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Harvard	
  i3	
  Proposal:	
  Social	
  Enterprise	
  
Samuel	
  Galler	
  
Daniel	
  Choi	
  
Kirk	
  Benson	
  


	
  

	
  
Summary
Briefly	
   state	
   the	
   value	
   proposition	
   of	
   your	
   project	
   in	
   terms	
   of	
   what	
   it	
   will	
   do,	
   for	
  
whom,	
  and	
  what	
  positive	
  impact	
  will	
  result.	
  	
  
BrowniePoints	
  is	
  an	
  online	
  community	
  that	
  encourages	
  its	
  members	
  to	
  post	
  and	
  fulfill	
  basic	
  
favors	
  by	
  tracking	
  and	
  rewarding	
  helpful	
  actions.	
  This	
  online	
  application	
  will	
  allow	
  people	
  
to	
   fully	
   leverage	
   their	
   innate	
   desire	
   to	
   help	
   their	
   neighbors	
   by	
   expanding	
   access	
   to	
  
information	
  about	
  how	
  to	
  help	
  one’s	
  peers	
  and	
  increasing	
  public	
  recognition	
  for	
  those	
  who	
  
do	
   engage	
   in	
   such	
   helpful	
   action.	
   BrowniePoints	
   will	
   increase	
   the	
   frequency	
   with	
   which	
  
students	
   help	
   each	
   other	
   while	
   at	
   the	
   same	
   time	
   normalizing	
   the	
   idea	
   of	
   the	
   ‘random	
   act	
   of	
  
kindness.’	
  

Project	
   Summary:	
   What	
   is	
   your	
   idea?	
   State	
   all	
   the	
   main	
   elements	
   of	
   your	
   proposed	
  
project	
  in	
  narrative	
  fashion.	
  What	
  are	
  you	
  going	
  to	
  do,	
  for	
  what	
  purpose,	
  with	
  what	
  
resources,	
  with	
  what	
  effect	
  on	
  the	
  world	
  and	
  yourself?	
  If	
  applicable,	
  you	
  may	
  include	
  
and	
  refer	
  to	
  prototypes,	
  demos,	
  or	
  screenshots	
  in	
  the	
  appendix.
We	
  will	
  design	
  a	
  website	
  where	
  a	
  community	
  of	
  Harvard	
  undergraduates	
  can	
  post	
  requests	
  
for	
  favors,	
  and	
  respond	
  instantaneously	
  to	
  these	
  requests.	
  Each	
  user	
  will	
  begin	
  with	
  a	
  small	
  
number	
   of	
   “brownie	
   points,”	
   which	
   will	
   be	
   traded	
   freely	
   in	
   exchange	
   for	
   helpful	
   actions.	
   As	
  
users	
   accumulate	
   greater	
   numbers	
   of	
   completed	
   tasks,	
   they	
   will	
   be	
   earn	
   extra	
   “brownie	
  
points”,	
   and	
   BrowniePoints	
   will	
   look	
   for	
   sponsors	
   to	
   award	
   prizes	
   to	
   the	
   most	
   active	
  
members	
  on	
  the	
  site.	
  Our	
  site	
  will	
  be	
  interactive,	
  intuitive,	
  and	
  fun,	
  and	
  it	
  will	
  incorporate	
  
an	
   irreverent	
   sense	
   of	
   humor	
   in	
   order	
   to	
   encourage	
   casual	
   participation	
   and	
   a	
   positive	
  
attitude.	
   Each	
   user	
   will	
   have	
   a	
   profile	
   that	
   lists	
   the	
   favors	
   they	
   have	
   completed,	
   and	
   all	
  
users	
  will	
  be	
  able	
  to	
  look	
  through	
  archives	
  of	
  past	
  favors	
  completed	
  to	
  better	
  understand	
  
how	
   to	
   write	
   a	
   favor	
   request.	
   New	
   users	
   can	
   also	
   consult	
   a	
   page	
   we	
   will	
   create	
   with	
  
guidelines	
   on	
   how	
   to	
   write	
   an	
   appropriate	
   request.	
   In	
   order	
   to	
   keep	
   security	
   concerns	
   in	
  
check,	
   we	
   will	
   offer	
   membership	
   only	
   to	
   individuals	
   with	
   an	
   “@fas”	
   or	
   “@college”	
   email	
  
address.	
  

We	
   will	
   advertise	
   this	
   service	
   to	
   Harvard	
   undergraduates	
   through	
   posters,	
   flyers,	
   emails	
  
over	
   student	
   group	
   lists,	
   and	
   other	
   on-­‐campus	
   media,	
   and	
   we	
   hope	
   that	
   the	
   satisfaction	
  
users	
   derive	
   from	
   using	
   the	
   site	
   will	
   cause	
   it	
   to	
   become	
   integrated	
   into	
   the	
   student	
   life	
  
culture	
  on	
  campus.	
  As	
  soon	
  as	
  the	
  site	
  goes	
  live,	
  we	
  will	
  moderate	
  postings	
  to	
  make	
  sure	
  
they	
   are	
   appropriate	
   and	
   realistic,	
   and	
   we	
   will	
   actively	
   participate	
   in	
   the	
   site’s	
   user	
  
community	
  from	
  the	
  start.	
  We	
  will	
  monitor	
  favors	
  that	
  are	
  not	
  completed	
  immediately,	
  and	
  
either	
   have	
   a	
   staff	
   member	
   complete	
   them	
   or	
   respond	
   directly	
   to	
   the	
   individual	
   with	
  
possible	
   reasons	
   their	
   favor	
   was	
   not	
   claimed	
   by	
   other	
   users	
   on	
   the	
   site.	
   This	
   project	
   is	
  
designed	
   to	
   be	
   scalable	
   to	
   any	
   small	
   to	
   mid-­‐size	
   community,	
   including	
   college	
   campuses	
  
and	
  neighborhoods	
  looking	
  to	
  enhance	
  community	
  involvement.	
  
Currently,	
   incentives	
   to	
   complete	
   good	
   tasks	
   are	
   skewed;	
   people	
   frequently	
   offer	
   small	
  
monetary	
  rewards	
  in	
  exchange	
  for	
  help,	
  but	
  doing	
  so	
  fails	
  to	
  nurture	
  the	
  underlying	
  motive	
  
of	
   good	
   will.	
   We	
   aim	
   to	
   provide	
   incentives	
   that	
   will	
   nurture	
   a	
   culture	
   of	
   giving	
   to	
   the	
  
community,	
  in	
  a	
  fun	
  and	
  collaborative	
  environment.	
  Ideally,	
  users	
  will	
  develop	
  a	
  sense	
  of	
  
identity	
   as	
   part	
   of	
   the	
   BrowniePoints	
   community,	
   and	
   thus	
   will	
   begin	
   to	
   build	
   trust	
   and	
  
confidence	
  in	
  their	
  peers.	
  By	
  introducing	
  a	
  new	
  social	
  currency	
  (i.e.	
  “brownie	
  points),	
  we	
  
will	
   expand	
   the	
   favor	
   market	
   from	
   one	
   that	
   is	
   limited	
   to	
   friendship	
   circles	
   to	
   the	
   student	
  
body	
  at	
  large.	
  Research	
  by	
  Dr.	
  Nicholas	
  A.	
  Christakis,	
  a	
  practicing	
  physician	
  and	
  professor	
  
at	
   Harvard	
   Medical	
   School,	
   has	
   indicated	
   that	
   happiness	
   is	
   strongly	
   correlated	
   with	
  
interacting	
   with	
   happy	
   strangers	
   and	
   those	
   “one,	
   two,	
   and	
   three	
   degrees	
   removed	
   from	
  
you,”[1]	
   indicating	
   that	
   this	
   social	
   project	
   would	
   have	
   positive	
   effects	
   on	
   the	
   student	
  
happiness	
  generally.	
  

We	
  believe	
  that	
  limited	
  knowledge	
  of	
  others’	
  needs	
  and	
  lack	
  of	
  recognition	
  for	
  performing	
  
favors	
  are	
  the	
  two	
  principal	
  barriers	
  to	
  neighborly	
  behavior.	
  Furthermore,	
  we	
  believe	
  that	
  
most	
   people	
   actually	
   want	
   to	
   help	
   others,	
   and	
   that	
   this	
   is	
   an	
   unmet	
   demand	
   in	
   most	
  
communities.	
  In	
  other	
  words,	
  if	
  people	
  were	
  to	
  know	
  exactly	
  what	
  their	
  neighbors	
  needed	
  
and	
  were	
  rewarded	
  for	
  helping	
  out,	
  they	
  would	
  be	
  self-­‐motivated	
  to	
  perform	
  acts	
  of	
  good	
  
will.	
  

Online	
   media	
   have	
   increasingly	
   started	
   to	
   undermine	
   the	
   importance	
   of	
   physical	
   proximity	
  
in	
  the	
  formation	
  of	
  meaningful	
  relationships	
  and	
  replace	
  valuable	
  face-­‐to-­‐face	
  interaction.	
  
We	
  believe	
  that	
  the	
  Web	
  can	
  be	
  used	
  to	
  the	
  opposite	
  effect,	
  as	
  a	
  tool	
  to	
  encourage	
  greater	
  
interpersonal	
  interaction	
  by	
  coordinating	
  and	
  enabling	
  social	
  engagement.	
  

As	
   things	
   currently	
   stand,	
   most	
   favor	
   requests	
   are	
   sent	
   out	
   over	
   student	
   group	
   or	
   house	
  
lists,	
   which	
   suffer	
   from	
   being	
   too	
   small	
   and	
   not	
   reporting	
   task	
   completion.	
   We	
   aim	
   to	
   unify	
  
these	
  fragmented	
  communication	
  networks,	
  since	
  individuals	
  arguably	
  benefit	
  more	
  from	
  
helping	
   strangers	
   than	
   from	
   helping	
   only	
   friends.	
   Ultimately,	
   increased	
   face-­‐to-­‐face	
   time	
  
with	
  strangers	
  in	
  this	
  positive	
  context	
  will	
  transform	
  the	
  social	
  fabric	
  of	
  campus,	
  improving	
  
student	
  happiness	
  and	
  quality	
  of	
  life	
  on	
  campus.	
  

We	
   will	
   take	
   advantage	
   of	
   users’	
   unmet	
   desire	
   to	
   help	
   other	
   members	
   of	
   the	
   community,	
  
and	
   we	
   will	
   rely	
   on	
   two	
   web	
   developers	
   to	
   create	
   the	
   site.	
   We	
   will	
   have	
   a	
   few	
   people	
  
monitoring	
   the	
   site,	
   and	
   a	
   few	
   people	
   working	
   on	
   marketing,	
   which	
   would	
   include	
   both	
  
advertising	
   to	
   students	
   and	
   negotiating	
   with	
   local	
   businesses	
   and	
   corporate	
   sponsors.	
  
Businesses	
   will	
   gain	
   good	
   publicity	
   and	
   access	
   to	
   a	
   unique	
   demographic	
   by	
   sponsoring	
   this	
  
project	
  at	
  reasonable	
  cost.	
  


	
  
	
  

	
  
The	
  Project	
  
At	
  what	
  stage	
  of	
  development	
  is	
  your	
  venture?	
  What,	
  if	
  any,	
  work	
  have	
  you	
  already	
  
put	
  into	
  it	
  and	
  what	
  has	
  that	
  work	
  accomplished?
BrowniePoints	
  is	
  in	
  development	
  and	
  nearly	
  ready	
  to	
  move	
  to	
  implementation.	
  	
  Front-­‐end	
  
design	
   is	
   currently	
   being	
   drafted,	
   while	
   back-­‐end	
   implementation	
   has	
   yet	
   to	
   be	
   started.	
  	
  
The	
   team	
   has	
   proposed	
   the	
   idea	
   to	
   various	
   peers	
   to	
   gauge	
   interest	
   in	
   the	
   project,	
   and	
   an	
  
overwhelming	
  majority	
  has	
  expressed	
  sincere	
  appreciation	
  of	
  and	
  support	
  for	
  the	
  idea.	
  

Describe	
   in	
   detail	
   your	
   work	
   plan	
   for	
   the	
   summer.	
   A	
   minimum	
   of	
   two	
   months	
   of	
   work	
  
is	
  expected,	
  so	
  please	
  describe	
  those	
  work	
  activities	
  and	
  what	
  it	
  will	
  produce.	
  
At	
   the	
   start	
   of	
   summer,	
   website	
   design	
   drafts	
   will	
   already	
   be	
   completed	
   and	
   the	
   coding	
  
team	
   will	
   begin	
   implementation	
   of	
   the	
   web	
   application.	
   	
   Depending	
   on	
   the	
   final	
   project	
  
specification,	
  another	
  engineer	
  may	
  be	
  hired	
  to	
  help	
  code.	
  	
  Front-­‐end	
  and	
  back-­‐end	
  work	
  
will	
   be	
   developed	
   simultaneously	
   to	
   ensure	
   the	
   creation	
   of	
   an	
   intuitive	
   user	
   interface,	
   a	
  
logical	
  underlying	
  infrastructure,	
  and	
  efficient	
  use	
  of	
  resources.	
  	
  	
  

Throughout	
   the	
   pre-­‐alpha	
   and	
   alpha	
   process,	
   the	
   public	
   website	
   will	
   include	
   information	
  
about	
  the	
  project	
  and	
  the	
  ability	
  to	
  sign-­‐up	
  for	
  early	
  beta	
  access.	
  	
  This	
  will	
  help	
  generate	
  
hype	
  for	
  the	
  project	
  and	
  establish	
  its	
  purpose	
  among	
  the	
  targeted	
  demographic	
  (Harvard	
  
undergraduates).	
   	
   Once	
   the	
   project	
   reaches	
   beta,	
   a	
   small	
   number	
   of	
   testers	
   will	
   be	
   given	
  
access	
   to	
   the	
   site	
   to	
   find	
   bugs	
   and	
   give	
   feedback	
   on	
   the	
   user	
   experience.	
   	
   At	
   this	
   point,	
   with	
  
proof	
  of	
  concept	
  established	
  and	
  a	
  budding	
  community,	
  the	
  team	
  will	
  begin	
  reaching	
  out	
  to	
  
possible	
   corporate	
   sponsors	
   for	
   awarding	
   monthly	
   Brownie	
   Points	
   prizes	
   to	
   the	
   top	
  
earners.	
  	
  Marketing	
  to	
  students	
  will	
  also	
  commence	
  to	
  build	
  hype	
  for	
  the	
  full	
  release	
  once	
  
the	
  school	
  year	
  starts.	
  

The	
   team	
   has	
   set	
   several	
   milestones	
   during	
   the	
   summer	
   to	
   track	
   its	
   progress.	
   	
   Important	
  
dates	
  are	
  listed	
  below.	
  

Date	
                                         Milestone	
  
May	
  31st,	
  2011	
                         Design	
  drafts	
  complete	
  
                                               Team	
  structure	
  solidified	
  
                                               Office	
  space	
  and	
  technical	
  resources	
  secured	
  
                                               	
  
June	
  30th,	
  2011	
                        Alpha	
  release	
  
                                               Public	
  “teaser”	
  available	
  at	
  website	
  
                                               	
  
June	
  15th,	
  2011	
                        Finalize	
  feature	
  list	
  
                                               	
  
July	
  31st,	
  2011	
                        Beta	
  release	
  
                                               Publicity	
  and	
  marketing	
  materials	
  created	
  
                                               	
  
August	
  15th,	
  2011	
                      Corporate	
  sponsorships	
  secured	
  
                                               Marketing	
  strategy	
  developed	
  and	
  rolling	
  
                                               	
  
August	
  31st,	
  2011	
                      Version	
  1.0	
  Release	
  
Who	
  is	
  your	
  target	
  audience,	
  and	
  what	
  demonstrable	
  need	
  of	
  theirs	
  are	
  you	
  trying	
  to	
  
address?	
  Be	
  as	
  specific	
  as	
  possible,	
  and	
  if	
  possible,	
  quantify	
  the	
  size	
  of	
  the	
  audience	
  
and	
  need.	
  
BrowniePoints	
   will	
   be	
   released	
   first	
   to	
   a	
   pilot	
   community	
   comprised	
   of	
   all	
   Harvard	
  
undergraduate	
   students.	
   	
   The	
   application	
   itself,	
   however,	
   is	
   suited	
   for	
   any	
   small	
   to	
   mid-­‐
sized	
  community,	
  and	
  our	
  goal	
  is	
  to	
  eventually	
  branch	
  into	
  other	
  educational	
  institutions,	
  
geographic	
  locations,	
  and	
  corporate	
  settings.	
  	
  	
  

People	
   constantly	
   rely	
   on	
   each	
   other	
   for	
   help,	
   whether	
   they	
   are	
   looking	
   for	
   advice	
   on	
  
academics	
  or	
  careers	
  or	
  whether	
  they	
  simply	
  need	
  an	
  extra	
  hand	
  in	
  decorating	
  for	
  a	
  party.	
  	
  
Frequently,	
   requests	
   for	
   help	
   go	
   unanswered	
   or	
   even	
   worse	
   –	
   unasked	
   -­‐	
   because	
   there	
  
exists	
  no	
  natural	
  forum	
  in	
  which	
  we	
  can	
  request	
  and	
  respond	
  to	
  small	
  favors.	
  	
  	
  

We	
   have	
   estimated	
   that	
   five	
   to	
   ten	
   requests	
   are	
   made	
   over	
   each	
   of	
   the	
   thirteen	
  
undergraduate	
   Harvard	
   house	
   e-­‐mail	
   lists	
   every	
   day.	
   	
   That	
   amounts	
   to	
   1000	
   to	
   2000	
  
requests	
   per	
   semester	
   across	
   all	
   houses,	
   not	
   even	
   including	
   requests	
   sent	
   over	
   private	
   lists	
  
and	
  those	
  sent	
  via	
  texts	
  to	
  friends.	
  	
  BrowniePoints	
  seeks	
  to	
  connect	
  those	
  looking	
  for	
  a	
  little	
  
help	
  with	
  those	
  willing	
  to	
  give	
  a	
  little	
  help,	
  and	
  ideally	
  these	
  two	
  groups	
  will	
  have	
  a	
  great	
  
amount	
  of	
  overlap.	
  	
  It’s	
  the	
  pay-­‐it-­‐forward	
  effect	
  to	
  the	
  nth	
  degree!	
  

The	
  concept	
  is	
  very	
  scalable	
  –	
  since	
  a	
  greater	
  number	
  of	
  members	
  in	
  a	
  community	
  means	
  
more	
   requests	
   and	
   more	
   people	
   to	
   fulfill	
   those	
   requests,	
   the	
   sole	
   limiting	
   factor	
   is	
   the	
  
somewhat	
  intangible	
  aspect	
  of	
  trust	
  and	
  camaraderie.	
  	
  In	
  order	
  for	
  this	
  program	
  to	
  succeed,	
  
the	
   members	
   of	
   the	
   community	
   must	
   feel	
   that	
   there	
   is	
   something	
   about	
   their	
   community	
  
that	
   ties	
   them	
   together	
   as	
   individuals	
   helping	
   one	
   another.	
   	
   For	
   this	
   reason,	
   the	
   Harvard	
  
undergraduate	
  population	
  is	
  the	
  perfect	
  pilot	
  community	
  in	
  which	
  to	
  launch	
  this	
  project.	
  

Who	
  else	
  is	
  attempting	
  to	
  respond	
  to	
  this	
  need?	
  How	
  are	
  you	
  unique?
The	
  institution	
  at	
  Harvard	
  that	
  comes	
  most	
  close	
  to	
  responding	
  to	
  this	
  need	
  is	
  that	
  of	
  house	
  
and	
  student	
  group	
  e-­‐mail	
  lists.	
  	
  These	
  lists,	
  however,	
  lack	
  the	
  large	
  community	
  needed	
  to	
  
answer	
   more	
   obscure	
   requests.	
   	
   Furthermore,	
   the	
   e-­‐mail	
   interface	
   is	
   not	
   conducive	
   to	
  
handling	
  requests	
  and	
  offers	
  of	
  help.	
  	
  	
  

Craigslist	
  also	
  has	
  a	
  section	
  in	
  which	
  users	
  can	
  ask	
  for	
  favors,	
  but	
  it	
  suffers	
  from	
  having	
  too	
  
large	
  of	
  a	
  community.	
  	
  People	
  tend	
  to	
  shy	
  away	
  from	
  using	
  Craigslist	
  for	
  help	
  because	
  there	
  
is	
  no	
  implied	
  connection	
  between	
  members	
  of	
  the	
  community,	
  and	
  many	
  would	
  not	
  trust	
  
just	
  any	
  Craigslist	
  user	
  to	
  help	
  them.	
  	
  	
  

Classified	
   ads,	
   though	
   waning	
   in	
   popularity,	
   are	
   also	
   sometime	
   used	
   to	
   requisition	
   help	
  
from	
   community	
   members.	
   	
   These	
   ads	
   fail,	
   however,	
   to	
   address	
   time-­‐sensitive	
   needs	
   and	
  
also	
  suffer	
  from	
  the	
  same	
  problem	
  that	
  Craigslist	
  faces.	
  	
  The	
  readership	
  is	
  just	
  too	
  large	
  and	
  
random	
  to	
  effectively	
  respond	
  to	
  small	
  favors.	
  

	
  

	
  
To	
  summarize,	
  BrowniePoint’s	
  competitive	
  advantage	
  lies	
  in	
  the	
  following:	
  

     •     It	
  aggregates	
  requests	
  into	
  a	
  single,	
  intuitive	
  interface.	
  
     •     It	
   makes	
   it	
   helping	
   people	
   more	
   fun	
   by	
   introducing	
   a	
   little	
   friendly	
   competition	
   into	
  
           the	
  mix.	
  
     •     People	
   are	
   recognized	
   and	
   rewarded	
   for	
   their	
   efforts	
   to	
   make	
   their	
   communities	
  
           better.	
  
     •     It	
  encourages	
  neighborly	
  behavior	
  among	
  community	
  members.	
  
     •     It	
  builds	
  a	
  culture	
  of	
  mutual	
  goodwill.	
  

Describe	
  your	
  financial	
  needs	
  for	
  the	
  project	
  work	
  plan	
  and	
  how	
  you	
  would	
  use	
  an	
  I³	
  
award.	
   Also	
   estimate	
   how	
   much	
   additional	
   funding,	
   if	
   any,	
   you	
   would	
   need	
   beyond	
  
the	
  summer	
  project	
  period.
Our	
  financial	
  needs	
  extend	
  primarily	
  to	
  the	
  development	
  of	
  the	
  actual	
  application.	
  	
  Once	
  the	
  
website	
   has	
   been	
   created,	
   the	
   majority	
   of	
   content	
   will	
   be	
   created	
   by	
   the	
   Harvard	
  
community,	
   and	
   thus	
   our	
   major	
   responsibilities	
   will	
   be	
   periodic	
   system	
   improvements	
   and	
  
updates	
  and	
  the	
  moderating	
  of	
  the	
  website.	
  	
  Also	
  important	
  is	
  the	
  continual	
  solicitation	
  of	
  
sponsorship	
  for	
  BrowniePoints	
  prizes.	
  	
  	
  

We	
  are	
  looking	
  to	
  earn	
  an	
  I3	
  award	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  kick	
  start	
  our	
  application	
  development.	
  	
  The	
  
money	
   would	
   go	
   toward	
   funding	
   the	
   team	
   of	
   engineers	
   that	
   will	
   bring	
   our	
   product	
   to	
  
market.	
   	
   The	
   project	
   could	
   be	
   completed	
   with	
   two	
   engineers	
   working	
   full-­‐time	
   over	
   the	
  
summer.	
  	
  Compensation	
  per	
  coder	
  should	
  hover	
  around	
  $7000	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  be	
  competitive.	
  	
  
Additionally,	
   we	
   would	
   like	
   to	
   cover	
   our	
   costs	
   of	
   marketing	
   the	
   application	
   to	
   both	
  
corporate	
  sponsors	
  and	
  student	
  community	
  members.	
  	
  We	
  estimate	
  around	
  $1000	
  to	
  cover	
  
the	
  cost	
  of	
  producing	
  and	
  distributing	
  our	
  marketing	
  materials.	
  	
  Finally,	
  recurring	
  costs	
  like	
  
registering	
   the	
   site	
   domain	
   name	
   and	
   website	
   hosting	
   are	
   small	
   (~	
   $80/year),	
   but	
   non-­‐
trivial.	
  	
  	
  

Major	
  Costs	
  
Software	
  Engineers	
  (2)	
                     $7000	
  per	
  engineer	
  
Advertising/Marketing	
                            $1000	
  
Website	
  Maintenance	
                           $80	
  per	
  year	
  
Total:	
                                           $15080	
  
	
  

Additional	
  costs	
  past	
  the	
  actual	
  implementation	
  stage	
  are	
  small,	
  so	
  we	
  fully	
  believe	
  that	
  we	
  
can	
   bring	
   this	
   application	
   to	
   market	
   with	
   a	
   substantial	
   I3	
   award.	
   	
   That	
   said,	
   scaling	
   the	
  
project	
  to	
  include	
  other	
  communities	
  (like	
  colleges	
  across	
  the	
  United	
  States)	
  would	
  require	
  
another	
   round	
   of	
   funding	
   and	
   expansion,	
   so	
   we	
   are	
   fully	
   prepared	
   to	
   find	
   further	
  
opportunities	
  to	
  finance	
  our	
  operation	
  should	
  we	
  expand.	
  
What	
  funding	
  do	
  you	
  currently	
  have?	
  What	
  other	
  modes	
  of	
  funding	
  do	
  you	
  reasonably	
  
expect?	
   If	
   applicable,	
   how	
   will	
   you	
   generate	
   revenues	
   for	
   sustainability/profit?	
   Tell	
   us	
  
how	
  you	
  think	
  an	
  Innovation	
  Challenge	
  award	
  would	
  generate	
  additional	
  funding	
  for	
  
your	
  project.
We	
   do	
   not	
   currently	
   have	
   other	
   funding	
   for	
   the	
   project,	
   aside	
   from	
   the	
   money	
   coming	
   from	
  
our	
  own	
  pockets.	
  	
  Daniel	
  	
  Choi	
  has	
  graciously	
  agreed	
  to	
  provide	
  hosting	
  for	
  the	
  project,	
  but	
  
we	
  need	
  I3	
  funding	
  to	
  make	
  this	
  vision	
  a	
  reality.	
  	
  	
  

Unlike	
  many	
  other	
  ventures,	
  the	
  sustainability	
  of	
  web	
  applications	
  relies	
  less	
  on	
  continual	
  
funding.	
   	
   Past	
   the	
   costs	
   of	
   maintaining	
   the	
   website,	
   the	
   site	
   is	
   sustained	
   by	
   community	
  
interaction,	
  which	
  will	
  likely	
  grow	
  over	
  time.	
  	
  Should	
  site	
  traffic	
  increase	
  to	
  such	
  a	
  degree	
  
as	
   it	
   would	
   require	
   a	
   (more	
   costly)	
   dedicated	
   hosting	
   server,	
   we	
   could	
   simply	
   generate	
  
added	
  revenue	
  via	
  advertising	
  on	
  the	
  site.	
  	
  	
  

An	
  Innovation	
  Challenge	
  award	
  would	
  do	
  much	
  to	
  bolster	
  the	
  efforts	
  of	
  our	
  team.	
  	
  We	
  are	
  
all	
  promising	
  young	
  entrepreneurs,	
  and	
  a	
  success	
  this	
  early	
  in	
  our	
  careers	
  would	
  provide	
  
us	
   the	
   experience	
   and	
   the	
   confidence	
   to	
   continue	
   our	
   entrepreneurial	
   pursuits.	
  	
  
Additionally,	
   a	
   win	
   would	
   encourage	
   us	
   to	
   enter	
   additional	
   business	
   plan	
   competitions	
   and	
  
raise	
  awareness	
  for	
  our	
  goal	
  of	
  making	
  social	
  enterprises	
  to	
  better	
  our	
  communities.	
  


The	
  Team	
  
Please	
   list	
   who	
   is	
   on	
   your	
   team	
   and	
   describe	
   your	
   reasons	
   and	
   theirs	
   for	
   pursuing	
   this	
  
project.	
  Also	
  describe	
  what	
  each	
  person	
  will	
  do	
  on	
  the	
  project	
  and	
  what	
  particularly	
  
relevant	
   knowledge,	
   experience	
   and	
   skills	
   each	
   can	
   contribute.	
   Describe	
   any	
   work	
   the	
  
team	
  has	
  done	
  together	
  before.	
  Briefly	
  mention	
  any	
  professionals	
  or	
  advisors	
  working	
  
with	
  you	
  and	
  their	
  area	
  of	
  expertise.	
  	
  
The	
  idea	
  for	
  BrowniePoints	
  originated	
  from	
  Sam	
  Galler’s	
  coursework.	
  	
  Sam	
  wrote	
  a	
  paper	
  
in	
   a	
   Sociology	
   class	
   where	
   he	
   found	
   that	
   people’s	
   connections	
   with	
   their	
   neighbors	
   are	
  
eroding	
   because	
   people	
   can	
   interact	
   online	
   independently	
   of	
   geographic	
   location.	
   	
   Then,	
   as	
  
a	
   student	
   in	
   CS50,	
   Sam	
   considered	
   the	
   idea	
   of	
   creating	
   a	
   website	
   like	
   BrowniePoints	
   to	
  
foster	
  personal	
  connections	
  in	
  neighborhoods	
  by	
  encouraging	
  people	
  to	
  do	
  favors	
  for	
  one	
  
another.	
  

Daniel	
   Choi	
   joins	
   the	
   team	
   with	
   extensive	
   experience	
   and	
   interest	
   in	
   entrepreneurship,	
  
design	
   and	
   coding.	
   	
   Last	
   spring,	
   he	
   and	
   Sam	
   Galler	
   co-­‐founded	
   a	
   full-­‐service	
   web	
   design	
  
firm	
  called	
  Full	
  Glass	
  Design.	
  	
  Tackling	
  both	
  back-­‐end	
  and	
  front-­‐end	
  web	
  design	
  duties,	
  he	
  
is	
  passionate	
  about	
  design	
  with	
  the	
  user	
  in	
  mind.	
  	
  In	
  his	
  spare	
  time	
  this	
  past	
  summer,	
  he	
  
developed	
   an	
   open-­‐source	
   online	
   application	
   system	
   used	
   by	
   student	
   groups	
   on	
   campus,	
  
and	
  he	
  hopes	
  to	
  devote	
  this	
  next	
  summer	
  to	
  making	
  BrowniePoints	
  a	
  reality.	
  

Kirk	
  Benson	
  is	
  passionate	
  about	
  business	
  and	
  entrepreneurship,	
  bringing	
  experience	
  from	
  
management	
  positions	
  at	
  Harvard	
  Student	
  Agencies	
  and	
  in	
  last	
  year’s	
  I3	
  with	
  HSA	
  Talent.	
  
Together,	
   we	
   are	
   an	
   ambitious	
   and	
   optimistic	
   team.	
   	
   We	
   want	
   to	
   channel	
   our	
   interest	
   in	
  
business	
  to	
  positively	
  change	
  our	
  community,	
  and	
  we	
  see	
  great	
  potential	
  for	
  BrowniePoints	
  
to	
   make	
   a	
   real	
   difference.	
   	
   Both	
   our	
   common	
   and	
   varied	
   experiences	
   make	
   us	
   a	
   strong	
  
team.	
  	
  We	
  met	
  as	
  singers	
  in	
  the	
  Din	
  &	
  Tonics,	
  a	
  jazz	
  a	
  cappella	
  group,	
  and	
  have	
  performed	
  
together	
   for	
   audiences	
   in	
   Cambridge	
   and	
   around	
   the	
   world.	
   	
   Sam	
   and	
   Dan,	
   given	
   their	
  
experience	
   in	
   programming	
   and	
   design,	
   will	
   focus	
   on	
   developing	
   the	
   website,	
   ensuring	
   a	
  
fun	
   and	
   easy-­‐to-­‐use	
   interface	
   as	
   well	
   as	
   strong	
   functionality.	
   	
   Kirk	
   will	
   concentrate	
   on	
  
marketing	
   and	
   business	
   development,	
   helping	
   to	
   create	
   the	
   buzz	
   about	
   BrowniePoints	
   that	
  
can	
  get	
  it	
  off	
  the	
  ground.	
  

We	
  have	
  attached	
  our	
  resumes	
  in	
  the	
  appendix.	
  


Impact	
  
If	
   you	
   receive	
   the	
   funding	
   you	
   need,	
   carry	
   out	
   your	
   summer	
   work	
   plan	
   and	
   produce	
  
what	
  you	
  expect,	
  what	
  specific,	
  measurable	
  and	
  realistic	
  benefits	
  will	
  (a)	
  your	
  target	
  
audience	
   and	
   (b)	
   you	
   and	
   your	
   team	
   realize	
   immediately	
   and	
   over	
   the	
   following	
   3	
   and	
  
18	
  months?	
  
Since	
   our	
   success	
   comes	
   from	
   activity	
   and	
   traffic	
   on	
   the	
   site,	
   we	
   can	
   easily	
   measure	
   our	
  
progress.	
   	
   Specifically,	
   we	
   want	
   to	
   see	
   steady	
   growth	
   in	
   the	
   amount	
   of	
   favors	
   being	
  
requested	
  and	
  fulfilled	
  on	
  BrowniePoints.	
  	
  In	
  the	
  first	
  three	
  months	
  we	
  would	
  expect	
  about	
  
5	
  new	
  favors	
  listed	
  on	
  the	
  site	
  per	
  day	
  and	
  after	
  a	
  year,	
  we	
  would	
  like	
  to	
  see	
  at	
  least	
  20	
  per	
  
day.	
  	
  Our	
  success	
  is	
  based	
  on	
  community	
  participation	
  –	
  BrowniePoints	
  succeeds	
  when	
  its	
  
users	
  are	
  active	
  since	
  its	
  users	
  benefit	
  from	
  each	
  interaction	
  on	
  the	
  site.	
  

	
  

				
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