The best attempt I’ve seen at building the perfect consumer app

Dispo: the invite-only camera app you might’ve seen your Twitter feed obsessing over this weekend.

As someone who’s usually bearish on most new consumer social apps, I’ve found myself surprisingly excited about this one. Most of them never seem to find the balance between cloning what’s out there and being too unique.

To many, Dispo looks like just another camera app, but what’s special about it isn’t one singular feature — it’s about how it bundles them together.

Like Huji, Dispo lets you take vibey photos with a retro feel, like back when people took photos with an actual film…

A year and a half ago, Timo and I started Avenify with a simple goal: to build a financing company students like ourselves would trust. We believed the solution was to offer financing that was fair, accessible, affordable, outcome-based, and incentive-aligned, alongside a brand that resonated with our peers and community.

Today, we’re received a 5-star rating from NerdWallet, exemplifying our commitment to building a different kind of financing company — one that’s truly invested in student success. NerdWallet is a trusted source in personal finance, with millions of students seeking their advice every year for loans, refinancing, and more.

The next step towards building a marketplace for human potential

Today we’re rolling out Marketplace, which lets investors build their own portfolio of high-potential students. Think of it like GoFundMe or Kickstarter, but for investing in human equity. When we first launched, investors could only invest in a pooled fund of students, so this is a huge step forward for Avenify, and the industry as a whole!

A $500K ISA fund focused on nursing and pharmacology students

Today, we’re announcing the launch of Avenify Fund II, Avenify’s second student-focused ISA fund.

Avenify Fund II will be a $500,000 fund dedicated to funding 50–100 students with income share agreements (ISAs), an innovative financing tool that allows students to fund their education debt-free, while providing investors the opportunity to make an impact and earn a financial return.

Avenify’s first fund was broad, allowing any student in the U.S. studying any major to apply for funding. …

Today, we’re rolling out a brand new way to apply for funding.

Introducing: Profiles

Profiles is a way for students to share more about themselves and for investors to get a better picture of who the students are.

For students, Profiles lets them share more about all they’ve accomplished so far, and their aspirations for the future, through bios, short-answer questions, profile pictures, and more.

With the upcoming launch of Marketplace, investors will be able to view student Profiles, invest in individual students to build their own portfolio, and share Profiles with their community to help students reach their goal. …

Almost a year ago, my co-founder, Timo, and I started working on Avenify. A few months later, we raised a little over $75,000, allowing us to leave our jobs, quit school, and go full time in January.

Now, after much consideration, Timo and I have decided to get jobs and bootstrap Avenify for the foreseeable future.

We know this is somewhat unusual, so we wanted to outline a little bit of our thinking.

Building a startup should be about the product. Not fundraising.

When we thought about what we enjoyed most these last eight months, it wasn’t signing term sheets with investors. Sure, it’s relieving to have money in the…

How they work, the history behind them, the current landscape, and where they’re headed.

As student debt approaches the $2 trillion mark, borrowers are looking for better ways to pay for school. Loans are often inaccessible and can be predatory. 90% of private loans require a cosigner and almost all loans require a credit score.

By 2023, 40% of borrowers are expected to default on their student loans. According to TICAS, some interest rates for private loans ran as a high as 14.24% in September 2018. And unless borrowers refinance to income-based repayment, their payments aren’t tied to their income, which means whether they’re making $100K, $50K, or $0K, their payments are the same.

With all the hype around billion-dollar valuations, acquisitions left and right, and more venture capital than we know what to do with, it’s easy to get excited at the possibility of building something big. Of course! Who doesn’t want to join the three comma club? But, it’s all too easy for the idea of becoming wealthy and successful to be a distraction from what you’re actually passionate about.

I’ve built numerous projects — more than I can count, actually. Only a couple of those turned into startups. Only one of those should’ve. In the struggle to build something big and…

WeWork Richmond, by Eloise Ambursley

Open office floor plans have long since been lauded as a way to increase serendipity in the workplace, and spark spontaneous discussion that could lead to a monumentally successful pivot or new idea. Throwing an intern into the ring forces them to become acclimated to their environment and colleagues, and the answer to a question is just a desk away.

Despite the benefits, complaints of open office plans are on the rise, with distracting noise-levels, and a fish-bowl-like feeling. Some women even reported open offices made them more uncomfortable, self-conscious, and pressured them to be conservative in the workplace, compared…

Justin Potts

Co-founder & CEO @AvenifyHQ

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