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Des Moines, IA
Des Moines, IA
Jon Gaskell

SmartyPig is a Web-based savings program that allows users to save for specific goals -- a big purchase, trips, etc. You set your goals at a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $250,000, and fund them with a recurring monthly contribution from an existing checking or savings account. We offer a 2.01% APY and cash boosts of up to 6% from retailers such as Cabela's, Macy's, and Pottery Barn. In these trying economic times, we felt that there was definitely a need for a tool that not only helps people save for a specific goal, but also allows them to spend as smartly as possible.

About six months ago we launched the service in Australia, and so far we've reached $250 million in U.S. customer deposits and reached about $60 million in user goals.

Des Moines is a financial services hub -- our industry. There are thousands of skilled engineers and programmers who do the type of work that we need. Leveraging community relationships to get our footing has been important in building a worldwide brand. For example, one of our partners is a 115-year-old community bank. For it to join with us in a time when banks are struggling is a risky proposition. But we've seen our friends and people in the business community share in our vision and support us as we try and make SmartyPig happen.

I was born and raised in Des Moines. I don't think you get many opportunities to create and see through the building of a global brand from your hometown with people you know and care about. It makes our venture all the more rewarding. -Maggie Overfelt

NEXT: Dubuque, IA

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