Based in Pennsylvania, African American entrepreneurs Trevor Wilkins and Logan Cohen have created an amazing app called Kudzoo that motivates students to do well in school. The app, which is free to download, allows students to upload their report cards and be rewarded with deals, giveaways, scholarship opportunities, concert tickets, and once in a lifetime experiences based on their grades and achievements.
How the idea came to life
During a recent interview with Ebony Magazine, Trevor commented, "Logan and I met during my freshman year at a Phillies game and we stayed in touch throughout the years. After graduation I brought the idea to her, and I was originally going to launch it as a web site, but with her being very technologically savvy she suggested turning it into a mobile app."
He continued, "From there, we were able to raise a little bit of money and start building the platform... [and now] we see ourselves as being able to insert our platform into what students are already doing, while giving them that extra support. If we can be that extra sense of motivation, we feel that we can really make a difference."
But does paying students really work?
Trevor has always been very motivated about getting good grades. His parents encouraged him and his siblings to do well by rewarding them if they did well in school. They received $10 for every A they brought home, and $5 for every B. But they also were penalized if they brought home bad grades. For example, if they got a C, they had to pay their parents $20.
But the strategy worked very well because Trevor and his siblings always got A's and B's, and at age 12, he became the youngest contestant ever to be featured on the Discovery Kids reality TV show called Endurance. Later in life, he went on to attend and graduate from Princeton University.
Based on his own background, Trevor grew up wanting to create a way to motivate other students to do the same. He strongly believes that motivation is what led him to set his own personal goals for achievement, including becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Why the name Kudzoo?
Kudzoo is the name of the fastest growing plant in the world. This is how both Trevor and Logan want students to feel about their education, growing and taking their place in the world. Since the app was released last school year, it has grown to 500,00 active users.