March 20, 2020

Help Main Street πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

By Nihal Mehta, Founding General Partner at Eniac Ventures

Just one week ago, Friday March 13, 2020, Kevin Weatherman, Oleg Kogan and I went on our weekly #pitchandrun in NYC, and discussed what we could do to help those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Suddenly a πŸ’‘went off! A β€œgift card” was actually the best no-interest loan, a β€œfirst principles” way to put cash into merchant bank accounts ASAP. After a bit of research, we determined there was no comprehensive destination or aggregator for merchant gift cards so we decided to build it. Our friend Lyel Resner spun up a Slack with 400 activists and technologists to re-activate some of the civic energy that we saw in the NYC Tech community after Hurricane Sandy. And from there we rallied about a dozen incredible volunteers across 3 days and 2 sleepless nights to buildΒ @helpmainstreet. The rest is history.