Give me the elevator pitch on your company:
LearnLux helps Millenials learn personal finance skills through online, interactive learning tools. As individuals pass each module, they earn money, which they receive when they open an account with one of our financial prtners. We work with financial companies to connect them with a market they could never reach before. LearnLux is on a mission to make financial literacy a priority.
Tell me a little bit about your background: what did you do previously?
Ive worked for multiple startups in Boston doing pretty much anything and everything, as you can imagine needs to happen when work with at an early stage company. I had no background in finance when we started LearnLux, but thats worked to our advantage. Im our exact target market and were building the product we wish we had to learn finance.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you? How did you first get involved?
To me, entrepreneurship means realizing that just because something has always been done a certain way, thats not necessarily the best way or how it has to stay.
I was living in rural Kenya with the intention of doing environmental research. I realized that everyone was an entrepreneur but their businesses were part of the informal economy, so it wasnt counted in the GDP. I ended up teaching in the education system and helped start an education company with other teachers in Southern Kenya. When I came back to the States, I started working as an early employee for a startup in Boston and loved everything about it. Ever since then I havent been able to leave the startup community.
Where/when did you have that a-ha! moment for envisioning LearnLux?
LearnLux came from a lot of little aha moments. My co-founder and I come from very different professional backgrounds and have different interests, but we kept finding ourselves in conversations about how there was no good way to learn finance. My co-founder was working at a bank and realized that even people in finance didnt understand their own personal finances, and I was in startups but realized that financial literacy isnt a priority in the education system at any level and after a formal education there is nothing out there to help people who knew they needed to do something, but didnt know where to start. Thats where we come in!
What is the pain point youre hoping to solve with LearnLux?
User Experience is really at the core of our product and accessibility is at the core of our business. The UX in our name is for user experience. We are creating the best user experience to learn personal finance. You dont need to have any background or understand all the jargon that is typically used; just interactive and intuitive products to learn about everything relating to personal finance. We want financial literacy to be a priority and that cant happen until theres a good way to teach it!
Why MassChallenge and what are your goals while being involved in the accelerator?
I had been at MassChallenge with the other startups I worked for and saw how amazing it was for those companies. The caliber of people who walk through the office each day, the resources the staff provides, and being around other entrepreneurs who understand what youre going through are only some of the benefits.
While were part of the accelerator some of our main goals are to secure more distribution partners (organizations or companies that have access to thousands of Millennials), build up our advisory board, and get feedback from this next product release.
What is your greatest strength as an entrepreneur? Weakness?
Weakness: Getting hangry if I dont eat lunch. Is that a mainstream term yet?
What do you do to blow off steam when youre taking a break from changing the world?
Kayaking, sailing, reading, or hanging out with friends. I love meeting people and preparing for my next job as a motivational speaker after we sell this company.
Whats one quality that you think entrepreneurs need to have — and why?
The capacity to understand that youll never be ready. If we wait until were ready, well be waiting for the rest of our lives. You can make excusesyoull always be able to make excuses that another time will be better. Or you can make things happen.