Kristi Saucerman spent more than 12 years organizing events for charities such as the Junior League of Boise and Hidden Springs Charter School.
In 2007 she launched Auction Frogs, a website that helps charities run online silent auctions to raise funds, reach a broader audience and increase proceeds. Auction Frogs takes a portion of the gross revenue from the auctions.
Since then, the company has grown to six employees and plans to add a part-time position this fall. Auction Frogs, 5890 Hidden Springs Drive in Boise, has run several hundred auctions, raising more than $2 million for charities in nearly all U.S. states and Canada.
Our territory is expanding quickly through independent representatives, auctioneers and event/party planners, says Saucerman, who lives in Hidden Springs with her husband and their two girls. She is a member of the Idaho Technology Council, Girls in Tech and the Boise Young Professionals, and she is a board member of Healthwise.
Q: How does your company stay innovative?
A: The fundraising industry is constantly evolving. Therefore, at Auction Frogs, we must remain vigilant and stay on top of the trends. We listen carefully to our clients to understand their changing needs and work hard to ensure that our product advances fit their requirements. At the same time, we are determined to remain focused on our original mission to help organizations experience greater fundraising success through simpler web-based applications.
Q: Do you believe in creative destruction, and if so, how do you practice it?
A: Yes. Auction Frogs started with this concept. After years of working within the fundraising industry, I knew there had to be a better way for organizations to expand their audience, increase funds raised, and conserve precious volunteer and financial resources. Thats when I looked to the web to create something new from a process that already existed.
While weve made some great advances in the more than five years since our founding, we continue to find new ways to improve technology and processes to meet the needs of our clients. Not a day goes by when we arent looking at fundraising trends and solutions and asking ourselves, How can we simplify this or make it more efficient?
Charitable organizations have significantly limited volunteer and cash resources, so we make it our business to help them maximize fundraising activities.
Q: What services or products might we see in the next five years from your company?
A: Most significantly is our leap into mobile bidding. We are in the final development stages of a new mobile bidding device that will significantly streamline the gala benefit event auction experience for charities saving them money, broadening their potential audience and increasing their bottom line. We are extremely excited about this development and look forward to sharing more in the near future.
We also created a new company spinoff called Biddit. Using the online auction platform originally developed by Auction Frogs, Biddit provides business conference gamification solutions to engage exhibitors and attendees. Biddit is a fun, online auction game played by attendees and exhibitors throughout a conference event. The game has been proven to increase networking opportunities for all involved by providing attendees with incentives to visit each exhibit.
The Biddit gaming technology is gaining ground quickly and has been successfully executed in a variety of industry conferences. It is a viable solution for all industry groups that utilize conference events for educational, training and networking purposes and is the perfect replacement solution for the bingo style passport card used by many conferences to engage attendees with exhibitors.
Q: Do you think we've got a strong, innovative community in Boise?
A: The Boise community has an incredibly innovative entrepreneurial spirit that pulls together resources and networking opportunities to foster new tech startups. Through mentoring programs, incubators, business development centers, networking groups and supportive businesses, I think Boise has all the tools it needs to become the next Silicon Valley.