In honor of Valentine’s Day, we caught up with Heartful.ly founder Kate Glantz. It’s been 10 months since Kate pitched at our first-ever DC Showcase, and plenty has changed— she has since been selected as a Halcyon fellow, won the 1776/Washington Post inGENuitY Pitch Contest, and so much more.
We just learned about Heartful.ly’s newest initiative and we’re excited to share: This Valentine’s Day, Heartful.ly has partnered with Blessings in a Backpack to fight childhood hunger in America. Instead of giving flowers and chocolates (so blasé), anyone can donate nutritious meals for hungry kids in honor of the people they love.
Read on to learn more about Kate’s journey since pitching Heartful.ly at our Vinetta Showcase last April.
For those of us who weren't at the April event: Tell us a bit about Heartful.ly and why you founded the company.
Heartful.ly is a wedding registry for charitable giving. We partner with nonprofits around the world to feature projects in need of funding and build beautiful registries. After every wedding, we send an impact update that shows how the couple and their wedding guests have made a difference in people’s lives.
Heartful.ly was born out of my experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania. My community was poor by every standard, but the way they celebrated big events—mainly weddings—was full of so much generosity. With millennials emerging as the most generous generation, it became clear to me that there was a powerful opportunity to link wedding traditions with philanthropy.
Where was Heartful.ly when you pitched at our first DC Vinetta Showcase in April 2015?
Vinetta was my first real pitch! I was n-e-r-v-o-u-s! Heartful.ly was only a few months old and we were just one month into our beta. I was also still full time at my day job with the Peace Corps. Looking back, my experience pitching at Vinetta was a significant milestone. It was the first time I received feedback from investors and also my first experience outside of Startup Weekend sharing Heartful.ly with a crowd. It was extremely validating, not so much in terms of knocking it out of the ballpark (because I didn’t!), but rather an affirmation that my company was real and on a positive trajectory.
Now, ten months later, what's changed? Where are you now?
So much has changed! Most importantly, we launched in December! I’ve been full time since July, am a fellow at the Halcyon Incubator, and am now partnered with 40 nonprofits on five continents. There are so many incredible and generous couples using the platform and a number of brands supporting our vision.
Right now, I’m completely focused on user acquisition with an emphasis on the D.C. metro area and scoping out 2-3 additional cities for expansion later this year!
Are there any ways that the Vinetta community can support Heartful.ly's further growth? What can readers do to help?
Share Heartful.ly with your engaged friends and family! Are you affiliated with a socially conscious brand or a brand that is interested in this space? Let’s talk about how we can support each other. Drop me a line any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d also be remiss not to mention that I’m raising a seed round later this spring! I’d love to hear from Angels and founders who have experience raising in the B2C or crowdfunding space!
What advice would you give to someone who is getting ready to pitch at one of our events?
Remember that you’re the authority on your business. Odds are good you know more about your industry than anyone else in the room. Be confident. Be authentic. Know your numbers backward and forward. And have fun. It’s not every day you get to stand on stage and share your baby with a captive audience!
To learn more about Heartful.ly, visit their website!