The Wealth Factory, designs WealthyLife financial literacy education technology games targeted at socio-economically disadvantaged families
I am not an employee of BNY Mellon, or an immediate family member of a BNY Mellon employee
I am over 18 years of age
My organization is incorporated as a non-profit, for-profit, or hybrid organization, or I have a partner that is incorporated and could accept funds on my behalf
I have already piloted my initiative and have some initial evidence of impact
My organization is headquartered and creating impact in the United States
Where are you making a difference?
In the U.S. we're most impactful in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
We're also #1 in 14 countries, top 5 in 20 countries.
Focus Areas (required)
Business & Social Enterprise
Children & Youth
Development & Prosperity
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)
1.Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed.
Raised in a life insurance sales family with a passion for financial literacy, Rich has a unique talent for innovative problem resolution. As an award-winning researcher featured in Forbes, Rich conducted over 70 thought leadership studies including Obama’s Veteran’s Initiative and the first African American Financial Experience Benchmark Study. While on a mission in Kenya, Rich decided to found The Wealth Factory to reduce poverty through financial edtech games.
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
Too often, children in America don’t have the luxury of choosing their answer to that question. They are simply born, shoveled through the education system, given credit at 18, loaded with students loans, dive into debt and struggle each day to pay bills without little to none financial education. On college graduation day, while students should be focused on careers, many are already $35,000 in debt on average, beginning life in penury.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
CreditStacker, patent pending, is a match-three education technology game app that teaches high school students how to manage and interpret credit reports. Students must swap credit types to pay off debt, achieve a high credit score and learn from the adaptive multiple-choice questions.
CreditStacker surpasses all other financial education offerings by reducing financial apprehension and increasing financial literacy retention via fun, evidenced-based gamification. CreditStacker is the only credit education technology game available internationally via mobile apps supported by evidenced-based content and custom data analytics.
The core move is swapping the positions of adjacent blocks, to create sets of three (or more) blocks of the same credit type, illustrating consecutive bill payments. Each level, divided by age brackets (eg. 18-30), contains an objective to pay off a specific loan type (eg. student loan).
It uniquely combines a match-three game, credit score reporting, data analytics, and a learner management system. Closely simulating the Fair Issac Credit Reporting system, CreditStacker genuinely improves financial literacy and behavior.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of how your solution is working to solve the problem.
We have conducted four research studies in development of our product and customer validation. First, we partnered with University of Maryland to conduct a participatory design study on the development of the game. We created 6 iterations of the game. Second, we were sponsored by the Charter School Development Corporation and Building Hope to conduct The Financial Empowerment of Youth Research Study at three charter schools to test the implementation and efficacy of the game. We found that financial literacy rates rose by 42% in 12 weeks. Third, Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking conducted a research study on the efficacy of the game at scale via third-party delivery to 15,000 students. They found that we helped open up 1,300 bank accounts in 6 weeks and financial literacy rates rose by 25% after 1 session. They awarded us as their official Financial Literacy Tech Partner.
5a. Too many people in the U.S. have unmet needs for financial products and services. How is your work reaching a population(s) that is currently underserved? If it is not reaching an underserved population yet, how might it in the near future?
We have partnerships with housing authorities, schools, churches and financial institutions throughout the 28 urban cities as part of Obama's initiative to provide digital literacy to 98% of homes by 2018. We have a successful blueprint for designing a financial literacy ecosystem in DC and plan to duplicate it across the country.
5b. Please specify if the population you are reaching is underserved due to any of the following characteristics:
age - youth
age - elder
6. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
Our main competitor and biggest threat, http://Everfi.com is a financial education web platform that raised $75m and grew to 1m US users since 2008. In Dec 2016, the Dept of Education hosted their 3rd annual EdGames Expo including Everfi. CreditStacker was named Best Learning Game in the country!
CreditStacker is the only credit education technology game available internationally via mobile apps supported by evidenced-based content and custom data analytics. It is heavily validated to improve financial behavior, specializes in vulnerable populations, including special needs and is actually engag
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Our users are millennials ages 8-25. Our customers encompass education organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and non-profits. The game is free for users. Buyers pay to sponsor financial education counseling and classes for users leveraging our game curriculum to achieve the buyer's organizational mission.
8a. Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling your impact?
The Wealth Factory’s overall strategy for customer acquisition is to focus our marketing efforts on financial institutions, education organizations, government organizations and non-profits. We plan to build on our strong international growth by targeting Latin America, Asia and Africa along with America via online advertisement. Further we plan to engage in long term partnerships with educational and financial institutions.
8b. If applicable, which of the following scaling strategies have you launched?
9. Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?
In addition to partnerships, we currently have ads in our games and plan to add advertising to our new games.
Additionally, we plan to focus our marketing efforts on American financial institutions, education organizations, government organizations and non-profits, starting with the Northeast region. CreditStacker is trending in 40 countries effortlessly. We plan to build on our strong international growth by targeting Latin America, Asia and Africa along with America via online advertisement.
10. Team: What is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?
13 full-time and part-time team members. Roles include my assistant, operations manager, interns, and product manager. As the team evolves I move my team members around based on their skill set and interest.
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 - Which of the following categories do you identify with? (optional)
Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 - Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities? (optional)
How did you hear about this challenge?