At HatchPad, we believe crowdfunding is an amazing way to inspire, excite, and teach kids about business concepts, financial responsibility, and entrepreneurship. On HatchPad, crowdfunding is safe and kids are supported with age-appropriate educational resources, mentorship, a peer-to-peer community, and inspirational stories and videos.
We have designed HatchPad to help kids learn:
1. Money management: Most kids get very little experience with handling money, but when they graduate and start working, young people are expected to know how to budget, save for a home, pay bills on time, and stand on their own two feet financially. HatchPad is designed to help kids learn these critical skills early in life when the stakes are not so high.
2. Business fundamentals: What is a balance sheet? What is a profit? What costs go into starting a business? How do you know if your business is doing well? Whether they become business owners or employees in the future, kids will need to know how businesses work if they are going to manage their careers.
3. How actions lead to outcomes: Before people succeed or fail financially, there are signs that will tell them how they’re doing. Through HatchPad, kids will learn how to recognize those signs (e.g., they are half way through their fundraising campaign, but they have only met 10% of their financial goal) and make adjustments. Even if they fail to meet a goal the first time, they can learn from that experience and try again.
4. How to apply what’s being learned in school: Kids will stop complaining about having to learn addition, subtraction, and multiplication when they’re using it to find out how much money they made, or how to split profits among team members. Writing becomes less tedious when good writing might lead to making money for college.
5. To unleash creativity and ideas: To use HatchPad, kids have to come up with a campaign, describe it in an interesting way, make their campaign visually interesting, etc., so they’ll have to create continually.
6. To earn money through their own efforts: The money kids get by crowdfunding comes in the form of a donation, but kids will “earn” that money by coming up with a great campaign, tracking and managing the campaign, and providing “perks.”
7. To say thank-you: HatchPad teaches kids to express appreciation with appropriate "perks," such as a thank-you card, a commitment of volunteer time, a sample of a product they are producing, or a social media shout-out. Kids will learn the importance of follow-up and discover that saying thank you is just as important in the business world as around the family table.
8. To explore career possibilities: To expose young people to many possibilities for “what they want to be when they grow up,” HatchPad will include lots of age-appropriate information, including quizzes and videos, about types of businesses and careers. Our mission is to help kids identify their passions and figure out how to commercialize those passions into a lifelong career.
9. To build a network of mentors: HatchPad’s founders, associates and board of advisors will attract entrepreneurs and people who have been successful in various businesses and professions. Mentors will be looking to identify and coach youth who are showing talent, ambition, and drive demonstrated by their HatchPad activities. (Think of them as talent scouts for future business All Stars.)
10. To experience positive aspects of working: Adults tend to expose kids to the negative aspects of work (e.g., exhaustion after a long day, complaints about bosses or customers), but kids don’t often hear about the rewards. When a kid undergoes the thrill of selling a T-shirt that he or she designed, or experiences the pride of getting people to back his or her game-design business, that kid will begin to understand that there are many dimensions to the world of work—and some of them are great.