About two months ago, McKeever Conwell arrived at the NewME Accelerator in San Francisco, ready to make the social gift-giving company he co-founded, NoBadGift.com, stronger.
But when Conwell arrived, NewME founder Angela Benton had just one question for him: When’s NoBadGift changing its name?
“We’ve been struggling with that for awhile,” Conwell says. “We were comfortable with the name being NoBadGift.”
Apparently not too comfortable, as NoBadGift has rebranded itself as Given.to, and plans to unveil its new website and new brand sometime mid-October. A new site launch then gives Conwell and co-founders Sam Henry and Michael Washington barely two weeks to prepare for NewME Demo Day on Nov. 1.
“[Benton] liked the name Given. Everybody we asked loved Given,” says Conwell. “Universally, everybody said, ‘Yeah, it’s a lot better than NoBadGift.’ ”
When Given formally launches, Conwell and crew will unveil in tandem several new features to their social-gifting platform that weren’t available through NoBadGift:
- As with NoBadGift, users are still able to crowdfund for any product they find on the Internet, and create wish lists of items they’d like to raise money for in order to buy.
- People will now be able to donate money directly to nonprofits, as well as raise money for their own volunteer trips.
- Digital goods, like iPhone apps, will be items people can try to crowdfund for, and users can also use Given to post E-cards on friends’ Facebook walls on their birthdays.
- Experiences, like hot-air balloon rides, scuba diving and skydiving, are now things users can raise money for.
Conwell says that current NoBadGift users will have all their account information transferred over to the new site.
Successfully armed with a new name, Conwell says Given is right now taking “exploratory meetings with investors.” And while he says his “plan is to help build the tech community in Baltimore,” he notes that many of the investors he has met during his time in San Francisco prefer companies they invest in to be located in Silicon Valley.
“They want you close,” he says. “That’s something we’ll have to struggle with. We’ll see.”
On the whole, however, Conwell is excited about the progress he and his co-founders have made during their time at NewME.
“I think people are going to be a little surprised and shocked to see just how much we’ve done in the short period of time we’ve been out here.”
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