Beyond the Pitch

GiftPocket: A Teenager’s Solution for Teens to Manage Gift Cards



What if there was a dynamic way to pay for anything with gift cards?

GiftPocket is the brainchild of Brooke Yoakam—the youngest entrepreneur (so far) to attend Rev1’s Concept Academy.

GiftPocket is a mobile application that helps teens organize their gift cards in a simple way and makes gift cards accessible at all times through the use of a teen’s smartphone.

As Brooke describes it, “GiftPocket converts gift cards into gift pocket cash.”

Market validation isn’t a kid’s game

The teen demographic is a market that Brooke understands really well. How? For starters, she’s thirteen and in Jones Middle School.

Brooke came up with the idea for GiftPocket from birthday parties where she and her friends receive gift cards instead of presents that come wrapped in a box.

“Teens love getting gift cards—if they are to a store where we love to shop,” Brooke said. “But we lose them so easily and randomly misplace them, and we forget how much money is left on a card.”

And sometimes those cards are to places the teen would never go into—even armed with a “free” gift card.

Creating a solution that fits teens’ needs

GiftPocket-Blackwell - BrookeSo Brooke, who participated after school in Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA), went to work to turn her idea into a business plan. “At first I asked my friends what they thought, and they gave me feedback,” Brooke said.

Then as the winner of the local YEA competition, Brooke received $2,000 to invest in her idea and was invited to participate in Rev1’s Concept Academy.

“It was a little intimidating,” Brooke said, “but I received a lot of support and help. I’m so glad I did Concept Academy. It was a really good experience; I changed the product so much for the better in just three days. Now I’m a lot more confident. Taking an idea to potential customers I didn’t know is a much better way.” GiftPocket is targeting a 2016 launch

You’re never too young (or old) to be entrepreneurial

Brooke was a featured entrepreneur at Rev1’s Demo Day on October 22.—where there was entrepreneurs from sixties to, you guessed it, thirteen.

Brooke fit right in.

“I’ve been through so many phases of this project,” she said. “It’s been almost a year that I’ve been working on this app, and it feels like longer. I can’t wait to see people going into stores and using the application. That will be the most amazing thing after all this work.”

Brooke is facing a busy fall and winter—school work, soccer, lacrosse, and cheering leading for basketball, but it isn’t slowing her vision for GiftPocket down.

“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” Brooke said. “My mom, dad, grampa, and uncle are all entrepreneurs, and I’ve always looked up to them—and now I’m one, too.”

Which just goes to prove, there’s plenty to learn about entrepreneurship from this eighth grader.

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