Kid Everest founders from left: Ashley, Keagan and Kayla Serverius. Courtesy photo.
What started off as an idea for a school project has become the first crowdfunding site for kid entrepreneurs. And the savvy minds behind Kid Everest are only 13 and 14 years old.
Kayla Serverius, 14, and her 13-year-old twin sisters, Ashley and Keagan, promote their site as made for kids, by kids. Their aim is to provide a safe place where kids can raise money for their dream projects and receive the mentoring necessary to bring ideas to fruition.
The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in the Serverius family. Mom is a teacher to students with autism who hosts a website and blog on the subject, who the sisters say inspired them to start businesses of their own, including reselling toys and making soap. But it was class project that led to their latest and most ambitious venture.
“We were in the same class fifth and sixth grade together, and our teacher told us to come up with a plan to make the world a better place,” says Keagan. The sisters presented their teacher with a plan for a crowdfunding site for those not old enough to access sites like Kickstarter.
“We don’t want that to be a roadblock to getting a business funded,” Kayla says. Adds Keagan, “We know kids have amazing ideas and, if they had a platform to fund those ideas, they could go far.”
When the teacher told them the idea was too big for the assignment, “That made us want us to prove him wrong,” Keagan says. It did, however, take three years to get the platform live as the sisters needed to talk to lawyers and other experts about how to make the site safe for kids. Some of the safeguards include making campaigns link to an active bank account and parental approvals for information released.
To accomplish this, the sisters needed to raise money without a crowdfunding site. So they turned to old-fashioned methods like lemonade stands and asking family and friends to invest. “Our donors say if this was around when they were kids, it would have really helped them,” says Kayla.
Kid Everest went live in 2020, just as the pandemic hit. With not a lot to do in quarantine, the sisters (Kayla is a freshman in high school and the twins are in eighth grade) threw themselves into developing and promoting their site. “I was surprised with how many people would need our website and would want to use it and the amount of people who would help to support it and spread our story,” Ashley says.
Kid Everest, which is run out of the family home on the Seacoast, hosts a variety of current campaigns, including making T-shirts and writing books. Kayla says, “During COVID, it’s cool to see how many ideas came out of this tragedy.”
So far about 24 kids have raised more than $7,000, and Kid Everest receives 4.9%.
The sisters are reinvesting that capital. Building their new venture through the pandemic has taught them about managing their time, Kayla says, and has brought the sisters closer. “We learned how to work together,” she says.
Adds Keagan, “Starting a business is not easy, but it is fun.… We are so passionate about what we do. It doesn’t seem like work.… It’s always exciting to see a kid be successful and to think that we helped them start their business.”
For more information, visit kideverest.com.