By Marcos Dinnerstein
Each month as part of Digital.NYC’s Startups to Watch program we connect with the winning company to find out more about them. Here's what we learned in a recent talk with Dani Pascarella, Co-Founder of Invibed.
Digital.NYC: Tell us about your company. What does InVibed do?
We take away the stress and confusion of managing money. Our Wealth Coaching® Program has three components: education, analysis, and planning.
When our clients sign up, they start receiving daily texts with video lessons on different personal finance topics. Then they sync their financial accounts to our portal so we can figure out how to save them money and achieve their goals. Once they complete that step, they’ll receive a custom financial plan showing exactly where they are now and what they need to do to get where they want to be. Along the way, they can email us any questions they have to get timely answers tailored to their situation and motivational support. We’re here to make sure everyone gets it and stays on track.
Digital.NYC: What is your background?
I’m a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with over a decade of personal finance experience. I became a stockbroker at age 20 while attending University of Florida and went on to work as an Investment Specialist at J.P. Morgan, managing money for individuals with at least $25 million in investable assets. I also hold an M.S. from Columbia University, worked at CNBC on the show Mad Money with Jim Cramer, and am currently a Contributor at Forbes.
Digital.NYC: How did you come up with the idea for InVibed? What problem or market does it address?
I graduated in 2009 during the recession. While I lucked out a with a high paying Wall Street job, most of my friends were drowning in debt and living paycheck-to-paycheck. As the “friend in finance” I was always getting asked out for coffee or drinks to answer their money questions.
Honestly, I started getting frustrated. Not because I didn’t want to help, but because they didn’t have anywhere better to go to get the education and advice they needed. That’s when I decided to quit my job and start a company that offered quality and affordable financial planning for young people.
Digital.NYC: Who are your target customers?
Anyone in their 20s and 30s who wants to be better with money but doesn’t have the time to figure out how. Our approach fits finance easily into busy schedules. We are currently expanding to reach younger audiences as well because the sooner you know this stuff, the less damage you can do.
Digital.NYC: How do you think your company is going to change the market? How are you different from your competitors?
I see a gap between financial institutions that are targeting affluent clients and fintech companies that are throwing free budgeting tools at anyone with a mobile device. InVibed is filling that space by maintaining the top quality advice and offering it to a serious user that wants to see real money progress.
We’re also not a typical budgeting tool because we don’t believe in budgeting. We help our clients understand choice spending so they don’t need to set a fixed budget for every spending category. A lot of the competition follows a very strict and detailed budgeting model that is not realistic for most people. Ours is better because it actually works.
Digital.NYC: What else might our readers be interested to know about InVibed?
- Our name is pronounced In-VIBE-d. This term was created to represent a lifestyle where there is less stress and more money and time for the things you love.
- My co-founder Korrie Martinez is also one of my best friends from high school.
- We have a newsletter that comes out a few times a month and is pretty cool. You can subscribe here: http://subscribe.invibed.com
- We’re part of the current cohort in NYU Steinhardt’s EdTech Accelerator powered by StartEd.
- Our $39/month Wealth Coaching program was recently featured on CNN Money.
Digital.NYC: Why did you chose New York City as your base for the company? Are there customers, talent, capital or support systems in New York that don’t exist elsewhere?
InVibed was born in NYC while I was working on Wall Street as an “idea” -- and if I wasn’t living in the city, it may have never been more than that. Around that time, I started attending tech events and connecting with other entrepreneurs and it was really those experiences that helped me to realize my idea could turn into a product. NYC gave me the courage to quit my six-figure job, live off of savings, and work 24/7 to make InVibed a reality.Read Complete Article