One Raft hopes to float with do-good purpose involving social enterprises and charities.

One Raft

Invented by: Guy Jacks

Cost: Undecided

Investor: Guy Jacks

Amount funded: $0

Sometimes it takes a bit of external pressure to do the right thing. Columbus resident Guy Jacks wants to bring on the pressure by gamifying involvement with social enterprises and charities through startup One Raft.

One Raft is an early startup building a website and app that will help users track their involvement in charities, find new ways to help causes and challenge others to take part as well.

The gamification of doing good works comes into play with the platform's plan to assign a value to impactful works by using a function of various metrics, such as how much that help was needed.

A seasoned coder, Jacks has the technical skills to build out the platform. Jacks' prior business, People to My Site, was a tech consulting firm that worked to build those skills. Selling off the company, now known as The Shipyard, has helped Jacks make time to devote to One Raft and its purpose.

One Raft looks to be an enterprise solution that also appeals to individuals.

Jacks plans to encourage companies to spend their corporate giving budgets using a new model through One Raft. This model's main purpose is to have a company's customers decide how funds reserved for charity should be distributed. It works by rewarding customers with tokens on One Raft that can be exchanged for donations to any charity. These tokens could be distributed if customers purchase an item or service from the company at a given time.

One Raft has not received any outside funding to date, but is looking to raise $250,000 from accelerators once Jacks launches One Raft's website in the next month.

Will One Raft achieve startup success?

“One Raft's central premise of gamifying corporate giving appealed to me, having invested in another firm, zoojoo.be, that does gamification of corporate wellness programs. Guy Jacks' track record of having built and sold a software-based service firm is a positive.”

Potential Investor: K. Srikrishna, angel investor

“Fundraising and involvement are two of the toughest pieces for a nonprofit, particularly a relatively new one like ours. The One Raft platform would create a sense of comradery with volunteers and donors—a definite plus. The biggest concern I have is how One Raft monetizes the platform; every dollar can be critical in the nonprofit world.”

Industry Expert: John Esterly, executive director, stART Columbus

“I am very optimistic (about One Raft) and the fact that it's an acute chance to accomplish Jacks' goal, (which) means that (he) should go for it. Giving the customers a say at the table is good for visibility and transparency for customers.”

Potential User: Benbella Ndive, Jr., associate account executive, Xcelerate Media

Start-Update: Seamless.AI Boasts Big-Name Clients After Relaunch

Since its rebranding this past spring, Seamless.AI, formerly known as Seamless Contacts, has brought 1,500 companies to its platform, with enterprise users from Facebook, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon and more. How do they draw in these big names? According to founder and CEO Brandon Bornancin, 90 percent of the time it's through the very product it's selling: a platform that brings in automated sales leads and stores deal-closing tidbits on ideal accounts, like common connections and prospects' hobbies.

Currently a team of six, Seamless.AI developers have expanded to New York and added employees to the sales side in Columbus.

Over the last half of a year, Seamless.AI has also built up its fan base.

“We've got 1,500 companies on the platform, thousands of professionals on the platform and over 150 five-star reviews, which is really exciting with launching this new platform,” Bornancin says.

In Columbus, the Seamless.AI team splits its work week between Industrious and Rev1 and next on its agenda will be adding time to their investor Loud Capital's co-working space, once opened.