KaChing is a mobile app that helps parents raise financially-aware and financially independent kids.

KaChing teams up with parents to teach kids to manage money by actually doing it. With KaChing, kids can budget, they can invest, they can give, and they can make mistakes, all under parental supervision. KaChing equips parents with the tools to set limits on spending and have powerful conversations when their kids make mistakes.

Financial health in the US is at an all-time low. Almost half of all households have less than three months worth of savings, and less than 30% feel confident they will have enough money to cover their basic living expenses. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reported that 18% of US students do not reach the baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy. This does not bode well, considering that the student loan market has now surpassed $1 trillion, and student loans are a deep worry for many young adults.

With a team of ed...
KaChing is a mobile app that helps parents raise financially-aware and financially independent kids.

KaChing teams up with parents to teach kids to manage money by actually doing it. With KaChing, kids can budget, they can invest, they can give, and they can make mistakes, all under parental supervision. KaChing equips parents with the tools to set limits on spending and have powerful conversations when their kids make mistakes.

Financial health in the US is at an all-time low. Almost half of all households have less than three months worth of savings, and less than 30% feel confident they will have enough money to cover their basic living expenses. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reported that 18% of US students do not reach the baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy. This does not bode well, considering that the student loan market has now surpassed $1 trillion, and student loans are a deep worry for many young adults.

With a team of educators, game designers, and financial experts behind our product development, KaChing is certain to educate and delight the next generation of investors.
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Recommendations

Shaun Johnson Co-founder at Startup Institute

Melanie and Marci have great chemistry and passion; directing this energy toward Kid KaChing makes total sense. As skilled user-focused designers, their collective of empathy for the user, product management experience, instincts around aesthetic and quantitative ability is quite valuable. All of the above align for what will surely turn out to be an effective product that puts kids in the driver's seat while maintaining a sense of duty for the parent's needs. Designing products where the user and customer may differ is extremely difficult and I believe they are up for the challenge.

John Lynn Co-Founder at cela

While the market opportunity here is well-timed and quickly tractionable, this company is all about its team. After working closely with both its founders, Marci and Melanie, during their acceleration at Startup Institute last year (where I lead the programming for the accelerator, design the curriculum, and curate our mentor network), the two have shown tenacious integrity toward every goal and expectation they set for themselves -- especially when that effort is collaborative. Melanie is a results-oriented actor whose habit for systems + structure is matched by her imaginative resourcefulness, and Marci is a natural and gifted creator whose work has been recognized through her work with top-flight talent and organizations in the past -- she's a designer with some of the highest potential I worked with in 2015. I recommend this team for progress in the selection process.

Eyal Wallenberg

I had the pleasure of working with Melanie for 5 years. She is extraordinarily hard working, and she relishes a challenge. Melanie is creative when it comes to problem solving, and she always pushes herself to find novel solutions.

As a math teacher, Melanie showed a deep commitment to students’ learning. She is a dynamic educator, always thinking about how to pique students’ curiosity and how to teach them life skills in addition to math.

Melanie has strong leadership skills. Over the years, she has managed departments, facilitated teacher professional development, and served on the instructional leadership teams of schools. She is goal-oriented, organized, and continually open to new ideas.

Melanie brings a focused, enthusiastic, and collaborative spirit to all the work that she does. I highly recommend her.

Cindy Pelger

As a parent of three and having a finance background, it is incredibly important to my partner and I that our children grow up with a strong sense of financial accountability and responsibility, especially in our culture of spending over saving. We both work in high tech and understand the importance of real time data driving decisions. An app like KaChing would be a great tool to help our children on the right path of financial organization and independence. As one of the founders, Melanie can bring this idea into fruition. Besides her strong background and intelligence, she's ambitious, passionate, and has unparalleled work ethic. When sets her mind to something, she proceeds with gusto and unlimited dedication.

Adam Schatz

After knowing Melanie Smith for a number of years, I can strongly recommend her and Kid KaChing as a deserving candidate for this award. I can, with all honesty, tell you that she is one of the most ambitious, intelligent and inspiring people that I have ever met. She constantly impresses everyone around her with her level of dedication to her work and her community. There is no doubt in my mind that Kid KaChing could prove to be an incredibly innovative and powerful new technological application that could truly change the way that young people in this country look at money. Melanie has already devoted almost a decade of her life to public service to which she is deeply committed. Kid KaChing is another way for her to continue to do so while carving out a new much needed niche in the technology startup realm that addresses young people and their financial concerns.

Eliza Chung

The founders of Kid Kaching bring an innovative tool to the financial marketplace, encouraging the values of saving money by engaging the child audience, as well as those who care for them. The opportunity for any adult in a child's life to contribute to a single can build a sense of community.

Children can benefit from developing a mindset of planning from an early age by using Kid Kaching to monitor their assets. Additionally, they can see the benefits of delayed gratification as they see their amount grow over time. It will be a valuable mode by which parents can teach and model lifelong skills of financial responsibility.

I look forward to seeing how this product can grow to meet the needs of the next generation in Melanie and Marci's capable hands.