At the age of 16, Sam Hirsch became a social entrepreneur when he founded CleanFare — a mobile app that gives points to people using clean transportation by walking, biking and taking the train or bus. The app allows users to log in and get points and achievement awards as it tracks their mileage of clean transportation. These points will then get the user coupons and discounts to local businesses.
He has since won multiple awards and recognition for the project, including a $5,000 grand prize and a $1,000 scholarship in the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute’s High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at the University of Utah. Hirsch is now living and working at Lassonde Studios as a first-year student in computer engineering at the U.
Hirsch said: “The key to making an entrepreneurial venture successful is to be passionate about your project and its impact. If you care deeply about what you’re doing, you’ll be able to work through hardships, your passion will inspire others to care about your idea, and most importantly, you’ll be willing to do whatever it takes to make your idea work. You don’t necessarily have to be extremely talented as long as you have that determination to succeed.”
CleanFare is currently integrated into the Company Launch program at the Lassonde Institute and is focused on finding new businesses to partner with for the users to get the best coupons and discounts around the Salt Lake Valley. Hirsch said the company is focused on finding businesses that would benefit from integrating CleanFare into their company as well as offering discounts to the users of the app.
Hirsch discovered the idea for CleanFare when he joined a competition at the Leonardo Museum called Mind Riot. The competition challenged Hirsch to come up with an innovative solution to combat pollution. He decided to compete in the Leonardo competition on a whim when one of the organizers spoke to his class during his junior year of high school. This competition inspired him to be an entrepreneur and has led to his continuous involvement in social entrepreneurship.
When asked why he decided to take his ideas on pollution to the next level Hirsch said, “When I was interning for Sustainable Startups we focused on social entrepreneurship — you take your passion and connect it with doing good in your community. My passion has always been computer science, and I already had this project from Mind Riot, so this seemed like the perfect way to combine my passions.”
Learn more about CleanFare at cleanfareapp.com.