Update: Current State of Shelfie

Babson SFSVP Demo Day @ Mozilla

All of the support Shelifie has received over the past year has been incredible. Until May of 2016 Shelfie was just an idea. In June, I finally started taking the idea seriously, and, a week later, moved to San Francisco (SF) by myself to participate in Babson’s Summer Venture Program. Benefits of the program include: great connections, motivating conversations, plenty of market research, and led me to forming partnerships. These were the right first steps, but it was difficult to build the product as I did not have a full-time technical team. I had a few contractors make the basic pages and get some of the functionality working, but until this point, it was mostly mockups and prototypes. The project was developing but still did not make much progress throughout the school year. My contractors and I were students and also worked remotely. It was tough to make meaningful advances.

The most recent show of support occurred during our crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe. Between offline and online donations, we raised $10,100, had 11,500 visits, 1,145 shares, and 150 donors! Again, we cannot thank you enough for all of your support!

One of the difficult questions I am frequently asked is, “How is Shelfie going?” It is always hard to answer because everyone I speak to believes in me and what Shelfie is doing, but I have little to nothing to show for it. I usually smiled and was honest with them: “We have had a few setbacks, but we are not giving up and each mistake brings us closer to being successful.” The odds have been against me throughout the entirety of my life and I plan to once again, prove the data wrong. I am a first-gen college student, type 1 diabetic who missed 150+ days of high school and has had eight serious hospitalizations, and a first time entrepreneur. Our team is comprised of people who give everything 110% and do much more than I ask for, and for that, I am grateful. Over the past year I have made an abundance of mistakes, but I view each as a lesson. My theory is to fail fast so we can quickly learn what works and what does not, and keep pushing forward.

The Decision to Move to SF

Fast forward to May of 2017 and the day before my graduation (May 19th), I decided we need our team back in SF. The week before I was in SF and had a lot of meetings with people in health, tech, and venture capital, all of whom tried to convince me to move. I always planned on living in SF, but in about 3 years’ time — not 3 weeks. I spoke to my team and the majority were on board, so we made the decision. With our new team we realized a lot of the previous contract mobile work was faulty and we need to start fresh. We set an aggressive timeline for a beta to occur in late September and launch our product in October.

We have a strong team of five incredible individuals behind Shelfie and are working 70+ hours per week to ensure a successful launch. We live in a Hacker House, therefore, when we leave our free office space, we are still surrounded by people working day and night on their startup — I have a future blog planned on making SF affordable. We work seven days a week and are a living on a startup budget. Nothing has been easy and we took a large risk moving here, but the reward is far higher and we are working towards building something bigger than all of us. A lot of exciting things have been under development that I would like to share to both update you and see if there is anything you could potentially do to help us out!

What is Shelfie?

Shelfie (Share yourself) creates fundraising multimedia campaigns for nonprofits. We aim to enhance awareness, engagement, & retention, while creating community around a cause. We work directly with a nonprofit to create a relevant challenge for their cause — think of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for other causes. We use gamification so that donors (users) can compete & win prizes while raising awareness and funds.

We were inspired by how successful the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was. It was the most successful social media campaign of all time, raising $115m in ~2 months. Wow. We were excited by not only how much it raised, but how it brought 17 million people together — number of people who posted a video. Shelfie looks to create similar campaigns that are relevant to a nonprofit, with a heavy focus on raising both awareness and funds.

Current State

  • Our team consists of five brilliant people with startup experience. We are stealth, so I will not name them at this time :)
  • We are building the most complex and custom mobile application that Xamarin has ever been used for — Microsoft, we look forward to acquisition talks :)
  • We will be pitching in NYC at Miller Lite Tap the Future on July 18th for $20,000, where the winner moves on to the Finals and can win up to $100,000
  • We plan to launch in 8–10 weeks on beta, for both Android and iOS
  • We have a wine tasting fundraiser on August 18th in Providence, RI — more details to come!

Things We Need

  • 1–2 developers with C# and .NET Core experience — must be social impact oriented and believe in our mission!
  • Connections to people working in NGO’s that have more than $250,000/yr in revenue and 1,000+ donors!
  • People with prior startup experience looking to join a team for equity :)
  • Connections to Angel Groups/Syndicates and VC’s who invest between $400,000 — $1,000,000. We are looking to raise a seed round.
  • Up to 100 people to participate in our external beta in September!
  • Connections to creative consultants to help us create campaigns!

Check out our simple landing page: www.shelfiechallenge.com

Email me: brendan@shelfiechallenge.com

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