Elite Interviews: Kiboo

Lisa Halpern is the Founder of Kiboo, a resource that improves how you spend, save, and give. You'll use innovative tools and technology to better handle your money.

A pre-paid card is issued and you are able to set certain milestones that you'd like to save up for online, as well as budgeting your money and tracking how you spend it. This easy-to-use resource teaches people how to be smarter when it comes their money.

Who are the people that inspired you to follow your dreams?

My father is a serial entrepreneur. When I was growing up, he was always coming up with new ideas and challenging me to think outside the box. Some of his businesses have been very successful and others have failed miserably. He taught me that it is okay to fail. As long as you learn from it, it will make you smarter and stronger.

Was there a turning point in your life that led to your current direction?

I practiced law for eight years in New York City. One day I woke up and realized that my life was flying by. I didn't feel like I had done anything meaningful. So I quit my job with no idea what I was going to do next. A few months later, I went to dinner with two friends and my dad. We spent the evening eating, drinking and talking about how banks don't relate to young people. A few bottles of wine later and after a lot of talk, the concept of Kiboo was born.

How does Kiboo help people spend and budget their money better?

With Kiboo, you get an easy way to spend, save and give. Spending should be simple to keep track of, and budgeting helps make sure you don't run out of money before your next paycheck. That's why when you swipe your Kiboo MasterCard® Prepaid Card, the transaction is automatically tracked in your Kiboo Budget and put into categories like Food or Travel. We also give you Kiboo Tips along the way to help you stay on track. When you have a little extra cash, we encourage you to move some into Saving or to create a Goal for something that you might really want. In our Giving section, you can donate to the charities and causes you care about. Even $1 can go a long way.

What can be achieved when people understand how to save their money right?

When you make it a habit to put money aside, you're preparing yourself for a more successful future. Kiboo has built features that help you save and stay on track. For example, our Goals will tell you how much to put away every week until you reach the amount you want to save. When you complete a goal, we connect you with our retail partners to give you some of the best deals around. Whether you want to save for the next iPhone or a new car, Goals will help you get there. Goals are also social and allow you to share with your friends and family. I cannot think of better motivation for reaching a Goal than announcing it to all of my friends on Facebook.

What are some of the advantages people receive after signing up for Kiboo?

Kiboo lets you manage your money in a whole new way. We give you features and functionality that your typical bank doesn't offer. Here are a few examples: • Three distinct components: Spending, Saving and Giving. • Community. Share your Goals with friends/family and vote for which causes Kiboo features. • The Know Your Money™ library of articles, infographs and videos. It can help you decide things, like if you should buy or lease a car or how to save on groceries. • A parent view. If your parents still support you, there is a cool setting that allows them to send you money and to stay in touch. • Multi-platform customer service. You can contact our amazing team through phone, email, social media, Skype and more. • Over 30,000 free ATMs. That's right – no charge. • No going into the red. You cannot spend more than you have.

What is your biggest tip for entrepreneurs?

Don't be afraid to fail. Learn from your mistakes, pick yourself up and begin again.

Whose career inspires you the most?

Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.

What do you dream of accomplishing with Kiboo?

Kiboo's mission is to bring people closer to their money. When I close my eyes and imagine Kiboo's future, there wouldn't be a “bank” between you and your money. Your money would just always be there by your side on your mobile device. You would be part of a supportive community that encourages each other to save, spend and give smarter, and the engine behind it all is powered by Kiboo.

Five, 10, 50 years down the line when you've achieved everything you aspire for today, where do you see yourself?

Being an entrepreneur is a journey that doesn't end. It is forever evolving. That's what makes it fun – you are never done…

Lorent Rosenblum | Elite.