Appreciate online platform to connect people with any non-profit, anywhere they are
Please introduce yourself and your start-up Appreciate to our readers!
I’m Robert and the Founder of Appreciate. Appreciate is a new online platform to connect people with any non-profit, anywhere they are.
We’re an internet and SaaS start-up with a dream to connect the entire non-profit world, and to create an ecosystem where people, businesses and non-profits create relationships to change the world.
How did you get the idea to Appreciate?
There are two reasons as to why I’ve Founded Appreciate. My altruistic vision for the non-profit world, and secondly a practical solution to a problem. My altruistic vision for the non-profit world is to create a platform designed to empower every individual non-profit to change the world, and to revolutionize the non-profit world to focus on engaging people and businesses to channel what they’re passionate about into positively impacting the world.
Secondly, there is a more practical problem where I believe Appreciate makes a positive impact. Whilst at University I ran a conference and I wanted a non-profit to talk to students about being a global citizen. I found it near-impossible to find and connect with a non-profit near to me. Everywhere there are non-profits that someone will want to support, so creating a platform that provides that simple function where people can find any non-profit, anywhere they are, I believe can be powerful.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
The most difficult challenge has been to help people see my vision for what I’m trying to create. Transferring my passion and belief onto other non-profits, businesses and people has been one of the harder challenges.
Who is your target audience?
Everyone. This sounds vague, or crazy to some people, but everyone has a passion; whether that be football, mountaineering, skiing, surfing, education, international development, the list can go on. What we’re doing at Appreciate is building a platform for people to find non-profit’s they’re passionate about so that more people may want to get involved in the non-profit world. Getting involved in the world of non-profits to volunteer, donate, create a partnership with etc. is open to everyone!
Caveat: We are building a brand which speaks to the younger generation, however I believe the core platform can relate to anyone!
What is the USP of your start-up?
Find any non-profit, anywhere you are.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
The truth with Founding a company/start-up is if you’re truly 100% passionate about what you’re doing, and have a vision and dream, your mind is working 24 hours a day even if you “work” from 8am-6pm. Typically I’ll get up. Do an hour or so of work. Go to the gym. Work for another ‘X’ number of hours. Then go for another run in the evening to give me time to think and wind-down. I never really work until 3 or 4 am like my investment banking friends, but my mind is always on what I need to do next to make Appreciate more and more impactful. Oh, and you will work weekends and miss night’s out partying if you truly want to make your start-up succeed.
Where do you see yourself and your start-up Appreciate in five years?
My dream for Appreciate is to connect the entire non-profit world. The truth is I don’t know where that dream ends, or if it’s even attainable, but having a dream which always makes you work harder and harder is something I learnt at AB InBev in my previous job. If Appreciate continues to help people and positively impacts the world, I’ll be exactly where I hoped to be.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1) Are you 100% certain your idea can help the world.
What many people don’t know is I thought about Appreciate and the concept for about 3 years before launching it. I’ve had a nagging thought in the back of my mind which kept telling me that “you should launch this idea”, and it wouldn’t go away – that’s why I knew I was going to launch Appreciate. If you “forget” your idea, or “have to think” about why you want to launch a start-up, that’s when I would say are you actually on to something that needs to be launched?
2) Know your steps to launch your MVP or full-blown company.
I only started Appreciate once I knew 100% what I was going to do when taking the jump to start Appreciate. The second I left my old job I knew the product, the brand, the image, and the 6-months steps I would need to take to launch Appreciate to the public. Prior to even starting Appreciate, I had an idea of what I needed to achieve to launch, and I had a hypothetical 6month timeline of the process it would take to launch (January 2017 – July 2017). In the end I had my MVP by July and launched in full in August 2017. A lot of due diligence, intuition and belief is required! Launching an internet company is pretty much one of the “riskiest” companies to start, so I would say in my un-expect opinion, only start your start-up once you know exactly what you want to launch, and work every day to make it happen.
3) Do you have an unwavering belief in what you want to achieve?
You will hit a bump in the road, you’ll meet people who think you’re crazy, people won’t believe your intentions, people won’t understand your vision or dream. When these things occur, you’ll be deflated and might think you’re crazy and want to quit. If this happens, I revert to thinking about why I decided to launch Appreciate in the first place, and this reaffirms why I believe in what I’m doing. I believe so strongly in my vision for what Appreciate can achieve, and I know what I need to do in the next 18 months, so when I hit these bumps in the road, I can always find a reason to re-kindle my belief and push on with growing Appreciate and the community on the platform.
More information you will find here
Thank you Robert Hester for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.