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Viral internet challenges seem to be exploding as of late. From the Drake inspired “In My Feelings” challenge, to the surprisingly tricky Deli Ali challenge, people showing their skills online has never been hotter!
Of course, internet challenges are not a new thing. For years these challenges have persisted as videos on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and certainly some were even around during the days of MySpace.
While many of these challenges tend to involve individuals “>pursuing some questionable antics, some can have very positive results on the community or the world as a whole.
Ice Bucket Challenge
Arguably the most popular and successful internet challenge ever was the 2014, “Ice Bucket Challenge” which sought to raise money for the study and treatment of ALS.
Videos of the challenges were viewed 1 billion times on YouTube. And on Facebook? Make that 10 billion. The results were an estimated $220 Million raised for the cause as people posted their challenges across all video mediums on the internet. That funding helped scientists discover a new gene tied to ALS.
However, although the success of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” is undeniable, it didn’t come without a fair amount of confusion from participants.
Many people claimed that after they were challenged, they didn’t know where to donate the money to because the platforms they were being challenged on didn’t have any actual information on how and where to donate. Additionally, some participants noted that they had a hard time keeping up with what social media platform they were challenged on, and how and where to respond.
The Solution to Confusion
But what if there was one place to do both of these things? One social media app built specifically for internet challenges, that integrated with a payment system to link those challenges to the appropriate charities?
Enter WatchUGot, a mobile application dedicated to hosting the required medium to participate in more internet challenges (pictures, videos, etc.) and facilitate all the transactions from the user to the charity.
Founded by two engineers, Erman Koc and Kevin Moran, WatchUGot (or, WUG, for short) launched their MVP this summer, in July of 2018. The founders have bootstrapped their startup thus far but have successfully established a loyal following of over 300 users, in just over three months. They are now looking to drive uptake of the app among key demographics such as University fraternities and sororities, who can use the product to launch fun challenges to raise money for the charity of their choice.
In an email, WatchUGot co-founder and President, Kevin Moran told EQ, “the idea came from a conversation regarding making an app where you could see how may people in the world could do a specific, simple thing such as roll their tongue, or doing a specific soccer trick. After some brainstorming, we realized that internet challenges work in the exact same way.”
“We researched it further and found that there was no platform where you could do and donate to a challenge, all in one place. We took it upon ourselves to build it, but create it in such a way as to activate the next generation to get more involved in local charities. The idea was to give power to the individual to be able to change the world simply by doing a challenge which raises awareness and funds all at the same time.”
The Solution to Confusion
Since launching this summer the team has grown two founders to now six people working on version 2.0 of the app, and they have formed a fifteen member volunteer based “challenge committee” to brainstorm new challenges as well as three business/industry advisors.
Currently the team is addressing funding for expansion beyond the MVP. They’re preparing an initial coin offering (ICO) with a soft cap target of $1M, and a hard cap target of $7M with the Pre-ICO being open to investors scheduled for November 1.
For version 2.0, the WUG team aims to build a product with a vast array of easy to use gamification features and functions. They’re also planning a blockchain supported payment system to make it easier to make and track donations or in app purchases.
The marriage of internet challenges and charitable donations all in one place might seem like a no brainer. But it’s the bundling of the challenge with the payment portal that is a classic startup innovation move.
While the team is still in the early stages and prepping for growth and funding plans, with over 16,000 non-profits in the St. Louis area, WUG is well placed to bring some new flair to a great mission: helping people support their charities in a fun and innovative way.