In May of 2020 — halfway through my fourth year of university, I launched a startup called hiive.

Hiive was born from my observation that many of my peers were living the trope of the broke college student. To better understand the problem I polled over 100 students from diverse backgrounds across Ontario about their financial status and noticed a trend emerge:

<aside> 💡 Students from low-income households are 4x less likely to invest compared to their peers from high-income households


Digging deeper, we found that 95% of those from low-income backgrounds that didn’t invest attributed it to (1) not understanding how to invest and (2) their parents not investing either.

There lied the problem-solution gap. Students from wealthier families with a history of investing were more likely to invest. Likely, in part due to the sharing of knowledge within families.

So we built hiive with two things in mind...


<aside> 👁️ Help low-medium income individuals reach financial freedom.



<aside> 🎯 Bridge the knowledge gap of new investors by creating a social space to share investment knowledge, experience.


Competitors like Wealthsimple and Robinhood successfully made investing more accessible by allowing retail investors to trade stocks from their couch. But these solutions didn’t adequately mobilize new investors that lacked the knowledge of how to invest.

Logo & Branding

My co-founder and I devoted most of our time (1) canvassing potential customer segments (2) refining the value proposition (3) formulating a sustainable business model. And outsourced all design work. I managed the design team and spearheaded:

<aside> 🗣️ Gathering and communicating user feedback into design strategy


<aside> 🔎 Scoping and prioritizing MVP features


Communicating user feedback

Customers I spoke to that were new to investing found it:

<aside> 😖 Overwhelming


<aside> 😱 Intimidating


<aside> 😨 Worrisome


So the team and I decided that our brand values should be:

<aside> ♿ Accessible


<aside> 🤗 Welcoming


<aside> 🤝 Trustworthy


Similarly, from conversations with customers, I chose the name hiive to communicate that:

<aside> 🐝 Just like a beehive, hiive helps individuals work together to accomplish more than they could on their own.


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