A unique social platform that inspires giving – that’s Duuple’s mission. Founder Abby Frimpong wanted to promote non-profit awareness along with an easy and fun way to donate to social causes. With the help of investors and a business credit card, Duuple is set to go global.
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Some entrepreneurs aren’t content to just build a successful business – they want to change the world. Such is the case for Abby Frimpong, founder of the crowdfunding app Duuple.
Duuple is a way for individuals, brands and non-profit organizations to advocate or raise money for causes. Users come up with unique challenges that they film and upload to the site. When participants donate to the cause and accept the challenge, they can win prizes.
“Duuple has a special place in my heart,” says Frimpong. “Coming from the non-profit world, I consistently saw the gap of need left in this world. There was always another brilliant kid in need of a scholarship, another cancer patient we had to get to or another deadly accident. Duuple, to me, was a way to bridge the gap. It’s how can we give back and empower people to make a mark while inspiring a change in a fun and meaningful way!”
The app even caught the attention of actor Neil Patrick Harris, who liked it so much he created his own Duuple challenge. The award-winning actor invited the world to an embarrassing dance challenge in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Frimpong’s journey has been a whirlwind since launching the app in 2018, as she won challenges of her own with a little help from a credit card.
You’re only about a year in – how has it been so far?
When I first began working on Duuple, I was worried that it needed to be similar to other social media platforms, so users could relate to it. Then I realized it needed to be much better than that. It had to be faster, simpler and sincere.
Once I let go of my concerns, Duuple improved and grew into its current state. We are not competing with other social media platforms – we’re building the next generation of social media.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t as easy as some people think. It’s easy to lose focus and start doubting your mission. Any time you feel discouraged, go back to your roots and re-think why you started the business in the first place.
I write down my goals (and tweak them from time to time) and meditate on them. Soon enough, I find myself energized and more determined to face any challenge.
I believe our thoughts determine whether we will go far in business or not.
Can you talk about the funding aspects of your venture?
Mobile app start-ups like Duuple face a great deal of inevitable challenges. From creating an app that users can connect with to getting enough funding for our mobile app development – it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of where our energies should be directed.
Funding is a huge challenge that start-ups face. Keep in mind that it may cost an average of $200,000 to actually develop a usable app and push it to the market. Most start-ups get stuck here, with a really great idea for an app but with no money to catapult their dream forward.
Our strategy for Duuple was to approach the right investors. Then we made them understand the dynamics of Duuple and the advantage they would get if they partnered with us.
And credit cards?
Yes, I used The Business Platinum® Card from American Express and still do. To keep Duuple up and running with data analytics and community moderation tools, we pay with the card.
I’m intrigued by the miles and points game. Personally, I am huge fan of American Express. I think they have one of the best reward systems and their credit cards for businesses give you a great opportunity to plan ahead.
We are now looking for one or two more multi-purpose cards, particularly for travel. I have been on the road for Duuple – traveling between U.S., Europe, Middle East and Africa. But we have to choose carefully.
If I signed up for a credit card just because of a lucrative welcome bonus but the card didn’t offer generous bonus categories or perks in the long run, it can’t be my favorite.
See related: Best travel credit cards
Are you usually leveraged or do you remain debt-free?
I have a team that is helping me out with the financial aspects of running Duuple, but it took us almost two years to get to where we are now. We are mostly debt-free since we have investors who continue investing in Duuple.
Unfortunately, tech start-ups are not able to leverage as much as conventional businesses. This is because the brick and mortar banking system is not easily able to assess or analyze our value.
What are your future plans for the business?
There is a lot happening! Now that Duuple has become one of the most entertaining mobile apps, we would like to introduce it to the world.
We have an ambassadors program coming up which will allow Duuple to create its own influencers. Also, we have an augmented reality feature, which is almost ready to be released – and it will take engagement to the next level.
I will continue leading Duuple to become one of the most successful apps in its genre.
If you could do anything over, what would it be?
Invest more in human resources. I work with a great team who deeply care about Duuple and its impact on the community. Recruiting these people took me longer than I expected because I was focusing more on the technology. Duuple was designed and created by these hardworking people, so I would start working on building the right team from day one.
What is your advice to other business owners who are just starting out?
Female CEOs in the tech community are a rare breed. Women may still be a minority in the boardroom, but as our power rises, so does our responsibility and visibility.
Women are starting more companies and holding more leadership positions than ever before. The next step in ensuring the number of women-owned businesses and women CEOs continues to climb is to encourage the next generation of young girls to reach for the stars. They should be encouraged to pursue their passions and never let gender norms hold them back. Women CEOs like myself have set an example of how we can rise to the top and disrupt traditional corporate culture.
More often than not, it’s the effort that’s put into anything – a project, a presentation, an interview – that goes the extra mile. Putting in the time has been what’s helped me be successful.
Challenge your comfort zone. You can’t achieve anything if you are always afraid of stepping outside. You need to prepare for financial shifts, so start small and snowball it.