Hero Network (HERO) is a privately held crowd funding company that has cornered the market on the distribution of goodwill and human kindness.
HERO connects people in need with people, communities, and corporations who can help (Heroes). This is the new model of philanthropy: one-to-one giving without the bureaucracy. No overhead. No middleman; just human beings at their very best. Wishes can be big or small, elaborate or simple.
The site allows members to easily exchange money, items, and services and since 2010, HERO has helped make more than 120,000 wishes come true. HERO has been prominently featured on ABC World News, CNN, and USA Today.
MO: What inspired you to launch your business?
Wade: The tragedies of 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina. We watched as 1000’s needed help and could not receive it in a timely manner or at all.
MO: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
Wade: We recently granted our 120,000th Wish.
MO: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
Wade: We connect people in need with people who can help on a peer to peer and direct level. We are Philanthropy 2.0
MO: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Wade: Speaking to the fact that we are a “for profit” company and getting enough funding to scale the organization globally. We are very close (as I write this) to a large Series B round which will exponentially propel us forward.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
1) Large round of funding
2) Allocating the funding dollars towards technology improvements (gamification, video, partner portals, etc.) to be able to help more people in a more significant and meaningful way
MO: Where do you envision your company in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Wade: We envision within 24-36 months we will be acquired (but remain with the company) by one of the following companies;
4) American Red Cross
5) Kickstarter/Indiegogo (whoever ends up as the dominant player in the crowdfunding
MO: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
Wade: Any/all technology based founders that have created something that didn’t previously exist. The impact they have created is that “anything is possible” and “keep working at it until it changes the world”. In our case, we thought there was a much better way to help people in need, so we created the platform.
MO: Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Wade: If we have had an impact in a positive way for just 1 person, we consider that a huge success. Our goal is to help (through our platform) as many people as we possibly can.
MO: How do your competitors view you?
Wade: We don’t have any “direct” competitors. We have several indirect competitors, and right now they view us as simply a “small player”, so they are not outwardly concerned with us as a company, which will be a bad mistake for them very shortly.
MO: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?
Wade: However much effort and money people say it takes to launch a global start up, multiply both by 20 times, and you would only come close to the reality.
MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Wade: Started 2 companies from a blank sheet of paper. The first one was wildly successful and sold after 13 years and the 2nd one is in progress and is shaping up to be a once in a generation platform that will change the way people help and give to others.
MO: What is the biggest goal of the HERO Network?
Wade: To be the world’s largest and most successful crowd funding and social helping platform. Our goal is to make over 1M wishes come true within the next 24 months.
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