Marti Beller, Brian Marks and Geoff Weathersby met each other over the past two years as founders of independent startups in Richmond. While different in their approach, these three entrepreneurs had one common thread, a focus on benefiting nonprofits and empowering donors. Marti is the co-founder and CEO of Plan G, focusing on helping individuals and businesses manage and grow their giving to nonprofits more effectively. Brian created Bonfire Funds, an innovative crowdfunding platform that helps nonprofit supporters raise money by selling t-shirts. And Geoff co-founded InLieu which is a platform designed to utilize crowdfunding to help fund scholarships and charitable endowments.
These three, who have come from very different lives, have earned quite a bit of recognition for their work as well. After leaving her post as President of Affinion Loyalty group, Marti has been recognized as a CIT GAP 50 award winner, 2012 RVA Companies to Watch, and recently named Virginia Business magazine’s Top 30 People on the Move in Virginia. Brian and Bonfire Funds, who recently secured a round of funding and is focusing on sustainability, won the “Crowd Favorite” award at the 2012 i.e. Startup Competition. Lastly, the recent University of Richmond graduates Geoff and his co-founder Kailey Raymond not only won the University of Richmond Pitch Competition, but also walked away with the grand prize at the i.e. Startup Competition and were recognized as finalists in the CIT GAP 50.
See Marti, Brian, and Geoff’s TEDxRVA 2013 talk here!