ChallengeStar, a Miami-based tech startup officially launched its new mobile app of the same name on Apr. 18 at eMerge Americas, Miami’s homegrown tech conference.
“The app is revolutionizing fundraising and social media competition,” said Jed Royer, CEO of ChallengeStar. “With this unique app, people can create contests that help raise money and awareness for their causes. Our mission is to make the world a more charitable place, and so we have developed a way for people to support their favorite causes simply by pledging real money to their favorite posts instead of just ‘liking.’”
The app is free to download from either the App Store or Google Play Store, and registered users can play for a cause by setting up a “Charity Challenge” or play for themselves by setting up a “Winner Takes All Challenge.” In either instance, users create their own challenges, message their followers to participate and raise money online using ChallengeStar’s secure payment gateway via PayPal.
Supporters also can pledge from the convenience of their social media pages without having to download the app through ChallengeStar’s “EasyPledge” technology. This allows participants to click on a challenge that was shared on social media and pledge directly through that screen, without being rerouted to another page.
“The app is completely scalable, making it a great tool for any size organization,” Royer said. The “Charity Challenge” can be activated by a verified non-profit organization to raise money for a global cause such as cancer research or it could be as micro as a local soccer team or school music program looking to raise money for equipment or travel.
“Unlike other crowd-funding and fundraising sites, ChallengeStar enables non-profit organizations to create challenges and raise money safely and securely, and reach far beyond their base of supporters with no upfront cost and no risk,” Royer said. “ChallengeStar is easing the pain of traditional fundraising and leveling the playing field for non-profits. We are providing other organizations such as clubs, youth sports and college Greek life organizations a simple solution through our Charity Challenges.”
One nonprofit that is putting ChallengeStar to good use is the Live Like Bella Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research. Live Like Bella began a “Super Selfie Challenge” where participants post photos and videos of themselves in their favorite superhero outfits.
ChallengeStar also provides users with an entertaining social media game with the “Winner Takes All” challenge. The organizer has the option to offer a cash award or they may set a “Buy In” — a required fee for all users who submit a post. The resulting prize amount is awarded to the post with the most votes, and the organizer of the challenge gets a percentage. In the alternative, the organizer could set the “Buy In” at zero and the winner simply gets bragging rights or the pot if it was completely funded by the organizer.
Founded in 2012, ChallengeStar LLC is a Miami-based tech startup company that is making the world more charitable by transforming fundraising into a competitive game played via social media. ChallengeStar strives to create innovative products that capitalize on how people share socially, translating those behaviors into tangible social good. ChallengeStar is led by Co-founder and CEO, Jed Royer, a seasoned marketing and creative director who is passionate about philanthropy. Royer serves in his local community as the volunteer president of the Miami Shenandoah Neighborhood Association.