2016 - The learnings, the ridiculous & a wink to the future

Yes it’s that time of year…. not just the big red guy & decorations, it’s also the time of year to pour another cup of coffee, stand by the window, and glaze-over for a few minutes to think about what we’ve all achieved this year. What progress we have made and where the wins and learnings have been.

As we wrap up a proud and puffy-chested first year as PonyUp for Good, before riding into the sunset for Christmas, we took a moment to remind each other of the EPIC year it’s been.

We also wanted to take the time to thank you for your support, contributions, partnerships, mentoring - and for those who just jumped so elegantly onboard. We thank you for slapping us with lightbulb moments, challenging us and of course for ‘PonyingUp’ during 2016! Theory of evolution has it, that we are never the same person we were six months ago - and today this statement is truer than ever - and for these learnings -  we thank you!

As we gain the momentum & energy to enter 2017,  we thought we’d share our ‘TOP 5’ highlights, wins & obscure observations from 2016.

THE PILOT:  How do you know if the plane will fly? You ask the Pilot!

  • With the aim of testing our theories and learning what we did not know, we set out to collect 300 devices and set up our operations

  • Five tonnes of devices & e-waste, 5,674 cups of coffee and many, many hours of planning later, we had ourselves a business model

  • On 6 December we proudly donated 50% of the profits from our pilot to ACE - it was enough to educate 50 Happy School students for a full year! WINNING!

THE PARTNERSHIP - Love at first bite!

  • During our early research, we learnt that there were over 2 million families & individuals going hungry in Australia every day (yes in Australia!) while we send $8 billion worth of food into landfill. We knew then, that food rescue was to be our charity focus

  • In August we popped the question to SecondBite and they said ‘YES! They are now PonyUp’s exclusive charity partner and 50% of our profits will support their mission to rescue fresh food and redistribute it to feed people in Australia doing it tough

  • We LOVE this partnership! Wonderful, stand up people doing important work and with their incredible new 5 year strategic plan soon to be rolled out... look out 2017!

THE BRAND & LAUNCH: A comedian on a pony in Iceland looking majestic - Why not?

  • The PonyUp brand was a labour of extreme love and contribution from several extremely talented folk - it brings us joy every time we look at it

  • For those not in the know. To ‘PonyUp’ means to: ‘contribute’ or ‘pay your share’.

  • We often get asked, ‘What’s with the guy on the horse?’ We found this picture online and it bought us undone - we had to have it. We tracked down the owner using our best spy skills and found him to be a lovely Toronto based Comedian, named Jus Reign. He has subsequently been named one of Toronto’s 50 most influential people and was generous enough to let us use the picture gratis! You rock Jus Reign!

THE PEOPLE:  Fans, enthusiasts & rampant PonyUp flag wavers

  • It’s true in so many cases that what you focus on is what you get. When we launched the PonyUp concept we wanted to work with inspired, gifted and wonderful people and this has certainly happened in spades

  • Our friends at SecondBite have blown us away with their enthusiasm and this alone makes it easy to get out of bed of a morning

  • To the people who just ‘got it’ from the get go. To those who promoted us and to the shout out from Anthony Pratt from the ether, which never hurts - we thank you!

THE RIDICULOUSNESS: We’ll all remember the day a Cheeto-faced vulgarian made U.S. President Elect.

  • At PonyUp, we REVEL in the ridiculous. From the 2am, delirious pre-launch website work-athon to the 5,467 coffee’s consumed in 2016

  • In the beginning mobile phones were powered by something resembling a car battery and then came the wave of ‘smallest phones in the world trend’. Push button phones only Donald Trump’s baby-sized hands could comfortably dial. Donations of some of the funkiest technology we’d ever seen turned up in the pilot. Someday we’ll sell them all to hipsters and retire in the Seychelles.

We’ve also had some very cool wins in the closing weeks of 2016 which we are excited to share with you officially in 2017.  

One thing for sure, is there is a long way to go in really changing behaviours, minds and actions in leveraging the residual value of our technology. Equally so in the redistribution of healthy food to the two million+ families & individuals doing it tough in Australia everyday.

In 2017 PonyUp is launching a super cool campaign & interview series of some of the best and brightest in environmental sustainability, data security, food rescue and corporate social responsibility. We’re going to explore every angle so that we can flesh out how these motivators for change work best. It’s a nod to the future and our dogged determination to keep valuable resources out of landfill and get them working for us in new & innovative ways.

For now - get your stretchy pants on for the holiday season. Take rest, safe travels & happy New Year!

Much love - Mardi & Cat