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    Date submitted
  • 19-Dec-2017

Epimoni

Abstract

The Epimoni App is a free web-based system and smartphone app that helps college students and young people save cash for their purchases without incurring any debt.

Have you heard about savings accounts you can create at your bank to automatically deposit money from your pay check each month? You can name them things like “Vacation Savings” or “Emergency Fund.” Have you heard of crowd-sourcing, the term used to define a group of participants who save together to achieve a cumulative result?

Think of our system as a hybrid between automatic bank accounts and crowd-sourcing. Please visit epimoniapp.com for more info.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

The target market is young people between the age of 16 and 40 located in the Mountain and Midwestern regions of the U.S. The total Millennial population is 85 million individuals and accounts for nearly 40% of today’s workforce, so the sheer volume of the target market is large. Add in some people from Generations X and Y (those slightly older than Millennials) and the more recent generation of individuals born in the early 2000’s and we arrive at a total target of nearly 150 million people. Epimoni will capitalize on the gaps in the market that financial institutions don’t fill. Epimoni incorporates the elements of social interaction and technology to individualized savings plans. There are a few competitors like RoscaFinance.com and eMoneypool.com who have made entry into the market but have not effectively captured the college student audience because their user interface is designed almost exclusively for long time durations and large monetary values. Compared to Epimoni’s $10, $20, and $100 pools that extend over a period of 1 - 6 months, these competitors offer $500, $1,000, and even $2,000 pools that can last for nearly 2 years and do not appeal to young people with limited disposable income.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Epimoni’s unique system combines the concepts of automatic banking and crowd-sourcing. It is a tool that ultimately helps young people save their own money. The system is structured around the methodology of money pooling, where individuals who have shared savings goals and similar financial objectives come together. A pool is essentially a circle, where members select positions around the circle and participate. Cycles of automatic, electronic transactions occur with each member. Every pool is the same, in that it functions where every period all but one member of the pool contributes a set, uniform amount. The one non-contributing member gets to withdraw the pot. This cycle continues until everyone has withdrawn, and then the pool ends. Epimoni brings this proven concept known as ROSCA’s (rotating savings and credit associations) to an easy-to-use electronic platform. The ROSCA savings model has had a history of success throughout numerous centuries but has not yet been transposed into a modern system. The applications of the method are diverse. Here are just a few of the possible uses of the system that apply to young people’s expenses: college tuition; textbooks; traveling; apartment or home furniture; iPhone/smartphone; laptop; concert tickets; appliances; insurance premiums; and clothing.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

By utilizing a group environment where individuals come together to save funds for a common objective and duration, people are much more likely to “stick to their plan” and achieve their savings goal. The social media outlets, Facebook and Instagram, will be essential for promotion of the product because Epimoni is completely online. Having already acquired 1,800 Instagram followers and 600 Facebook page likes, the future is bright because additional options like social media “sharing”; exclusive discounts for Epimoni members at our partners’ online stores; and cryptocurrency integration can be progressively released over the coming years. We will be able to continually release new, value-adding features. In addition to online promotion, ambassador programs will be established on university campuses. Students will be contracted and compensated to act as sales reps who offer Epimoni promotional items and activities to their fellow students. Word of mouth promotion within similar communities, like college campuses, is powerful because positive comments about the product spread quickly and carry a heavy message. The ambassador program is a winning situation for all involved because the ambassadors get paid and the targeted audience of other students gets to personally hear from colleagues about the exceptional Epimoni product.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Epimoni LLC was created by, me, Luke Gilbert, a recent MBA graduate from Idaho State who now works at a public accounting firm and is preparing for the CPA exam. I have exhibited entrepreneurial tendencies from a young age and even gained valuable small business experience from operating a lawn service company in high school for 5 years. Though I was fortunate enough to complete college and grad school without incurring any student loan debt, I was regularly shocked by the mentality of other students at both private and public universities. What I discovered is that the overall perception ingrained in our country is that college is expensive, and the exclusive way to get a high-paying job is to go to college. Combined with knowing the loans a student incurs do not need to be paid back in 10 or 15 years or even longer, the grand total of debt he or she will owe is nebulous and not an immediate concern. Once a young person takes student loans and accepts he or she is “in-debt,” the mentality then transposes itself into other facets of their personal finances. Thus, the credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans begin to assemble.