The best and the absurd of Silicon Valley can be seen in a new company named Make a Stand. The founder, Vivienne Harr, is a 10 year old who has raised millions of dollars to build a charitable lemonade business and a mobile app that allows users to create crowd founding campaigns for charitable causes. A feel good story with an impressive business model. Lemonade stands will never be the same.
...the Harrs have moved on from lemonade and are riding the mobile app wave, because this is Silicon Valley. The app is also called Make a Stand, and allows people to set up a crowdfunding campaign for a charity in just a minute. You select the charity, post a picture and send it to your friends on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Make a Stand serves as the intermediary, taking 4.9 percent of the donation as a transaction fee but also vetting the charities through a relationship with guidestar.org, the charity rating and information organization. The goal of the app is to go global by leveraging everyone’s social connections. What about the lemonade? As Mr. Stone put it at Techmanity, “You can only do so much with glass bottles of lemonade.” He was referring to doing good, but that statement might also apply to making money. After all, apps are fetching tens of millions, if not billions, of dollars. And selling an actual manufactured product is hard. Mr. Harr is no longer running the lemonade business, which is being managed by a professional team. According to Mr. Harr, the lemonade company is still expanding and negotiating distribution deals with a variety of national outlets.