Ending Child Support Conflict

Project

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Ittavi (an acronym for “it takes a village”) seeks to end conflict, improve transparency and simplify the process of paying child support while saving parents time and money.

About You

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About You

First Name

Sheri

Last Name

Atwood

About Your Organization

Organization Name

Ittavi

Organization Website

Organization Country

United States, CA, Santa Clara, Santa Clara County

Country where this project is creating social impact

United States

Age of Innovator

18-34

Gender of Innovator

Female

Is your organization a

For‐profit

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

We participated in our first startup event on July 15th, 2012 entitled Funders & Founders. We were voted the best startup by both the attendees (over 500) and the investment panel.

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Innovation

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Name Your Entry

Ending Child Support Conflict

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Growth (your pilot is up and running, and starting to expand)

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Cost.

The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?

Ittavi Child Support Manager seeks to end conflict, improve transparency and simplify the process of paying child support in order while saving parents time and money.

The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!

Ittavi Child Support Manager is an expense management and bill payment system for child support. Child Support Manager is an innovative web application for modern families to manage, track and pay child support expenses automatically. The new patent-pending application is an innovative, web solution designed to help parents quickly and easily manage, document and exchange child support related payments. Ittavi Child Support Manager enables both parents to track child support, negotiate incremental expenses and make payments easily. The system provides automated notification and updates to parents, an easy way to share receipts with the option to pay each other or pay a merchant directly.

The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities

Over 298 million parents worldwide are exchanging over $990 Billion dollars every year in child support family support and spousal support annually.
After a child support order or agreement is established, these parents are left to try to figure out the best way to manage child support. Child support is not a simple single monthly payment; it is divided into two unique categories, base support and incremental or additional expenses. Base support is typically a standard amount every month meant to cover basic living expenses. Divorced, separated or blended families also share the burden of incremental or additional expenses necessary to raise a child. These may include health care, education, childcare or special child related expenses. Conflict arises because it is necessary for parents to continually negotiate and share this potentially long list of expenses.
Since there is no standard process or system to facilitate this interaction the entire process is time consuming, conflict-ridden and very stressful for both the parents and the children.
With Ittavi’s Child Support Manager, parents can track child support and additional expenses, upload receipts, communicate via the system and pay expenses, either to each other or to a third party, in a single easy-to-use system that can be accessed online anytime, anywhere.
The system alleviates the biggest stress point between parents so that they can now focus on what is important, raising happy and healthy children.

The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?

The biggest competitor to us is manual processes such as excel spreadsheets, phone calls, emails or text messaging. In addition, some parents leverage bill payment systems. For those that use government services, such as Child Support Enforcement, there is no way to track additional expenses as well as facilitate communication with the other parent regarding money.

There are other “family manager” products on the market but none of these offerings focus on the exchange of money between parents. These applications focus on communication, visitation management or tracking activities that occurred between parents.

Social Impact

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What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)

Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity, Policy change/advocacy.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

While the specific impact cannot be measured the feedback from parents is that the system greatly reduces conflict and makes it much easier to manage the process of paying base child support and incremental expenses. Thereby, these parents no longer have to talk about money with their ex and can instead focus on their children.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

In addition to selling Ittavi directly to parents we seek to also be a standard platform leveraged by states, territories and tribes to manage child support cases. Currently, the United States tax payers pay over $6 Billion dollars every year in managing and maintaining child support systems. Every state has their own proprietary system that does automatically talk to the other systems. In addition, 43 of the systems are over 8 years old and only 15% of the systems are fully automated & centralized. By becoming a standard platform for child support, Ittavi can enable parents to manage their own child support while reducing the costs associated with managing government child support services.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Our biggest barrier to date is money. We are currently seeking seed funding to enable faster growth and adoption.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

By December 2012, we seek to have 3,000 users and revenue of $500,000.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone

Task 1

Product Development – We are currently in private beta and our target is to launch in September.

Task 2

Awareness – Gaining awareness and marketing to modern family parents.

Task 3

Funding – We are currently seeking seed level funding.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.

In early 2011, as a single mother without financial support and bills to pay I knew starting a company would be risky and didn’t have anyone else to save me if it failed. However, I wanted to build a company that I’d be happy to work at and spend my time doing something positive in the world. I wanted to help single parents and offer a solution that would benefit children. If we could reduce the conflict between parents, children would be much happier.
I began to meet with other single parents, lawyers and mediators. To my surprise, everyone was very enthusiastic about the possibility of a solution to solve these problems. I realized that the custodial parent needs the payments consistently and on time. Most of the time non-custodial parents want the transparency and understanding that the money they are ordered to pay is going to the benefit of their children. Providing a way to reduce the conflict and provide transparency to each parent was something that was needed in the market.

Sustainability

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Tell us about your partnerships

The platform is built on Salesforce.com Force.com platform. We are currently using PayPal as our payment gateway and exploring several other payment gateway partnerships.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

90 weeks ago Sheri Atwood updated this Competition Entry.
90 weeks ago Sheri Atwood submitted this idea.