with Lemonade.com and implement their API in our platform. We will work on creating and developing new services specifically modeled for the global student ecosystem, enabling students to find employment and transact with small/big businesses across the nation.”

Shai Wininger, Lemonade Co-founder and Chief Lemonade Maker, commented:

“It takes years to pull together the licensing, capital and technology needed to offer insurance instantly through an app, which is why it’s almost nonexistent. Today’s API launch changes that. Anyone with a slight familiarity with coding can now include these capabilities in their app, in a matter of hours.”

bitJob and Lemonade added that users will register to the system and offer their services and availability to a personally customized job category based on the users past experience and professional skills. Students will actively build their reputation and enrich their dynamic portfolio which is connected through his/her own “name” site.

Suffolk University Student Entrepreneur Launch New Round of Ventures Through Crowdfunding Course

 

On Wednesday, Suffolk University announced that some of its students have launched some ventures through its crowdfunding course. The ventures made their debut on December 6th, with two dedicated to the people of Haiti.

The University stated that is Sawyer Business School introduced the crowdfunding course in Fall 2016, which requires students to launch campaigns to fund their own startup companies through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Management and Entrepreneur professor Jenni Dinger, who co-teaches the course, stated:

“Crowdfunding continues to enjoy tremendous growth worldwide. Given that crowdfunding is still a relatively young capital source we are continuously learning what works and what doesn’t. What has not changed is that the process of creating and preparing a campaign acts as an accelerator of sorts, prodding nascent entrepreneurs to take action.”

The ventures are listed below:

  • Marbre by SJ, founded by Suffolk junior Shereen Jan in partnership with Suffolk junior Kristy Fitzgerald, is a minimalist jewelry line that incorporates reclaimed marble into precious metal pieces. 
  • Sadiq Smoke, founded by Suffolk junior Kamraan Sadiq, is a silicone-insulated hookah bowl with wind guard.
  • Sawed-Off Souvenirs, founded by Suffolk senior Greg Speliotis, creates a variety of cups and barware for sports fanatics made from broken bats. 
  • Happy Homes, founded by Suffolk seniors and entrepreneurship majors Nick Kellicker and Rafic Korban, is a social venture aimed at providing affordable and sustainable housing for the people in Haiti.
  • Dentists for Humanity is a Cambridge-based healthcare non-profit focused on providing dental care to underprivileged communities around the world and mentorship to dental students,

bitJob Secures $2 Million to Launch Decentralized Platform for Student Employment

bitJob announced on Wednesday it has secured $2 million to launch its global, decentralized marketplace for student employment powered by blockchain technology.

According to the company, the new marketplace is offering students the opportunity to earn income and sharpen their skills while enriching their resumes, all within bitJob’s blockchain-based ecosystem of networking, compensation, rewards, and incentives. Over 1,200 participants have participated in bitJob’s STU token sale, which ended earlier this week. Dror Medalion, CEO of bitJob, shared:

“bitJob offers a real solution to student underemployment: an open-source, decentralized, and secure marketplace allowing students to convert their free time into income while enriching their professional experience. In addition, employers will be able to develop talent from a global pool of students eager to apply their higher education.”

bitJob also noted that it leverages blockchain technology to allow students to be paid instantly in cryptocurrency through its STU token from anywhere in the world. The company then explained it has partnered with several institutions to grow its network of students and employers, including the Government of the Netherlands, Blockchain Education Network, Blockchain Association of Canada, Cyprus International Institute of Management, and the Israeli Students Association.

Founded in 2016, bitJob described itself as a P2P decentralized marketplace for students, freelancers, and employers, It’s a social and ambitious Project, based on Blockchain technology, aimed at revolutionizing the way students make a living and gain occupational experience while still studying. The company added:

bitJob unites the benefits of ‘Fiverr’ and ‘UpWork’ with Blockchain technology, to become the first Hybrid Blockchain Project with a Semi Decentralized platform. Using both centralized payment methods (PayPal) and decentralized digital currency. The team holds a write-protected code on Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Texas Higher Education Community Launches Unified GoFundMe Campaign For College Students Affected By Hurricane Harvey

Following the devastating of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas higher education community has reportedly come together to launch a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise funds for nearly 500,000 college students that were affected by the storm’s damages. The new initiative, HELP, which stands for Higher Education Learning Pathways, will provide emergency funds to enable students in southeast Texas to stay on or more quickly return to their education.

While sharing details about HELP, Dr. Richard Rhodes, President of Austin Community College, stated:

“The storm has disrupted hundreds of thousands of students’ lives, most of whom were just about to start the new school year. We all know students, neighbors, and fellow Texans who are now displaced from their homes, employment, schools, and are even coping with the loss of loved ones. Like volunteers and citizens across this country, we were determined not to just stand by, but to take action. We formed Harvey HELP to pool the collective strength, resources, and passion of higher education to enable and streamline community support for these students. We want to make sure the students have what they need to overcome these challenges and return to the classroom.”

Dr. Mark Milliron, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Civitas Learning, one of the corporations stepping up to donate, also commented:

“This is an opportunity for anyone, within the higher education community or beyond, within Texas or beyond, to make a real difference. With Harvey HELP, everybody who believes deeply in the power of education to change lives has a simple way to get involved and help the tens of thousands of students who were planning on attending Texas colleges this Fall and are now grappling with much more pressing challenges than getting to class, including finding food, shelter, transportation, child care, health care, and more.”

It was also revealed to ensure that all of Harvey HELP’s funds are used in a way that best benefits students, Harvey HELP’s steering committee of non-profit and institutional leaders will evaluate applications from colleges and universities. Approved institutions will receive Harvey HELP’s funds to support aid programs, respond to their students’ specific needs, and help with students’ school expenses – such as tuition and textbooks – as well as personal expenses like transportation, rent, and groceries.

Ed Tech Platform Like to Be Seeks £150,000 on Seedrs to Expanding Networking Platform

Like to Be, an online networking platform connecting students with professionals for impartial, real world, careers advice, is currently seeking to raise 150,000 through equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Founded in 2016, Like to Be was founded by polar explorer, Antony Jinman, who has been visiting hundreds of schools to deliver polar science workshops throughout the UK. The founder notably created the Like to Be platform as a way to all teachers to communicate to adventurers and polar scientists, helping to inspire students and increase their understanding of science and climate.

Like to Be is now developing a network of professional people and businesses that teachers and parents can use to link education to the real world. We aim to reduce the percentage of young people who leave school not knowing what they wish to do, by connecting pupils with the world of work at a much earlier age.”

Like to Be’s team also noted that the goal of the platform is to enable fast paced, monetized scale up of its concept.

“Much like Tim Peake (the British Astronaut), via technology; our founder, polar explorer Antony Jinman has engaged live and direct with classrooms while on various expeditions. Instant reaction and subsequent feedback, from teachers and pupils alike, demonstrated that technology represents a wide reaching, penetrative gateway to informing and inspiring young minds. We realized that this could be relevant to any career and throughout a child’s education, starting with primary schoolchildren, by simply asking ‘what would you like to be?’”

Funds from the campaign will be used to expand the Like to Be platform. It is set to close later this summer.

SoFi Announces Partnership With Alaska Air to Help New Members Save Money on Student Loans While Earning Summer Travel Points

Online lending platform SoFi announced this week it has teamed up with Alaska Air to help its new members save money on student loans while also earning extra summer travel points.

The online lender revealed the exciting news through its Twitter on Thursday:

This news comes just a little over a month after SoFi announced its partnership with airline company, JetBlue, to help student loan customers with savings and travel points as well. Catesby Perrin, VP of Business Development at SoFi, stated at the time:

“We hear every day from SoFi members that refinancing their student loans helps them get more out of life. We’re thrilled to work with JetBlue to open up a world of travel opportunities while helping people pay off their student loans faster at the same time.”

Meanwhile, SoFi has officially filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to create a state chartered bank. The FDIC filing reportedly indicates that “SoFi Bank” will be based in Utah, due to the beneficial state regulatory approach. The filing explains that the industrial bank will provide customers with FDIC insured NOW accounts and credit card products. No other services are expected to be offered, at least initially. SoFi Bank will be a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of SoFi.

GoFundMe Reports: Students Increasingly Turn to the Crowdfunding Platform For College Expenses

Earlier this week, global crowdfunding platform GoFundMe released a guidebook that highlights the growing trend of college students who are turning to GoFundMe to pay for tuition and other college expenses.

The new GoFundMe Guidebook showcases national data about the growing trend of students using the funding portal for college; a step-by-step list on how to launch a successful campaign; and state-specific data that shows the cost of college and information for students in each state.

Check out the full guidebook below.

[scribd id=339595618 key=key-r9FURaY7ejkItN0Tg3PO mode=scroll]

Suffolk Celebrates National Entrepreneurship Month, Supports 7 New Startups

November is National Entrepreneurship Month and Suffolk University in Boston celebrated by organizing experiential courses on crowdfunding.  During Global Entrepreneurship Week on November 14, students partaking in the programs launched campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo to support their startups.  Seven startups and campaigns have launched out of the “ENT-340: Crowdfunding the Startup” Sawyer Business School class.  They include:

suffolk-university-buddha-bus-yoga

  • Buddha Bus Yoga – “[T]akes Yoga out of the studio by traveling to various locations in New England providing all-inclusive Yoga classes.”
  • Upward Bound – “[A] federally-funded program for high school students who are below the poverty line and are the first generation from their family to attend college.”
  • WarmUp Protein Coffee – “[A] high-protein coffee targeting fitness-focused, on-the-go people”.
  • NEO Miners – “[A] card game that focuses on resource management and economic principles, where each player mines asteroids to collect resources.”
  • Vegitano – “[A] health food brand that will offer healthy alternatives to people who eat on a vegan diet, are allergic to dairy and/or gluten.”

suffolk-university-upward-bound

  • The Wicked Fisha – “[T]his cooler-tackle box combination features a simple design with limitless functionality for its user. It completely eliminates the hassle for fishermen who want to enjoy a (few) cold beverages during a fishing trip.”
  • Goliath Gallon – “[A] reusable, BPA-free gallon bottle that comes apart in the middle to allow for easy cleaning and accessibility to add anything you want in it”.

According to Professor Jennifer Dinger, who teaches the course on entrepreneurship:

jennifer-dinger-suffolk

“While a few other universities are discussing crowdfunding as part of traditional course content, the real-world approach to this course makes it different. Suffolk students in this class are learning how to turn their business ideas into action, and they are going after the funding to support those enterprises.”

The course and the ventures that have risen out of it are prime examples of young people looking to make a difference and celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship in a meaningful way.

GoFundMe Announces College Scholarship: Seeks to Give 10 College or Post-Graduate Students With $10,000 For Tuition

graduation-landing-1

On Wednesday, crowdfunding platform GoFundMe announced the launch of its new college scholarship. The new scholarship will present 10 college or post-graduate students with $10,000 that will go towards tuition costs.

The funding portal revealed over few years students, teachers and parents have turned to its website to raise funds for education expenses, which include high tuition costs. It was also reported that more than $100 million has been devoted to education-related campaigns on GoFundMe and in the past year alone, $20 million has been raised for tuition.

Rob SolomonWhile sharing details about the scholarship, GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon stated:

“We know there are countless students out there who need help with the rising costs of college. At GoFundMe, we see incredible stories every single day of communities coming together to make sure students get the education they deserve. With the GoFundMe Scholarship, we hope to make these inspiring students’ educational dreams come true.”

To qualify for the GoFundMe Scholarship, college and postgraduate students must do the following:

  • Step 1: Create a new GoFundMe campaign or update an existing campaign using the hashtag #GFMScholarship in the campaign description between September 21 and September 28.
  • Step 2: Also in the campaign description, tell the GoFundMe community why the student should receive a $10,000 grant for their college tuition.
  • Step 3: Share the campaign on social media and raise money from ten unique donors.

The funding portal went on to add that campaigns are eligible for the $10,000 if they are created by or for an undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited college or university in the United States. These initiatives can be created by students, family members, friends, professors, or anyone who knows a student in need. They must be raise the funds from at least 10 unique donors.

LendInvest Names Sunderland Top Postcode Area For Landlords Letting Properties to Students

On Thursday, online mortgage lender LendInvest unveiled its latest Buy-to-Let Index, which revealed that England’s Sunderland is the top postcode area for landlords who are letting properties to students. 

CollegeGradsThe report observed specifically at 2016 average rental yields, the most important factor for landlords letting to students, in postcode areas with at least one of England and Wales’s top universities. LendInvest stated:

“Based on figures for 2016, property investors who invest in properties in Sunderland can enjoy average rental yields of 6.50%. Sunderland is also the cheapest place to invest in in the top 20 student towns, with the average property price standing at just £90,000. The next best area is Manchester, with an average rental yield of 6.2%. Investors here can benefit from significant demand – the city is home to three ranked universities and a student population of nearly 90,000 people. Average property prices in Manchester stand at £135,000. Cambridge may be ranked as the nation’s top university, but Oxford offers investors a better return. The average rental yield in Oxford stands at 3.9%, compared to 3.6% in Cambridge.”

Christian Faes, co-founder and CEO of LendInvest, added:

Christian Faes & Ian Thomas - LendInvest - March2016“Student towns are an excellent option for investors; there’s a steady stream of demand with each new academic year delivering prospective tenants. With A Level results out today and the year’s clearing for university places swinging into action, where’s best for student lets will be on the minds of many landlords. However landlords need to look beyond simply how big the local student population is. For instance, there are many thousands of students attending universities in London, yet when it comes to rental yields there are far more profitable areas to invest in than the capital.”

LendInvest also offered five tips for renting to students:

  • Aim for a property which has at least three bedrooms. Students tend to rent in groups of three to five people. Having more than one bathroom will also be a big selling point.
  • Location-wise, look for properties with good access to the university campus as well as basic shops and services.
  • It’s a good idea to ask for a guarantor for each student tenant. That way, even if the student doesn’t pay the rent, you can recover it from the guarantor.
  • Consider using a joint tenancy agreement, rather than an individual agreement with each tenant. This way, if one tenant drops out or leaves, you will not miss out on rent while the room is unoccupied.
  • Some universities, like the University of Southampton, compile directories of accredited private student accommodation in the area. You will need to comply with certain standards to get onto these directories, but they are a great way of directly reaching suitable tenants.

Online Student Marketplace Uni Market Looks to Raise £70,000 on Seedrs

Uni Market 1

Uni Market, an online marketplace that allows students to sell essential college supplies, has launched a Seedrs initiative to raise £70,000 as it prepares to expand.

Uni Market 4The marketplace now offers students an opportunity to sell items (such as textbooks, furniture, computers, etc.) for free. Students simply sign up for the website, join their university’s network, upload items and sell to others. Payments can be made through PayPal or in person and then the seller just meets the buyer to exchange the supplies. Students are also able to trade with others in different universities. Items can stay on as long as the seller wishes (no deadlines). Besides supply exchanges, the marketplace also has discount vouchers, which students can redeem at popular retailers. It also offers accommodation and job listing sections. Users must be verified as a student otherwise they cannot use the website. 

“Our web and mobile platform aims to bring a quick and efficient approach to campus trading, allowing students to use this method to earn extra income during their time at university. We aim to host the ultimate student platform, where our audience can interact together in a safe environment, with students on their campus or anywhere in the UK. Students will not only be able to browse and purchase textbooks and furniture (amongst other items), but also find accommodation and part-time jobs to support their studies.”

Funds from the campaign will be used for the following:

  • Uni Market 3Additional features on web/mobile platform
  • Advertising/promotional campaigns
  • App development
  • Property portal development
  • Job portal development

The website went on to add that in the next two years it will add a total of five new features.

Former Google Exec. Launches Crowdfunding Platform Dedicated to Academic Scholarships

Peter Hazlehurst, former CEO of Google Payments Corp., announced on Tuesday the beta launch of his new education crowdfunding platform, AngelScholars.

GraduationAccording to its description, AngelScholars offers up a crowdfunding solution to the scholarship system providing a new and unconventional way of giving back.

“Located in San Carlos, CA, AngelScholars PBC is a crowdfunding platform launched in 2016 to connect a new generation of donors seeking a more impactful engagement with students who need funding. Starting with as little as $50, anyone can easily create or fund a scholarship that they personally believe in. Alternatively, scholars can find and apply for unique opportunities or run their own campaigns based on their unique needs.”

 

Sharing details about the new funding portal, Hazlehurst stated:

Schools-300x199“For as little as $50 dollars AngelScholars makes it possible for people to get involved, have a personalized impact and have control over their donations much like that Phil Knight got when he donated $400 million to Stanford.With AngelScholars, all it takes is a little money, an idea of who you want to support and the willingness to ask for help from your friends on Facebook and Twitter. We do the hard work and verify the Scholars, while also facilitating a connection with them. We’ll make sure the money is spent wisely, and we let you see the impact you are having.”

The platform’s team revealed that scholarships may also be as specific as a coding camp for African-American high school students based in Oakland with a 3.0 GPA who are studying STEM, or as general as school uniforms for kids whose parents make less than $25,000 and live in Atlanta.

Hazlehurst went on to add:

“I benefited first hand from the power of a targeted scholarship, and I wanted a way to make my experience more of the norm than an outlier. We’re using technology and social networks to remove typical barriers to funding education. All that’s left is the desire for an Angel to help kids in a way they believe in, and students who share these same dreams.”

 

 

Brief: MobileCause Forms Partnership With Step Up For Students to Secure Funds For Scholarships & Wraparound Services

MobileCauseMobileCause, a mobile, social and online fundraising platform, announced on Wednesday that it has teamed up with nonprofit education organization, Step Up For Students, to launch a series of digital fundraising and communication campaigns for scholarships and wraparound services.

According to MobileCause, the new partnership will enable Step Up For Students to expand its giving strategy using its digital fundraising solutions, including personalized online giving, dynamic event fundraising, and crowdfunding campaigns.

Alissa Randall, Step Up For Students CMO, commented:

“We are excited that we’ve been able to leverage MobileCause’s technology in helping us reach new donors, which allows us to offer additional services to the children we serve. There is still much work to be done. But we’re certainly making strides and will continue to do so with the help of our donors.”

MobileCause CEO, Sean MacNeill, added:

graduation-landing-1“We are thrilled to provide our online fundraising software solutions to empower Step Up For Students to fundraise with no limits to their reach. We are confident that this partnership will connect people everywhere to this amazing organization. Our mobile-friendly fundraising and communication platform fosters a personal connection between these families and extraordinary scholarships, all from the convenience of any device.”

 

 

 

 

GoFundMe Expands Into Education: Announces National Contest to Bring Chromebooks to Schools

gofundmeOn Tuesday, crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe, announced it is kicking off a new effort to expand its footprint in education by launching a fundraising contest to give 9 high-need schools the opportunity to win 100 Google Chromebooks.

GoFundMe has created a new education-specific portal as a resource for teachers, students, school administrators and parents who are looking to raise money for classroom supplies, technology, educational furniture, books, field trips, equipment, uniforms, instruments, competitions, college applications and tuition, PTA projects, and school fundraisers.

Rob SolomonGoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon stated:

“There is a gap between resources and needs in education. GoFundMe allows teachers, parents, and school administrators to easily access their local communities to make up that gap. We have seen education fundraising grow rapidly on our platform in the last year, and we are focused on making GoFundMe the go-to place for education fundraising.”

In an effort to highlight how GoFundMe can be used for education fundraising, the Chromebook Challenge will unfold across 9 cities in America between March 8th and March 22nd, with one school participating in each city. From New York to San Francisco, schools will run GoFundMe campaigns to fund the purchase of Chromebooks for their students.

classroomIn all of the participating schools, the vast majority of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and the need for additional resources is high. This contest will help these schools attract the support they need to provide their students with the best possible education.

As part of the contest, GoFundMe is partnering with School Specialty, a national distributor of school supplies, furniture and learning resources, to provide complementary Bretford Chromebook Carts for secure storage and charging.

 

Crowdfunding Platform UBooster Launches to Help Collegian Athletes

This week, a group of Clemson University fans launched a crowdfunding platform dedicated to collegian athletes called UBooster.

UBoosterAccording to the New York Times, UBooster is on a mission to help athletes achieve their dreams by soliciting payments for high school recruits from fans, and delivering the money to the athletes after their college careers end.

During his interview with the media outlet, UBooster’s founder Rob Morgan stated:

“We think this is the direction college sports is headed. At some point, there is going to be an opportunity for players to make money, and here’s how we can be a part of it.”

Morgan has been helped in his venture by a former Clemson football player and the interim dean of the university’s business school. UBooster’s description reads:

“UBooster is the world’s premier platform for supporting college athletes. Through UBooster, fans Boost funds to demonstrate their support of the choices made by high school athletes. All the funds go to a trust fund (known as a UFund) for the athletes, which they can access at the end of their NCAA eligibility.

 

UBooster 1“Fans have the opportunity to participate for free by using the UBooster Points they receive at signup. These points directly correlate with the athletes’ Heat Index. To keep raising an athlete’s Heat Index, fans can Boost a player while simultaneously contributing money to their UFund, which also helps their favorite athlete’s Heat Index score climb. Additionally, when fans Boost an athlete they can select which school they support and each athlete’s profile will display the leading Boosters. For example, if a fan of School U boosts Joe Football for $10, Joe Football will receive 100 UBooster Points towards his Heat Index and his profile will display School U as the leading fan-driven institution.

 

“On National Letter of Intent (“Signing”) Day, the opportunity to Boost an athlete closes. All the funds donated to these athletes will be held in escrow until his or her NCAA eligibility expires. Athletes have six years to collect their funds, starting form the time they begin their college careers.”

NCAA 2Previously, NCAA showed disapproval for any efforts to pay students, including crowdfunding. Late last year, NCAA attempted to shut down a for-profit company known as FanPay, which was planning to launch a crowdfunding platform for pay-for-play college athletes. Despite these cease-and-desist letters from several schools and conferences, the website has announced that its ready to open its doors and has a few rules.

NCAA officials addressed FanPay in an educational column which was covering crowdfunding. The organization stated that crowdfunding to pay a student-athlete is considered impermissible. Unfortunately, the NCAA also revealed why it might be considered powerless to stop FanPay and similar crowdfunding campaign.

 

Morgan noted that he and his advisers have examined the NCAA manual and believe they are not violating any current rules. He noted that, much like FanPay, the NCAA won’t have any impact on UBooster:

“If we get a cease-and-desist letter from a school, it won’t affect our business model because our business isn’t with the school.”

 

Career Network Platform FutureRising Seeks £150,000 Through Seedrs to Further Expand Client List

FutureRising_LogoFutureRising.com, an online platform that finds, develops and connects the best graduates with the UK’s creative industries looking for new talent, announced on Thursday the launch of its crowdfunding campaign through Seedrs.

The funding will be used to grow the team and platform capability allowing FutureRising to further build its “50-strong” client list which includes BBH, OMD, Quantcast and Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham and Bournemouth universities.

Donald Fogarty, co-founder of FutureRising, stated:

Don Fogarty“The recruitment industry is antiquated. Careers advice is outdated, traditional recruitment has lost its way and thousands of graduates are unable to find relevant work despite the opportunities being there. On the flip side, across the board one of the biggest challenges for the UK’s creative industry is finding talent – particularly at entry level. This challenge gets bigger the smaller the business is. The reality is, 47% of graduates are in non-graduate roles despite these roles existing in SME’s across the UK (Source: ONS).”

The demand for better careers advice and valuable connections is clear. Since launch 18 months ago, 3,500 students, graduates, teachers and professionals have joined the platform along with 50 fee paying members from across the industry.

Adam Oldfield, co-founder of FutureRising, commented:

Adam Oldfield“We are inviting members of the public and angel investors to invest via the crowdfunding site, Seedrs, in return for equity shares. We’re on track to increase our client list to 400 companies and 100 institutions and placing over 1,500 graduates in their first job by 2019.”

The new round of shareholders will join existing investors Dave Allen and Roger Partington, who before establishing brand consultancy BrandPie were CEO of Team Vodafone at WPP and Marketing Director at Nestle respectively.

Dave BuonaguidiDave Buonaguidi, chief creative officer of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, shared:

“The passion they have and the passion they imbue – is essential. I don’t think there are enough organisations helping foster talent in this way. The recruitment challenge across the nation’s creative industries is significant and costly and if we are to continue to compete on a global level, this needs to be addressed and quickly.”

Catherine Alexander, careers advisor at the University of Cambridge added:

Catherine Alexander“I’ve enjoyed working with FutureRising, I’ve learned a lot in the process and seen the platform develop substantially in the last couple of years. Through FutureRising events our students have been exposed to a range of companies that we could never have hoped to get speakers from. They operate as a true point of connection and are opening doors to a much sought after but historically tough industry to get into.”