Featured Startup: PSU Pledge



Interview with PSU Pledge co-founder Cory Trimm

Q&A with PSU Pledge co-founder Garrett Miller

Q: What is PSUPledge.com and how does it work?

A: Put most simply, PSU Pledge is a Twitter-driven donations engine benefitting the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. PSU Pledgers simply “authorize” the PSU Pledge application to their Twitter account, make a pledge per tweet, credit an organization if you like, and watch your total pledge grow between now and THON – and see how your friends are doing as well. Once you reach the $50 threshold, you’re able to verify your pledge – lending some credibility to large donations. What’s unique about PSU Pledge is that we don’t handle your Twitter account information, or your payment information at all. We use Twitter’s OAuth API system for all Twitter functions, so we never see your password, and all donations are still handled through THON’s in-place donation system.

Q: When did you start working on PSUPledge.com

A: I began conceptual work on PSU Pledge back in late July, around the same time that the NCAA sanctions came out. Daily, all I saw was negative publicity surrounding the University community that I love, and in my frustration, I was inspired to do something impactful for Penn State. Since then, this has been a project I’ve worked tirelessly on in between sleeping and working full time, and while exhausting, was also immensely rewarding.

Q: What was your goal when you started developing the site?

A: Our goal was simply to create a new, innovative way for people to direct money towards the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, by doing something they already do, and making it fun. By “gamifying” it through allowing PSU Pledgers to compare themselves and their organizations against their friends, as well as share their pledge totals, we hoped that this would encourage users to perhaps tweet more, spreading the word about THON in the process.

Q: How has the goal changed?

A: The overall goal of PSU Pledge has not changed – to simply be a fun, innovative way to drive fundraising to a remarkable cause, all For The Kids. However, from the outset, we did have to make some scope changes simply based on time available to devote to the project. That said, we’re looking to the future, and still have plenty of ideas of what we hope is yet to come.

Q: What’s PSUPledge’s future OR What can we expect from this group of developers in the future?

A: PSU Pledge’s future is to grow – we want to expand our team, enhance our site and its functionality, and add support for other social networking platforms. To eventually move into the space of an even more comprehensive web application, more sharing options and better support for mobile devices, we think that PSU Pledge has a very bright future ahead of it – getting there just takes time and talent.

Follow @PSUPledge on Twitter | Visit PSUPledge.com to learn more



Greater Philadelphia Internet marketing agency Philly Marketing Labs has partnered with non-profit TechGirlz and is volunteering their team’s skills and expertise to help spread the word about TechGirlz’ mission.

In addition to improving visibility for the TechGirlz’ mission, Philly Marketing Labs is working directly with the organization’s leadership team members, as well as some of the young girls themselves to mentor and guide them around technology.

“We believe that creating a measurable digital footprint will help TechGirlz achieve their
mission faster and more effectively,” said Skip Shuda, Philly Marketing Labs co-founder.

Shuda became involved with TechGirlz over a year ago as an advisor and an eventplanning assistant. Today, over half of the team at Philly Marketing Labs actively volunteers for TechGirlz activities, which include helping with blog posts, marketing planning, Website project management, email marketing and more.

Philly Marketing Labs believes in the approach that TechGirlz is taking to help empower young women in pursuing careers in technology and is determined to get the word out about their mission and offered resources.


Philly Marketing Labs is a Philadelphia SEO, PPC and social media marketing firm that provides digital strategy through implementation for mid-sized, traditional companies.

For further information about Philly Marketing Labs, contact Skip Shuda at 877-373-2605.

Elliot Mast is Back at it For The Kids of Pittsburgh



It’s been just over a year since I took notice of an incredible initiative to raise funds for the kids at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh that was being headed by a blogger named Elliot Mast.  I soon came to realize that  Elliot Mast was merely a 12-year-old kid whose ambition and passion for helping superseded his age.  Elliot was on a mission in 2010 to raise $5000 by the new year for the kids at CHP, because he was once one of those kids who needed help.

A year later Elliot is back at it and is determined to do it again.  With a summer of raising funds through his baseball playing and a successful silent auction, Elliot has surpassed the $3000 mark and is on his way to another successful fundraising season.  Please be sure to follow Elliot on Twitter , share his tweets and urge your networks to share and donate as well.  There are only about 45 days left for Elliot to meet his fundraising goal, but with our help he will reach it in time.

You can learn more about Elliot Mast and his awesome initiative at Elliot’s Cool Blog.

Here’s a message from Elliot…

Side note:
I had the opportunity to meet up with Elliot and his father Don Mast at Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) 2011.  This is an incredible kid with an incredible understanding of what it means give back to those who helped you along the way.  Aside from being a passionate philanthropist, Elliot is a big major league baseball fan and has interviewed some of the top figures in the game. (Tony LaRussa, Andy Petite and Stephen Strasburg just to name a few.)  Thank you for all that you do for the kids Elliot. FTK All The Way!

No Shave Movember Call to Action


At the start of the month I was prompted to donate my face to No Shave Movember by members of the media group I am interning with.  No Shave Movember is a facial hair growing campaign in which individuals raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

We are nearly half way through No Shave Movember and the staches are looking healthy.  Our team is steadily raising funds, but still need your help.  This is my call to action to you to help BMG Staches raise funds that will benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation, LIVESTRONG, and the Movember Foundation.

Please help us change the face of men’s health by donating at http://us.movember.com/mospace/1895248/

Thank you in advance for your participation and generosity.  Here’s to a healthy future!

An original piece inspired by Movember that I sketched out in a moment of profound revelation…