176: Evan Leaphart (Kiddie Kredit)

Evan Leaphart on Innovation City

“If you just continue down the pathway, people will always appreciate hard work, in my belief.”  – Evan Leaphart

Welcome to Season 4 of Innovation City (The Miami Edition), a podcast featuring innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency and Aīre Ventures, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Today’s guest is Evan Leaphart, founder of Kiddie Kredit, the chore-tracking app that helps kids learn real-world lessons about money and credit. Evan combines a passion for financial literacy and innovation with a commitment to solving real-world problems in his community. In this episode, Evan sits down with the team to discuss the reasons kids need to really understand credit early on, how Kiddie Kredit scored a partnership with Equifax, experience as knowledge capital, and much more! 

They discuss:

  • Evan’s top superpowers
    • Understanding himself, understanding people
    • Patience
  • Why Evan is passionate about teaching children about credit, and the type of change he wants to make in the world
    • He’s passionate about entrepreneurship
    • He’s had an entrepreneurial spirit since childhood
    • Believes hard work begets sales
  • His mom inspired this journey
    • She was a flight attendant
    • She always had something extra going on the side, like a gift basket business
  • Why Kiddie Kredit?
    • Great business ideas come from those of all financial backgrounds
    • But if you don’t have access to assets, credit, or funding you might not be able to get funding for your great idea
    • So we need to teach about credit, more than just one class in seventh grade, so that people have a real-world understanding of what it is, how it works, and why you need it
    • Creating a parallel universe between solid foundational habits and and the mechanics of a good credit score
  • What age do kids start to “get it”?
    • About ages 8-12
    • Chores = Kiddie Kredit score
  • Evan’s journey in funding his own startup
    • It’s not as easy as people think
    • Bootstrapped it, part savings and part maxing out credit cards
    • He really believed in it
    • Eventually got a small angel investment
    • Crowdfunding campaign last year
    • Partnership with Equifax
      • The power of partnerships
      • Never think something’s too big to ask
      • Contacted Equifax via cold call
  • Challenges for Kiddie Kredit
    • Next steps toward engagement
    • Business model is B to B to C
    • How can we get it into the hands of the right people?
    • Lower acquisition cost
  • Kiddie Kredit users
    • Black and brown communities are largely underbanked
    • How can Kiddie Kredit shift the paradigm?
      • Look at the starting point
      • Financial literacy is many topics, and credit deserves to be its own conversation
      • In Miami the average monthly income among 18-30-year-olds isn’t much different, but the credit scores differ by over 100 points
  • The vision – what Evan wants to accomplish in 5, 10, 15 years
    • For financial products, de-risk through issuance of education
  • How we think about knowledge and understanding
    • Kiddie Kredit is elevating experience as knowledge capital
    • Standardized measures don’t consider systemic factors
  • The app and experience for kids
    • Kids see chores set by parents
    • They say they did/didn’t do it, parent approves it
    • Not doing the chore affects their score
    • Doing the chore earns them rewards points
    • Monetary/non-monetary reward, depending on the audience
  • This helps families who might not experience digital literacy, let alone financial literacy
  • Get in touch
    • On social media @evanleaphart or @kiddiekredit or email evan@kiddiekredit.com

Lightning Round:

What was the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?

  • My earliest investor. “This may not work, but here you go.”

What is your favorite food?

  • Macaroni and cheese

What book that changed the way you see the world?

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey; A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle

What’s your greatest challenge as an individual?

  • As a black founder, I live every day trying to make sure what I’m doing is making it easier for someone taking the path behind me.

What makes you feel loved?

  • Patience with me. Understanding, compassion.

If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

  • Nothing. I’m a big believer in the butterfly effect.

What is your greatest need in this moment?

More time. Optimizing of time.