Welcoming DollarsEd to the IF Portfolio
By: Jason Shein (Penn ‘17)
We’re extremely excited to announce the newest addition to the Innovation Fund portfolio: DollarsEd. DollarsEd is building a mobile education application for financial wellness, targeted at college students, new hires, and recent graduates now in the workforce.
In many ways a model of the type of company and team we aim to support at the Innovation Fund, DollarsEd is built “by students, for students.” Many of us students focus so much on locking down loans, getting summer internships, and finding full-time jobs. Alongside these important financial and career milestones come tasks such as signing up for bank accounts and credit cards, filling out tax forms, and purchasing insurance. We tend to spend so much (if not all) of our time nailing down those job offers and actually spending time at the office. In other words, we focus our time and energy on making money. However, we spend little to no time deciding what to do with the money we make: how to manage it, how to save it, and how to invest it.
Some, but few, people are lucky enough to have parents who can teach them these skills and the underlying concepts important for properly navigating personal finance. However, most of us don’t know a thing about personal finance, as much as we’d like to think that, as proactive, ambitious, and forward-looking university students, we do. It’s important to take the first step, to realize that you have a gap in knowledge around this particular area of information. Traditionally, there hasn’t been an approachable, unbiased, and go-to resource that can help you take the second step — becoming financially literate —a step that will help you feel less guilty, frightened, and/or anxious. After experiencing this himself, Raffi Grinberg founded DollarsEd.
Rather than providing advice about which credit card to use, which bank account to open, or which insurance plan to purchase, DollarsEd solves the root of the problem and prepares you to be self-sufficient in navigating the personal finance ecosystem by educating you on the full stack of personal finance concepts, from the simple to the complex. Here’s a quick look at the beta version of the app:
Raffi, an ex-Bain consultant-turned-entrepreneur, has assembled an incredible team to help achieve this goal, with Wharton senior Ira Ko heading up design and recent M&T grad Matt Schulman focusing on engineering. One member of the team already has an exit under his belt, another recently published a math textbook on real analysis, and the other was named — by his peers — most likely to be the “next Zuckerberg.” Combining all of this with a joint passion for shaping a more financially stable population, the DollarsEd team is extremely unique, and we’re so excited and humbled to be joining them on their journey.
Stay tuned for the release of the beta version of the mobile app, and in the interim, check out the awesome, informative content on the DollarsEd website. You can also stay up to date with the company’s progress and pick up some personal finance tips by following Raffi here on Medium!
Jason Shein is a Co-Chair of the Innovation Fund and he studies Engineering Entrepreneurship and STSC. Having previously spent time in VC and growth equity at Compound and General Atlantic, Jason loves learning about new and exciting enterprise software startups. He enjoys working out and traveling, and you can often find him working at coffee shops on campus. Feel free to hit him up for a chat at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Weiss Tech House Innovation Fund is dedicated to funding, promoting, cultivating, and supporting student entrepreneurship in the UPenn community. Working on a startup and want to apply? Fill out our application here. Interested in partnering? Want to get involved? Drop us a line at apply.innovationfund at gmail.com.