A casual investing platform that reduces information overload in personal finance by democratizing knowledge used to make advantageous stock trades.
- Project Management
- Creating an interactive landing page and prototype (Figma)
Copycat was a submission to the New Venture Development Project at the University of Washington in the class Introduction to Entrepreneurship (ENTRE 370).
After listing the social issues that our class thought were largest and most pressing, our group of 5 scoped “wealth inequality” down to the massive imbalance of of stock ownership by the between the richest and poorest Americans.
We developed the idea for Copycat as a simple solution that could quickly give consumers a return on investment while addressing what we thought was the actual root of the problem.
Copycat invests a user’s money based on a strategy called “Congress Long/Short”– buy what they (congress) buys and sell what they sell.
Information would be scraped from the US Clerk’s Office where congresspeople are required to report their activity, and sent the information to Alpaca.markets, an API which would execute the trade.
Based on 5 user interviews, we would expect users to invest between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars (but no more) and pay around $10 a month to access Copycat.
Copycat’s value comes from the automation of the trades. There’s not much better than being able to make money off of information that’s free!
Beyond the flagship offering, we intended to work on offering “copy-trading” patterns for specific politicians and further education about personal finance which we believe would be solving the underlying problem– the huge gap in knowledge about investing between the richest and poorest Americans.
The financial industry is dominated by blue, a color that invokes trust and calm; we chose black and orange to retain a sense of professionalism while giving off some mischievousness– Copycat is a bit of a gimmick in that sense
After a user deposits money, I included copy about “evening the score” by xyz dollar amount” to emphasize how investing with Copycat is about a collective effort to redistribute wealth
I decided to wait until a user decides to make their first deposit before asking them to connect a payment method to reduce friction in the (hypothetical) sign up flow
This felt like the first project I’ve worked on that I felt motivated to work on after completing it in class. Copycat felt like something that MSCHF would endorse, and our professor encouraged us to lean into the mischievous Robin-Hood-esque nature of our hypothetical company.
Doing research around the legality of this product showed me how complicated finance and the industry/technology that surrounds it is. Alongside medicine, it is one of the most heavily regulated industries which makes it difficult to make significant change in.
That said, it was fun to approach a new challenge, and comment about how as long as corruption in congress continued, the investments of our potential users would remain safe.