March 18, 2021
An Innovative App that is Setting Teens Up For Financial Success
BizWorld launched its winter cohort of the exciting, life-changing YES! Program where high potential young entrepreneurs create and develop thriving businesses! YES! builds confidence and breaks down barriers to propel youth businesses to success.
We are thrilled to feature Nitya, an ambitious, 16-year old young entrepreneur who wants to help teens better understand the value of money by using a new and engaging app that teaches them to make informed financial decisions. We asked Nitya a few questions about what inspired her to start her company, Doughkeeper, and what she hopes to achieve by participating in our Young Entrepreneur Success (YES!) program.
1) Tell me a little bit about who your company is and what interested you in starting Doughkeeper?
Doughkeeper is a teen-friendly app that leverages AI and combines expense tracking and restrictions with a little bit of friendly competition to help teens understand the value of money. By fostering healthy relationships between money and young adults, members of Generation Z will be more likely to make informed financial decisions, as opposed to lugging their student loan debt at age 18 into their retirement at age 60, like close to half of the population. I was motivated to start Doughkeeper, because in my school district, financial literacy skills aren't reinforced outside of a semester-long macroeconomics class offered exclusively to high school seniors. I hope that Doughkeeper, a free tool that requires little resources to use, can set teens around the world up for financial success in college and beyond, not just in my community.
2) What do you hope to learn and get out of the YES! Program?
Through the YES! Program, I want to gain a better understanding of how startups transition from the ideation to execution stages. At the YES! workshops so far, I've already learned so much about the importance of identifying a target audience and tailoring your product/service to them, and the impact of strong branding and seamless UX. As the program progresses, I seek to learn more and apply these skills acquired to develop a robust business plan that I can use to garner support for Doughkeeper. By interacting with mentors who are experts in their respective fields and a community of like-minded peers, I also hope to walk away with diverse insights that originate from hearing everyone else's business ideas, challenges, and experiences and leverage these new perspectives to improve my own business.
3) What do you feel has helped you with launching Doughkeeper?
I think experiencing and seeing the lack of financial education firsthand, and extensively researching the magnitude of the issue has been really helpful in informing the direction Doughkeeper's headed. I also think that being unable to find any apps that could be used to teach financial literacy in a classroom setting helped me launch Doughkeeper as well, since, in my head, I could clearly define what value I would be adding by creating this app and plan next steps.
4) What is your superpower? And how has it guided you in developing your business?
I think my superpower is my love for art. This has guided me in developing Doughkeeper because my objectives for the business revolve around developing an app that not only makes financial education accessible, but is also fun and engaging, in a unique visual format that appeals to Gen Z.
5) Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
In my free time, I love experimenting with animation and making short films!
Congratulations on identifying such an important financial need for teens, Nitya! We are happy that you are participating in YES! Through a combination of rigorous business planning concepts, mentorship and introductions to other businesses, we look forward to seeing your robust business plan for the Doughkeeper app come to life!
The YES! Winter Cohort opened on January 25th, and is scheduled to run until April 8th, 2021. The summer cohort application deadline is May 14th, and is scheduled to run until August 27th, 2021. Both cohorts will have the opportunity to participate in the YES! Demo Day and pitch for start-up investment scheduled on September 17, 2021.