What well-known figure would you chat with if you had the chance? Taking this concept and adding technology and a charitable cause is the backbone of new startup, Heroes2u.
The platform makes donating to charitable causes more accessible and appealing to younger generations. Most events in the non-profit industry come with a price tag that millennials can’t afford. At these events celebrity speakers often share great stories of success and encouragement that people normally don’t have access too.
“There’s no outlet for younger people to hear that,” says Heroes2u Co-Founder, John Weiler. Taking advantage of technology already familiar to younger generations, Weiler and other Co-Founder, Jeremy Meizlish realized, “We can do it through a really intimate way through video chat.”
Heros2u partners with heroes to set up 30-minute video chats that audience members pay $5 to view – with most of the proceeds going to the speaker’s desired campaign.
“We sell $5 tickets on our website, $4 of that $5 goes to the campaigns,” Weiler says.
Every chat starts by asking the speaker, “Who is a hero to you?” Then, eight randomly pre-selected audience members get three minutes for a face-to-face video chat to ask the hero their own question. The chat wraps up with general questions from the audience.
The video chat platform has several advantages for heroes and non-profits organizations.
Heroes2u targets individuals that already have a charitable history as one of the many criteria they use to define the honorable title. “A hero is someone who is passionate about a cause and has a great story to tell,” Weiler says. The organization looks for individuals who have overcome or accomplished something, while considering their online presence and how they engage with the community.
While they target many heroes who have their own charitable organizations, the heroes can pick who they want to donate to.
The video chat format also makes it easy for the heroes to participate since all they need is an internet connection. It allows them to be an ambassador for a cause without even travelling.
In addition, Heroes2u builds relationships with non-profits. If a charity already has an event planned, Heroes2u can set up a video chat as added outreach.
While the chats are open to anyone who is interested, Weiler says, “The people we’re selling tickets to vary somewhat with the hero.” They also see a fluctuation depending on the cause, but on the whole, the audience is of a younger generation.
“It’s more of a leveling the playing field for the next generation of givers,” he says.
The organization has already attracted the attention of heroes like Phil Vassar, Kurt Coleman, John Huges and Jack Hanna. Weiler and Meizlish are building their network with the hope of attracting even bigger names.
The tagline of, “Memorable conversations, meaningful causes,” encompasses the company’s mission.
“We’re trying to create moments that people will never forget,” Meizlish says. “Our big vision is for it to be a big ecosystem of amazing conversations.”
For more information, visit heroes2u.com.