Splashlife, the latest endeavor of social entrepreneur Melissa Helmbrecht, creates a new kind of membership network for 75 million young Americans facing a time of epic uncertainty. Splashlife’s business model rivals the scope and power of the AARP, with a focus on these young people who have no such community or advocacy group.
The idea for Splashlife came to Helmbrecht when she faced her own uncertainty as a student at American University, where she often stood outside the Eastern Market Metro Station in Washington, D.C., begging people for spare change in order to finish her college education.
“I made a decision that if I ever found a path forward, I’d dedicate the rest of my life to encouraging young people, letting them know they are not alone,” she says. “With Splashlife, I’m delivering on that promise…and then some.”
Helmbrecht has spent the last two years compiling a dream team of influential players from Hollywood to Washington, D.C., including feature film producer and award-winning philanthropist Peter Samuelson, former president of Virgin Records Ray Cooper, co-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles and executive producer of the 2011 Academy Award-winning film Inside Job Christina Weiss Lurie, leading D.C. youth advocate Thaddeus Ferber, and Motorola Mobility board member and former CFO of Dell, Tom Meredith.
Splashlife provides a network of support and information, including premium content and the tools necessary to help young people navigate the challenges they face. It provides an online platform enabling its members to connect with their peers and affect change in their communities and the world around them. There is already in place a comprehensive loyalty and rewards program, which delivers exclusive benefits, deals, and discounts on everything from jeans to airfare.
Helmbrecht’s vision for Splashlife immediately inspired a multitude of artists and executives, ranging from award-winning icon Whoopi Goldberg to recent Yale graduate Allison Williams, star of the upcoming Judd Apatow-produced HBO series Girls. As Goldberg put it, “Seems like there’s a group for everybody — the AFL-CIO, the NRA, the DNC, the RNC. There’s one for teachers, doctors, lawyers, bus drivers, and coal miners, but nothing for our most important group and the future of this country: our young people. Who’s there for them?”
Through volunteering, donating, exerting their citizenship, and producing and sharing content, Splashlife members earn points that unlock deals on everything from textbooks and jeans, to laptops and health care.