Micki Krimmel of Favortree

We all need a helping hand every now and then, and Favortree is the app that will make sure you have that hand when you need it — or that you can offer that hand when someone else is in need.

Because swapping favors can be a rather personal activity, Favortree intends to connect folks who already share some connection within a community. For example, it can be used at a university, in a faith community, or in a specific neighborhood.

Favortree also gives its users a virtual tree that grows with every favor they give. Favortree cofounder Micki Krimmel (pictured above) compared the gamified aspect to Farmville: You help your neighbors, and your tree grows. But she pointed out that Favortree users are also doing a lot of real-world good to help their communities grow, too.

Krimmel herself is the entrepreneur you love to love. The tattooed roller-derby queen is known in the thriving L.A. tech scene as much for her badass public persona as she is for her ready smile and string of community-building tech projects.

NeighborGoods, Krimmel’s other company, lets you borrow and share your stuff with people in your community, saving everyone money and resources while strengthening ties within our neighborhoods. And we’ve gotten wind of a couple other side projects Krimmel is cooking up, also with a focus on helping people and strengthening communities.

FavorTree is built on the same principles. People naturally want to help one another; doing so makes us happy and makes us feel our lives have value. And helping others within our own schools, neighborhoods, or churches also strengthens the best parts of those communities.

Krimmel and FavorTree’s cofounder, Daniel Hengeveld, see their new endeavor as part of a whole movement of collaborative consumption. If you think about companies like NeighborGoods, Airbnb, and any number of car-share startups, they all focus on the same basic premise: We can do better by sharing and helping than by buying and working in isolation. The trick for these kinds of businesses is finding revenue, which the Favortre team thinks they can via virtual goods and games.

Favortree is opening its digital doors today for preregistration. Also, it’s starting out with $350,000 in funding from the Knight Foundation and other investors, as well as the support of high-profile advisors such as GetSatisfaction cofounders Lane Becker and Thor Muller and game designer Jane McGonigal.

“Knight is interested in investing in breakthrough ideas that bring communities together to work on common challenges and opportunities,” Knight national program director Damian Thorman said in a statement.

“The simple act of sharing with the people who surround you can be a powerful step toward building trust and stronger communities. Favortree is a fun and easy way connect with neighbors and enable them to help one another.”