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Acorns: Helping People Grow Wealth

Opening and growing a savings account is something that many young people struggle with.  Unfortunately many college students graduate with debt, which makes saving difficult.  Even if one wants to begin saving, taking the initial step of setting aside money can be a challenge.  Cofounders Walter and Jeff Cruttenden recognized this wide-spread problem and decided to take advantage of the opportunity.  A few years ago they built Acorns, which is a micro-investing platform where everyone can begin investing.

The Acorns platform works by automatically investing small sums of money for its users based on their spending habits.  When initially setting up an account, Acorns requires the user to add his or her credit card or bank account information, so that they can help the individual save.  For every purchase that a user makes, Acorns rounds up the transaction amount to the next whole dollar.  The difference after rounding up is added to the user’s Acorns account where it will grow.  The company collects information on users’ investment preferences and risk tolerance, so that they can wisely invest the user’s money in a collection of six exchange trade investment funds.  If a user wants to save more money, they can make additional deposits directly into their Acorns account.

Acorns charges a low monthly fee of $1 per month for the services it provides, but allows college students to use the platform for free.  This app provides young people with a great way to begin investing and those who are afraid of investing with a great way to get started with only a small amount of money.

According to CNBC, this Internet-based business is “the new millennial strategy for investing.”  ABC News puts it in perspective by explaining that “if you set aside $5 every couple days you would have set aside over $1000 in a year.”  Acorns explains that they want to look after the financial best interests of “the up-and-coming,” and they accomplish this through the power of micro investing.

Acorns has evidently been a successful Internet-based business.  After exploring their website and reading some reviews, I am convinced that their success is due to them identifying a wide-spread problem and developing a simple solution that requires next to no work on the user’s end.  By solving a pain that numerous people can identify with, they have grown quickly and made investing easy for many.

More information regarding Acorns can be found on their website here.

Sources:

Acorns: https://www.acorns.com/

Mashable: http://mashable.com/2017/03/25/savings-apps-review/?utm_cid=hp-hh-pri#X8wCjADZgsqo

 

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Duck Duck Go

Duck Duck Go is a search engine who’s purpose and focus is protecting the privacy of their consumer.  Many search engines increase their effectiveness by tracking and recording what it is their users do.  Duck Duck Go does not do this.  They are so focused on protecting the privacy of their users that they sacrifice some of their effectiveness as a search engine to do this.  Their dedication to security has earned them a niche market and a extremely passionate fallowing.   In modern Entrepreneurship finding a good niche and owning it seems to really be a major key to success and that is exactly what Duck Duck Go has done.

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Venmo

Being in a sorority at Grove City College, there is always something that I’m paying for.  Normally I pay with a check because I don’t always have the cash on me but a newly trending app has taken the place of that.  Venmo is a app that links up with your bank account, allowing you to then transfer money directly to other peoples’ accounts.

“Make & share payments: pay friends and family with a Venmo account using money you have in Venmo, or link your bank account or debit card quickly.  Connect with people: remember the moments you share with friends. Split dinner, send a birthday gift, or just say hello.  Make purchases: use your Venmo account as a way to pay in mobile apps.  Quickly transfer money to your bank: move money from Venmo to your bank account in as little as one business day.  Ready, set, pay.”

It’s a great idea in that it skips the awkward interaction of “hey can you pay me back” and just sends the person a virtual request for the money.  People can furthermore chat and explain why they are requesting or giving money, which makes the interaction even more personal.  Venmo ensures security of your personal bank account and let’s you use Venmo with anyone in the United States.  The app is free and there are no fees unless using a credit card alone; even then it is only three percent.  The app connects with the virtual obsession that our generation has for everything and the ability to do it simply through a mobile device, on the go.

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The Basics of Marketing Your Startup

As a marketing major, I admit to being biased when I say that the most important thing to consider when launching a new product or business is your marketing strategy. You could develop the best app in the industry, but if you have no definitive way of relaying information about your app to potential customers, you’re going to miss out on some serious growth. This post is by no means a complete step-by-step guide, but it will hopefully get your brain thinking about how to market your new business idea.

Know Your Customers

Before you can start creating your plan, you have to know your target market inside and out. How old are they? What social media sites do they visit the most? What types of jobs do they have? Are they an Apple fan or an Android fan? What are their needs? Their pains? If they could have one problem solved for them, what would it be? Asking these questions and spending time really thinking about the answers will give you a firm foundation moving forward. Creating customer personas will help you take demographic data and give it life, making it easier to think about your customer relationships personally.

Choose Your Channels

Based on your customer information, begin choosing the channels you will use to spread the word about your new business. If your market is young, social media sites like Twitter and Instagram would be appropriate channels. If your market is largely female, Pinterest would be a great place to start. Also consider reaching your customers through more traditional methods, like direct mail and print ads, if you find that it will reach your customers effectively. This is when you will have to do some research and think critically to decide which tactic is the best approach for your business.

Network, Network, Network

Don’t be afraid to talk up your idea. Tell anyone who will listen about it – ask for referrals from friends, colleagues, anyone you know either professionally or casually. Consider offering free trials or a discounted price for first-time users and encourage them to spread the word if they liked it. Don’t be afraid to offer discounts at first – this can be a great technique if used properly and in the right timeframe. Organic referrals can be extremely helpful at boosting traffic, and this is a good way to get those started.

Finally, know that you can’t – and shouldn’t – create a marketing plan in one night. You should think on this for a few weeks or even months – and always be open to altering it if needed. Developing a marketing plan will ensure that you’ve got your feet underneath you as you launch your new business, but be prepared to sidestep a few times throughout the launch process.

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Youtube

When most people think of Internet Entrepreneurship Youtube is very commonly overlooked as a website which facilitates entrepreneurship.  Image result for youtube imagesThe reality is hundreds of people start their own entrepreneurial enterprises through Youtube and have found great success providing their very own services.
If for some reason you have been living under a rock since February of 2005 and have no idea what Youtube is, Youtube is an online Website which allows people to start their own online business, which Youtube calls channels, and create video content which they then can upload.  These entrepreneurial producers make money through ads on their videos and donations.  So while commonly overlooked these producers, or “Youtubers”, are just as much Entrepreneurs as any other business start up.

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861?hl=en

https://www.youtube.com/

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SuperScreen

SuperScreen is a new product made by Transcendent Designs getting launched off of kikstarter.   It already has achieved  867% of its target price reaching $435,665  pledged and 3,521 backers.  The reason that they have had such immediate success is their simple but attractive idea.  All SuperScreen is is a wireless screen for your smartphone magnifying what everyone already has.  It is fully integratable with your smart phone allowing you to do everything that you can on your smart phone through the SuperScreen device.

 

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Cloud Living

A young man named Tung Tran realized there was a want and need for help with website building.  People have difficulty with getting themselves out there and don’t always know how to become popular in the virtual world.  Tran as a online entrepreneur has found a way to gain attention and create successful plans to website generating.

When going onto the website of Cloud Living, Tran has his statement about his website:

“We teach ordinary people just like you how to build, rank and monetize content-driven affiliate websites. Sign up for our newsletter below and learn how to make your first $1,000 monthly with your own profitable affiliate website today!”

Some of the recent topics of his blog are stories like “Reverse Guest Posting: How to Generate Great Links Without Outreach” or “7 Productivity Hacks for Marketers: How to Get More Done in Less Time.”  He is basically teaching his skills from many years of trial and error in his personal experience.  Tran wants to help others grow their websites filled with their specific interests and talents to add more to the world.

It’s important to understand how people think, especially in terms of having a successful business.  Tung Tran may be young, but he has the experience that he is willing to share to help others through Cloud Living.

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