Edina Startup Mines Goodwill

iMyne connects charities with untapped reserves.

Edina entrepreneur Bob Molhoek describes his online shopping interface, iMyne, as a hybrid of eBates and iGive, marrying good deeds and good deals to amplify shoppers’ philanthropic potential. A free browser plug-in notifies users of available cash-back incentives. Accumulated incentives can be cashed out via PayPal or added to automatic contributions the service makes on their behalf, with a tax-deductible donation to one more than 1 million charities in the iMyne network.

Since the website’s spring 2014 launch, Molhoek’s wife Kari has earned over $500 for her cause, the Edina Highlands PTO. Molhoek puts this personal triumph into perspective: “In just six months, we raised more than we did in 10 years of clipping box tops. We have four sons. We eat a lot of cereal.”

This tech trendsetter rapidly caught the attention of celebrities including hockey legend Tom Chorske, former Viking Matt Birk and Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, each drawn to the novel opportunity to raise funds without asking for money.

Molhoek says iMyne’s innovative and simple approach to socially responsible shopping appeals to millennials as well as “the sort of consumer who wears TOMS shoes.” (Incidentally, the humanitarian-inclined footwear company is one of the over 250 retailers currently partnered with iMyne.) With aggressive expansion of retailers and offers on the horizon in 2015, the company continues to progress toward its founder’s ultimate ambition of “leading the world’s single most philanthropic business.”