Senior Spotlight: Entrepreneur creates app to transform how people donate
May 6, 2015
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Growing up with parents who’ve always created their own successful businesses, Chase Palmieri, a senior entrepreneurship and small business management major, knew that there was a benefit to being an entrepreneur.
“My dad and my mom are both serial entrepreneurs,” he said. “So from a young age, I was able to watch them as examples of how to use their creativity to provide a source of income, be their own boss and even set their own times.”
Palmieri is the creator of the concept SlideSocial, which he hopes will become a successful app.
“I’ve always been interested in social issues and always idolized people like Elon Musk, Bob Marley and just figures who created big social change in the world,” Palmieri said. “Walking through campus, you see everyone on their phones, and you know that they are pretty much wasting time looking at one thing or another. I thought, well that’s a lot of time and energy that could be put toward doing something good, so I came up with SlideSocial.”
SlideSocial is a mobile app that empowers people to donate in measurable ways to the nonprofit of their choice. All the user has to do is slide through pictures with occasional advertisements.
The SlideSocial formula is as follows:
- Users post images to the app
- Generates user traffic
- Paid advertising to raise revenue
- Revenue donated to nonprofit partners
- Trees get planted, meals are donated, etc.
- Communities and environments are enriched
- The world’s a better place
As an entrepreneurship major, Palmieri came up with the idea this semester because he wanted to be able to do his own thing and possibly make money while having a positive impact.
“I’m the founder and CEO of SlideSocial,” he said. “Dr. Colleen Robb is the professor of the social entrepreneurship class I am in, and she also wants to be actively involved in moving forward (with SlideSocial).”
Robb set it up so that on April 30, Palmieri and his team gave a presentation in front of Andrew Gazdecki, who he said is perhaps the most successful entrepreneur to come out of Chico and runs a company that specializes in developing apps.
“We presented SlideSocial,” Palmieri said. “It went great, and he wants to get involved.”
When one comes onto the app at first, they can send an invitation out to their friends and contact list just like they would with Snapchat and other apps, Palmieri said.
Before sliding through pictures, users must decide two things:
- What nonprofit out of the list of partners they want the money to be going to
- How many advertisements per image they want to see
Users can select their own nonprofit and the money that they are sliding for goes directly to them, Palmieri said.
“We don’t take a single cent,” he said. “While you are sliding through, if you want to see an ad every five (images), that’s how much money you’ll be giving to them. Or if you want to do it one in every 10, you will be donating a little less, but you can decide your contribution.”
All nonprofit partners will be those that Palmieri has established relationships with, such as Trees for the Future.
“They are a nonprofit based out of Maryland,” he said, “and what they do is for 15 cents they can go and plant trees for communities that are suffering from a lack of environmental fertility and a lack of food source.”
The overall goal for the app is to allow people to give back without asking them to go volunteer, dig holes somewhere or pull money out of their own pockets, he said.
“The idea is that from the comfort of their own home, when they could be on Snapchat or Instagram, they could also be on my app and creating measurable social impact for the nonprofit of their choice,” Palmieri said.
The social entrepreneurship class allowed him to invest more time in SlideSocial.
“In the class, we had to come up with a project or an idea to work on, and we could either work on an existing nonprofit or come up with a new revolutionary kind of idea,” he said. “It was perfect because it gave me the time and the classmates to pour some energy into the project.”
While Palmieri’s roommate is helping him create a website, three of his classmates have been working closely on the project with him, including Mark Davis, a senior entrepreneurship major.
“Chase is a great guy who is driven to make the world a better place,” Davis said. “He came up with the idea of SlideSocial not to make money but to make a difference. That’s rare these days.”
Within his major, it was the people and social values that many of the students and faculty at Chico State possess that helped him prepare for SlideSocial, Palmieri said
“This campus is very focused on sustainability, and that’s something that I care a lot about,” he said. “It’s always kind of showed me that you can create a future and a business focused around sustainability. Its first focus is to do good and make money later.”
Palmieri’s postgraduation plans are to focus on the app because he’ll have a lot more time to dedicate to the business.
“We want Chico to be the first campus to adopt the application, and then we are going to want to grow as fast as we can from there,” he said. “We hope to revolutionize the way people donate.”
Nicole Santos can be reached at [email protected] or @Iam_NicoleS on Twitter.