Cara Mungo and Erica Austin, Deal Gooder (s), Women Entrepreneurs
Ethan Austin, at Give Forward, has been so kind to introduce me to a handful of women entrepeneurs. These particular women, Erica and Cara, are near and dear to his heart because Erica is Ethan's sister. The one theme that runs between Give Forward and Deal Gooder is the social piece. Each of these organizations give back, although differently, they are doing social good. The next generation seems to be more focused on social good and through social media, it is much easier to make that impact.
Erica and Cara grew up in Orange Country, California and met through mutual friends. Although they knew of each other in high school because they played each other in tennis at rival high schools but they didn't hang. Cara went off to USC and Erica to University of Arizona. It was a year after graduation that they ended up becoming roommates.
Erica started her career out in the advertising in media division of Chiat/Day. at their Orange County offices before working in LA. She opted to go to Pepperdine and get a masters in clinical psychology but it was advertising that pulled her back in. She took a job as the HR person at Dailey, an ad agency. Erica now had under her belt the opportunity to work in two top creative ad agencies. At the same time, Erica was having conversations with Ethan and Cara about organizations like Group-on and if they could create their own company that would differentiate themselves by doing daily deals with non-profits.
Cara started her career out at Neiman-Marcus where she was in PR and events. She stayed for seven years before taking a new job at St. Johns knits where she was the National Marketing Director working with retail stores across the country. She also launched their customer tech social roll out as more vendors are figuring out how to use social media to connect directly with their customers.
After many conversations about the business they went on to launch in November 2010, Deal Gooder was launched through the help of friends and family as well as a few angel investors. They do one deal a day with one non-profit a week. 50% of the proceeds that are made that week on the deals go to the non-profit of the week.
They are focused right now on Orange County and their relationships with the non-profits. They have 10 outside sales reps they are working with and a web developer. Their tractions sees growth weekly as the non-profits do their own lead generation for the weekly deals so they can make money as much as possible on their week. Local businesses want to give back which makes a perfect entry level for them to connect with non-profits that might be of interest to them.
Both Cara and Erica, in their past careers, were involved with non-profit corporate donations so this in many ways is a natural step. What I love about this kind of social entrepreneurial endeavor is that they are already making money. Their business helps non-profits but they aren't one. No surprises that an Edelman survey shows that Moms and people of the millenium generation would buy a brand that gives back over another brand that doesn't at the same price point.
As the discount world is exploding online, I think Deal Gooder might really be on to something.