Gift giving can be fun as it is, but now with the help of the Galvanize iPhone app, which launched last month, you can turn gift giving into a treasure hunt. Galvanize introduces a game that makes hiding and finding real gifts with your friends an addictive exercise – and extends the anticipation and fun. Founded by Kristen Taylor, this New York based startup looks to bring some new energy to gift giving, while also giving back to society by tying in charitable organizations. This past summer, Kristen took a sabbatical in Santa Cruz to work on development of the application.
So how does it work? Galvanize offers two primary activities – hiding a gift and finding a gift. So when you are feeling like its time to give some gift-love to someone, go hide the gift somewhere in your local neighborhood (preferably where it won’t get wet or stolen), then login to Galvanize and plot it on the map. You can title the gift, leave hints and specify who you want the gift invitation to go to. The app will then send a notification to your friend and the gift finding begins as they will have to hunt down your gift. Once they do find the gift, they can take a photo of it and get points for a mission accomplished. Both the gifter and giftee then get points, which are donated to one of three featured organizations: Ushahidi, Frontline SMS: Medic, and Komaza. The financial gifts are backed by sponsors and partners – both philanthropic and corporate (philanthropies can highlight their portfolio of support organizations when they are a sponsor) and partners can also contribute to this fund while working with Galvanize on corporate campaigns hiding their product. There is never a cost to the user, so players become microphilanthropists by virtue of their activities in the game.
Galvanize is hard at work on the next few updates and planning some exciting events in the coming months. Come out to Tech Cocktail NYC to meet founder Kristen Taylor and find out what’s in store for Galvanize.