The Pitch: Tanya Van Court sells us on saving for our kids' future

Jun 23, 2015 at 2:59 p.m. ET

Did Tanya Van Court convince you in her 60 seconds? Her site, Sow, promises to help you sort out the mess and responsibility of the financial gifts your kids may get.

Name: Tanya Van Court

What you’re pitching: My company, Sow, is a platform that disrupts the broken gift-giving dynamic for young people by enabling those who love them to give monetary gifts that support meaningful goals in their lives. With a focus on helping 0- to 22-year-olds use holidays, birthdays and special occasions as opportunities to save money with purpose, Sow gives parents and young people the tools and inspiration to launch goals in three categories: saving towards future goals, sharing with those who are less fortunate and spending wisely on things that matter. Find out more about Sow at

Position: CEO and chief Sower

Hails from: Oakland, California, and Brooklyn, New York

Birthday: July 2 (Hi, my name is Tanya, and I'm a Cancer...) 

Personal life: Two inspiring kids, one smart and handsome paramour and one awesome and supportive wasbund

Priors: SVP marketing at Discovery Education, SVP and GM at and, VP digital products at ESPN, GM Voice over IP at Cablevision, VP international and business development at Covad Communications. No priors that included jail time. B.S. and M.S. in industrial engineering, Stanford University.

Pitch inspired by: My daughter, Gabrielle, who told me that she only wanted two things for her 9th birthday: enough money to finish saving for her investment account and a bike. I'll let you guess what she got instead. (Does anyone remember Rainbow Looms? Like, three of them.)

Mentor(s)/people who inspire: My mother and my aunt. My mother was an elementary school teacher in East Oakland who brought kids home every weekend. My aunt was a 35-year-old single mother of one who adopted my five siblings and [me] when my mother died of a brain aneurysm.

Words to live by:

  • "Giving doesn't stop with you receiving." — Patrick Khem Brady, chef of the best jerk chicken in Brooklyn
  • "We stay relentless, pursuing all that's pursuable, doing God's will for all things that are doable. The only liable limitation is yourself." — Outkast

Last read/watched/listened: Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 2. (Yes, I'm behind. It's called the "entrepreneurial entertainment lag." And don't spoil it for me.) Awesome podcast on the places in the world where people live longer and healthier lives (blue zones) and the commonalities between them. I get pluses on living with purpose, close family ties, daily activity and a mostly plant-based diet; I get a big, fat minus on low stress level!

Expert in: Crunch time, foot rubs, turning a frown upside down

Social: @tvancourt, @isowforFacebookPinterest

How do you recharge: Anything water-related recharges me... a warm bath, hanging out at the beach with my kids or taking a simple ferry ride from BK to Manhattan.

What’s your guilty pleasure: Even though I'm originally from California and lived in Colorado ;-), I don't smoke or drink, so I instead indulge in dark chocolate and butter pecan ice cream.

What is tops on your travel wish list: The Galapagos Islands

What’s your favorite life hack: Getting my 10-year-old daughter to be a Sow social media intern. She loves it, she makes BIG money ($5 per hour), and it definitely takes something off of my never-ending to-do list. (Please don't send me the Federal Child Labor Law Code — I read it already... sort of... and as long as she's working while lying in my bed, I think we're OK...)

What does it take to change someone’s mind? To convince them to buy a product, modify their daily routine or completely make over their lives? Could you sell someone on an idea in under 60 seconds? We invite you to try. But remember — the clock is ticking. To participate in The Pitch or recommend someone you know, contact us at

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