Demetrius Curry has spent the last wife and husband years chasing a dream.
His startup, College Cash , allows brandnames to petition users to create photography and video marketing content highlighting distinct product or service, with the wrinkle being that website content creators are paid by the companies in the form of credits that go precisely toward paying down their student loan personal. This model awards the brands gathered a level of social good usually and tax benefits.
The Dallas-area founder was damaged to tackle the student loan bill crisis after talking with his modest about the prospect of eventually settling her own loan debt. Curry is carrying spent the past two years building out nascent platform, tracking down brand couples, navigating accelerator programs, enticing online surfers and pounding the pavement to learn investors willing to bet on his concept.
A higher education Cash has raised $105, 500 to date, and is hoping to eventually wrapping the funding into a $1 million seed starting round.
Filling out ones round has been its own challenge needed for Curry, who has struggled at times to search for opportunity, even among historic ratings of capital flowing into the startup eco-system, a distinction that has been less noticeable about black founders that still compose just a small percentage of VC allocation. In the aftermath of incredibly last summer’s protests against police violence, a number of venture capital firms issued transactions decrying institutional racism and pledging to back more underserved creators, spinning up new programs to achieve diverse founders.
While Curry tells he appreciates the scope generally the problem and the good intentions associated with these making the statements, he believes why venture capital networks still have a lot to research what being an “underserved” founder ways, and that plenty of the existing efforts wanna be “lip service. ” He says the fact even as Silicon Valley continues to idolize dropouts from prestigious universities, stakeholders may have less interest in recognizing the success of founders who fought their precious way through poverty or discovered opportunity in geographies where alternatives are harder to come by.
“You can’t look for something different if you’re needing in the same places, ” Curry tells TechCrunch. “When you look at all the topic of ‘underserved founders, ’ it’s not only a skin color thing, that is also about where they originated and what they’ve been through. ”
Curry says that it could possibly be frustrating to compete for early-stage opportunities when investors aren’t ?n a position to meaningfully adjust their parameters. Ture of particular frustration to Curry has navigating the world of “warm introductions” so as to even get a foot in the type of door for programs meant for diverse founders, or applying for early-stage programs aimed at the “underserved” only to be told they will weren’t far enough along to be approved.
“Think about how so much we had to go through to even have the room with you, ” Curry tells people. “I’ve sold plasma to pay an internet hosting fee, nothing is going to just stop me. ”
Instruction Cash’s mission of expanding options for people struggling to manage their education loan debt is personal to Curry, who saw his life submit after going back to school.
Decades ago, fresh out of the military, Curry said he had a different conversation with a stranger while proper at a Hardee’s — the discussion concerning more he wanted from life style ended up pushing him to to go back and get his GED and later a home based business degree. What followed was a careers in finance that eventually on the leading edge of toward his recent entrepreneurial likes and dislikes with College Cash.
The platform is firmly an early-stage venture at the moment, but Curry holds big ambitions he’s building to help. His next effort is starting out a College Cash tipping utilization with gig economy platforms, employing the aim that users of those communites could ultimately opt to tip a good worker and route that hard earned cash directly toward paying down that person’s educational loan debt.
Curry says the team at College Cash has been working with a “national gig economy platform” to run a pilot of the the usage and has run focus groups introducing that users are more likely to tip right after know that money goes toward eliminating loan debt.