Elevator Pitch: Pips Idea for a Social Good Currency

By TechnologyFOXBusiness

Pips co-founder Wendy Gordon will be appearing on Risk & Reward on Friday, where she will be pitching her startup to Fox Business’ Deirdre Bolton and a panel of entrepreneurs and investors.

Gordon will make the case for a “social good currency” that rewards people for making positive health and environmental decisions.

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Pips users can earn points for buying reusable water bottles or for switching their homes to solar panels. Points can then be redeemed towards items like fitness trackers or a Kindle.

Gordon says she started Pips with co-founder David Sand two years ago after pondering how people could be rewarded for making environmentally friendly decisions. “Wouldn’t it be nice to be recognized and rewarded for making the better choice - for choosing the most energy-efficient laptop, considering where and how your clothes were made, or investing in a community scale solar project?”

Gordon is optimistic about the Pips philosophy, pointing to a growing population of socially conscious millennials. Fifty-four percent of Americans bought a product associated with a cause in 2012, up 170% since 1993, according to a study from Cone Communications.

A McKinsey study shows that $50 billion annually is spent on loyalty programs and Gordon feels that Pips can capitalize on that. This study also shows that if done correctly, a company can generate up to 20% of its profits from loyalty programs.

Previously, Gordon worked with actress Meryl Streep, co-founding Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet, an organization that encouraged consumer “buycotts” to inspire improved products. Their team originated the environment-conscious Green Guide, which was acquired by National Geographic in 2007.

The Pips team is hoping to raise $750,000 in funding in exchange for 15% ownership of the company.  Gordon will be trying to persuade John Elton from Greycroft, David Teten from ff Venture Capital, and Dave Lerner, entrepreneurship director at Columbia University on Friday at 1pm ET.