ONES TO WATCH

Power of an idea

Founder and CEO of MonkeyWish, Kristi Taylor


Kristi Taylor, founder and CEO of MonkeyWish.com, at the University of Florida’s Innovation Hub.

Doug Finger / Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 at 9:39 a.m.

Kristi Taylor is awfully humble for a mother of three who is taking her tech startup company to a global audience.

“I’m a nobody, truthfully,” she says. “There’s nothing that makes me special except that I had an idea and that I tried to make something happen.”

Always eager to give the perfect gift but sometimes short on ideas, Taylor solved her own problem with MonkeyWish — a website and mobile app that allows users to create wish lists or gift registries for any occasion.

By partnering with more than 160 retailers, including Target, Walmart and Amazon, the company gets a share of revenues from sales made from the lists in return for driving traffic to the retailers. Taylor keeps sales figures private.

Development began in October 2011, and the website launched in September 2012 after several rounds of feedback and revision. The mobile app followed a month later. Less than a month passed before the “Today Show” called and Taylor brought her husband, Eric, and three children to New York City to appear on the national NBC morning program.

In April, MonkeyWish announced a partnership with online invitation company Evite, which boasts 31 million registered users. Event organizers can register for gifts through MonkeyWish when they send out invitations for parties or get-togethers.

“We kind of stumbled upon the most universal tool,” Taylor says. “I am my own test market, so my project has been created from a user’s perspective, not a developer’s perspective. I know what mothers want.”

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