In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top movers and shakers in Ireland. This week we feature Change Donations.
What is it?
Change Donations is a website and app that connects donors to charities, giving them an easy and convenient way to donate to the causes that they care about most. Our platform allows donors to link their cards to automatically round up their daily purchases to the nearest euro, donating their spare change to the charities of their choice.
Who’s behind it?
The three of us met on the Trinity MBA together in September 2017. Change Donations emerged from the Entrepreneurship module. Lizzy and Willie are from the USA, Amelia is from the UK.
William Conaghan: Leads the financials and analytics of the business. Graduated from Georgetown University in Washington DC in 2014 and moved to New York City to work as a Financial Analyst and Business Controller for Nasdaq. He managed over 100MUSD in assets for the Global technology team, and integrated six companies through acquisition. William also managed the financials for the dark pool trading project and the facial recognition project. William restructured and rebuilt the service catalogue for Nasdaq’s Global Technology department, which is a complex multi-tiered cost allocation model streamlining the reporting process for employees and more accurately reflecting the true costs of projects.
Amelia Scivier: Organises Operations. Studied at Central Saint Martins whilst working as a supervisor at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Worked in the entertainment industry for six years as a PA for Calvin Harris’ Managers and then Christian Tattersfield’s General Manager. Most recently consulted for UNILAD. She is a volunteer and donation box collector for Guide Dogs.
Lizzy Hayashida: Marketing specialist of the business. Lizzy spent 8 years working with startups in Silicon Valley. Lizzy was the 14th employee of Milo.com (acquired by eBay) and went on to launch the first same day delivery pilot, eBay Now, for eBay, beating Google to the delivery space as well as working with the executive team to help create eBay’s innovation centre. Lizzy left eBay to join an early stage Y Combinator startup, Shoptiques, to build their marketing and account management functions where she grew revenue by 10%. Lizzy went on to join Affirm, a fintech startup, founded by former Co-founder and CTO of PayPal, Max Levchin, as the Head of Fashion Business Development where she built Affirm’s fashion strategy, partnering with Affirm’s first publicly traded retailer partners. Lizzy then joined the New Markets Team where she lead the In-Store launch, creating and launching the rollout of Affirm’s first in-store virtual debit card program.
How is it funded?
We’re currently in the process of raising a seed round of funding to help us build and launch our platform. We are operating as a Social Enterprise so all of our profits will be reinvested in the company. We take a small percentage of the money raised through our platform.
We won the LaunchBox summer accelerator programme, won Best New Concept at the Responsible Innovation Summit, participated on the Tangent Pioneers programme in New York (Trinity’s International Accelerator), completed New Frontiers Phase 1, competed a design sprint with the Ladder in November, and we were inducted into the All Ireland Business All-stars. We’re currently in the New Frontiers Phase 2 Programme and focused on building the website and app, which will be ready to launch in March and May, respectively. We have already have some great partners and we’d love to hear from any registered non-profits and charities who think they might benefit from micro-donations.