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July 17, 2014

Social Start-Up Guru Priya Haji Dead at 44

Co-Founder of SaveUp, World of Good Remembered a Socially-Conscious Mom of Two

Priya Haji

Well-known Silicon Valley personality Priya Haji, a socially-minded technology entrepreneur has died suddenly of natural causes at the age of 44.

The mother of two was the CEO and co-founder of free financial management site and iPhone app SaveUp, a tool to help users save money and pay down debt. She also co-founded World of Good — a marketplace for fair trade and sustainable goods made by women in developing countries — which was purchased by eBay in 2010.

Priya Haji with her children

Priya Haji with her children

Her passion for others started at a young age. While still in high school Haji, with the help of her dad, started a free health clinic in her hometown of Bryan, Texas and, according to a 2011 Forbes profile, she was inspired by her grandmother, who was part of Gandhi’s movement in India.

“I like using business and technology to create good – like World of Good and now SaveUp – but the principles are the same – to help others,” she told Forbes. “My entrepreneurial imagination gets inspired by seeing how I can help people through an innovative use of business or technology.”

“I think the best ideas to solve the biggest problems are still out there to be done – and someone reading this article might have one,” she added. “If that is you – trust yourself, and go for it!  The worst thing that can happen is that it will not work, and who knows you might create something even better than you imagined.”

Haji collapsed in her home Monday night and paramedics were unable to revive her. Although an official diagnosis has not been given, early indications point toward a blood clot in the lungs.

Entrepreneur and friend Cheryl Dahle has set up a crowdfunding campaign on Fundly to fund the future education of Haji’s two-year-old son and 23-month-old daughter.

A Facebook memorial page has also been created by her family. A virtual memorial enables friends and acquaintances to contribute photos, videos, thoughts, prayers “and any other material that you want to share,” the family said in a Facebook post.

All material can be sent to and will be used during a celebration of her life Saturday in San Francisco.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.