CO-OP THINK winners go beyond CU walls

June 10, 2015

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (6/10/15)--CO-OP Financial Services has announced the top five solutions for the CO-OP THINK Prize 15.

The THINK Prize attracted close to 15,000 visitors to its collaborative platform, more than 500 active participants, and nearly 2,500 online comments and contributions to team efforts.

A total of 26 ideas were selected for consideration in the “Refinement” phase, which ran from May 5 to June 3. The final five top ideas were selected on how well the idea met a six-point criteria: human-centered, collaborative, community-centered, unique, showed a vision for success and implementable.

The originators of the five top ideas will each receive $2,000. The winning ideas include:

  • Justin Bean, founder of 3D Printing for Humanity, San Francisco, and a member of member of OnPoint Community CU, Portland, Ore., came up an idea called Community Coin, an online and mobile app platform for the exchange of goods and services between individuals;
  • Trevor Hallstein, an entrepreneur and fund manager based in Oakland, Calif., suggested using libraries as financial literacy hubs to teach skills and expose community members to tools that will help them reach their financial goals;
  • Nicole Lopez-Conti, community outreach manager, Patelco CU, San Francisco, conceived Re.looks, a program that would turn credit union members’ declined loans into approvals. For those who have been declined for a loan, it offers borrowers a 30-, 60-, 90- or 180-day track to reapply successfully;
  • Jean-Marc Mercy, CEO/founder of the Bridge Initiative, Democratic Republic of Congo, and member of United Nations FCU, Long Island City, N.Y., suggested training youth volunteers in financial literacy and community development through the Bridge Initiative, a nonprofit whose mission is to promote volunteerism and social entrepreneurship as pathways into the labor market; and
  • Tori Adele Signorelli, a freelance designer and writer based in Cincinnati, envisioned a grassroots youth campaign to initiate change. The idea taps into the power of young people to change the way consumers think and talk about money.