Birmingham’s Velocity Accelerator inaugural class member: Planet Fundraiser

Birmingham’s Velocity Accelerator inaugural class member: Planet Fundraiser
Drew Honeycutt, left, and Kasey Birdsong practice for Demo Day at Velocity Accelerator. (Michael Tomberlin / Alabama NewsCenter)

“Fundraising” can mean everything from selling candy bars and wrapping paper for your school to soliciting millions of dollars to get an invention or idea to market.

Ironically, one of the nine companies in the inaugural class of Birmingham’s Velocity Accelerator program at Innovation Depot that is not currently in fundraising mode is Planet Fundraiser.

Velocity Accelerator is a 12-week program designed to give a select group of startups focused mentorship and guidance to speed their growth. The inaugural class of 10 companies was announced in December and started in January with $50,000 in seed capital. The program concludes with Demo Day on April 18.

Planet Fundraiser part of Birmingham Velocity Accelerator’s inaugural class from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Planet Fundraiser helps schools, churches and organizations raise money simply by shopping with area retailers and restaurants. When a shopper visits a merchant that supports his or her organization, they take a picture of the receipt with the app and the merchant contributes a portion of the sales to that organization.

It is designed to boost merchants’ involvement in their community, inspire loyalty from customers and support those organizations that are doing important work in the community.

Founders Kasey Birdsong and Drew Honeycutt already have merchants and customers doing just that throughout Birmingham by shopping at places like Chick-fil-A, Milo’s, Piggly Wiggly, Mountain High Outfitters and Shipt.

In fact, Shipt founder Bill Smith was one of the investors who recently helped Planet Fundraiser close on $1 million in new capital that allowed Planet Fundraiser to expand into Atlanta.

Planet Fundraiser, along with the other eight remaining members of the inaugural Velocity Accelerator class, is approaching Demo Day in which the companies will pitch, or “demonstrate,” their progress. Many of them are seeking investment to spur their growth. Planet Fundraiser will have a different story to tell.

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