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News Section: Community Spotlight

Community Spotlight: Sarasota Entrepreneur and Nine-Year-Old Daughter Create an Innovative Website to Empower Youth

Published Saturday, March 22, 2014

SARASOTA – Prior to the official launch of at the HuB, 1680 Fruitville Road on March 20 at 5.30pm, co-founder Heather Holst-Knudsen explained the philosophy behind the website and her hopes to realize the dreams of children and teens throughout the nation.


"Think Kickstarter for kids," suggested Holst-Knudsen.


Kidbacker provides, via crowdfunding, the ability to provide a hands-on opportunity for kids to connect with financial backers who will in turn open the door for youthful business ideas to be realized.


“It doesn’t matter what their dreams are,” said Holst-Knudsen. “The children who join Kidbacker have an entrepreneurial spirit and are hoping to attract like-minded people who want to invest in the future of this country.”


Not only is Kidbacker an exciting concept due to its unique focus on creating awareness about the concept of investing for the future, but the initial idea was also created by Holst-Knudsen's 9 year-old daughter, Carly, as Holst-Knudsen explains.


"The idea for the website began last September," said Holst-Knudsen. "I was having Sunday brunch with Carly and my husband Gary. Suddenly Carly said she wanted a job to help pay for college. Initially, I laughed off the idea. But then it occurred to me that my daughter could take control of her destiny and engage in activities that would help her pay for her education in the years to come.


"Then we started talking about how she could achieve her passions and to flourish as a person," explained Holst-Knudsen.


From that initial conversation, Carly's entrepreneurial journey began with the idea of launching a lemonade stand.


A simple but effective idea as her mother admits: "We talked about pricing, costs and marketing requirements to attract customers, said Holst-Knudsen.”She was so excited and so was I! But she knew that any profits she made had to be invested in her college savings account. That was the deal."

But there’s a caveat said Holst-Knudsen, who was quick to point out that there are no free rides in realms of finance.


“If the kids on Kidbacker want financial help with their project, they have to realize they must return the favor. If you want help with making jewelry, then as a thank you, send a gift of your design to everyone who has helped you achieve your dream.”


Credited as co-founder of the site, Carly is clearly unfazed by the potential of her Sunday brainstorm.


“It will be exciting and cool,” she said. “It’s fun to think my mom and I can help so many kids in a way that no­one else has thought of before.”


“It seems to me,” said Holst-Knudsen, “that graduates today are lacking the skills to be creative or innovative. Employers are looking for candidates who show an entrepreneurial spirit, who can show they are not sleeping on their parent’s couch. We’re creating a generation of robots. That’s why Kidbacker is such an important platform. It takes kids away from the conformity of the classroom and allows them to be creative; to think for themselves. To be responsible and control their destiny.”


Kid Backer is a crowdfunding and educational website for kids so they can fund business ideas, passions and even college tuition. KidBacker allows kids and their parents to harness the power of their "crowd" – be they friends, family, customers, co-workers, or even total strangers – to fund academically oriented pursuits, ideas, projects, and tuition. This new way of fundraising democratizes the funding process allowing all persons, even those with very little to give, to show their support and empower the next generation to achieve their dreams and to change the world!


To contact, call 941-893-3665 or email

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