iDisciple — A Startup with a Heart

Alpharetta tech startup makes a global impact for Christ as the company strives toward ultimate success.

By ALLEN KONDRATEV

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – As society becomes more digital, reliance on electronic devices for business, personal and spiritual functions grows ever deeper. A video on a laptop can be a source of happiness in times of grief, a friend’s text message can calm an anxious heart, while an article read on a tablet can help a person get through a seemingly impossible crisis.

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The front desk at iDisciple’s office in Alpharetta Georgia stands as a welcoming sight to all who enter. Photo by Allen Kondratev

There is an app for everything. The digitization of our lives is happening rapidly and iDisciple is a company built for today.

iDisciple is the brainchild of Hal White.

White, who is the company’s current chief revenue officer, came up with the concept for iDisciple in early 2013 and launched the app in November of that same year. The concept for the app is really quite simple. iDisciple is an app that gathers content from notable Christian ministries, speakers and nonprofit organizations and brings them all onto one easy-to-use mobile platform.

Users of iDisciple can download the app and purchase a subscription for a fee of $4 a month, or they can choose not to purchase a subscription and use the free version of the app. However, users of the free version will be limited by the content they receive and by the in-app advertisements they will see.

As any nonprofit startup, iDisciple needs all the capital it can get to grow and to expand its business. However, as apart of its ministry, none of the money the company makes stays in its pockets. iDisciple donates all its profits to fight social injustice all around the world. By partnering with other nonprofits like World Vision, iDisciple has provided clean water to over 55,000 people in underserved parts of Africa.

Freedom to Create

With the help of his executive team, Hal White assembled both an in-house development team, as well as a content production team. This ultimately allows iDisciple to take control of both the user interface and user experience. Freedom to create and to share what they want is what makes iDisciple tick.

“I never thought I’d begin my career working for a tech startup,” Jacob Harkey said.

Harkey is a digital media producer at iDisciple, he started working for the company as an intern and has been with iDisciple since it’s inception.

“As a young creative, it’s nice to have the freedom to express my faith in such an impactful way,” Harkey said. “We already have over a million users and knowing my work is helping to impact all those lives is a really satisfying to me. I think that having our own in-house development and production team is invaluable. To have the ability to create the platform we personally envision is extremely empowering.”

Workplace Culture

“The workplace culture here is amazing,” said Dan Riveros. Riveros is a digital media specialist at iDisciple.

iDisciple employs 37 people, 14 of which are millennials. This youthful workforce certainly makes its presence known within the office; they offer a new and welcomed approach to workplace culture that gives the office a genuine startup feel. It’s not uncommon to see employees working in the break room together over a cup of coffee, or to see them taking a break on one of the two large beanbags they have in the office.

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Jacob Harkey sits in iDisciple’s break room while working diligently on an assignment. Photo by Allen Kondratev

“I’ve been here for four years and never once thought about leaving,” Riveros said. “I have made a lot of friends here, some of which I actually miss on the weekends and that’s something I never thought I would say at work.”

The Content

Louie Giglio, Andy Stanley and Joyce Meyer are among the content providers who have partnered up with iDisciple. These speakers collaborate with iDisciple in order to reach a larger audience and to spread the word about their ministries.

“Once these large ministries understand what we’re all about, they generally get really excited about having the opportunity to partner with us,” said Steven Tatum. Tatum is a media sales specialist at iDisciple.

“We have 331 content providers from all over the world. We have partners throughout the United States, Central America, South America, Australia, South Africa and England. We might be based in Alpharetta Georgia but our footprint can be seen all over the world,” said Tatum. “We have 91,000 pieces of individual content, all of which have the power to impact people for Jesus. I’m very proud of the work I am doing here at iDisciple.”

The User

“Yes, I am one of those one million users,” said a grinning Allee Rodenbaugh, a user of iDisciple.

“I’ve used Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest and Instagram to try to get all of my favorite pastors and ministries in the same place, but I could never get them to be as organized and as structured as I could ever get them on iDisciple,” Rodenbaugh said. “It helps so much when I’m trying to read a quick message on the go, it’s all right there.  .

“I’ve never actually purchased the subscription, I can get access to all of the ministries I want through the free version of the app. The ads don’t actually bother me, they aren’t as invasive as some the advertisements I’ve seen even on Facebook. I could just be used to them now, but they don’t bother me on this app at all.”

Review

As a growing business, iDisciple has already had clear success. Having over one million users come to the app since 2013 isn’t something to  ignore and partnering with some of the biggest ministries all over the world is an achievement in of itself. With the digital world becoming more prevalent every day, it’s easy to imagine that iDisciple could be around for years to come.

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