Three women pose for a photo at NY Ed Tech Week
Invibed Founder & CEO Dani Pascarella, CFP® (left) and Invibed Founder & CCO Korrie Martinez (right) with Invibed Director of Customer Success Marina Fayer (center) at NY EdTech Week.

Coaching millennials to a wealthier financial future

After Dani Pascarella graduated from the Warrington College of Business in 2010, she was leading a successful career in finance in New York City. As a private banker managing assets for wealthy clients with a net worth of at least $25 million at JP Morgan, Pascarella (BABA ’09, MIB ’10) was making the most of her business education from the University of Florida.

While that knowledge benefitted her career, it also made her strongly aware of the financial gap that exists in this country, she said.

“As the token friend in finance, people always wanted to get coffee and talk with me about their personal finances,” she said. “We graduated right out of the recession, and it got to the point that [friends asking for advice] was overwhelming.”

Despite suggesting other help outlets, Pascarella’s friends continued to turn to her for advice. Wanting to share her knowledge with friends that were struggling financially sparked the idea that would result in Invibed, the financial tech company that Pascarella created with co-founder Korrie Martinez (BS Advertising ’09) to provide financial education and Wealth Coaching ® to young professionals.

Martinez’s degree in advertising and freelance copywriting work made her the perfect fit to help Pascarella translate the complicated language of finance into something that people without a business background could understand.

Invibed Founders

From left: Invibed Founder & CEO Dani Pascarella, CFP® and Founder & CCO Korrie Martinez

Pascarella and Martinez were recently invited to take Invibed a step further in NYU Steinhardt’s EdTech Accelerator Powered by StartEd, a three-month boot camp style program for startups. Invibed was one of 12 companies chosen from more than 500 applications to participate.

The accelerator ended with NY EdTech Week, a three-day festival hosted by NYU Steinhardt and produced by StartEd. The event offered Invibed the opportunity to pitch in front of industry leaders and investors in the EdTech space.

“One of the best things about the accelerator was getting feedback,” Pascarella said. “Mentorship has been a constant throughout our success, at UF and in the real world, and now we have a group of mentors who are so helpful.”

Martinez added, “While going through the accelerator and pitching at NY EdTech Week, we were also constantly asked the tough questions. Some that we weren’t necessarily prepared to answer. After going through this experience, we now feel more confident than ever about our business and goals.”

One of the biggest lessons Pascarella and Martinez took away from NYU Steinhardt’s EdTech Accelerator Powered by StartEd was the need to shift their business strategy from solely business-to-consumer (B2C) to also include business-to-business (B2B).

“Realistically, people realize that finance is something important too late,” Pascarella said. “Our hope is that we can partner with employers and get in front of people early on so they can start taking action now and succeed. Employers also benefit because financial stress actually costs employers about $7,000 per employee per year in lost productivity.

“Our program eliminates money stress and therefore increases productivity.”

There are three simple steps that Pascarella and Martinez said people can take to better themselves financially. First, start taking care of your finances now.

“We’ve had people try to sign up for our service who are in their 60s,” Pascarella said. “If you wait, it’s not going to get any easier.”

Second, educate yourself.

“A lot of people don’t take the time to learn [about investing and finance],” Pascarella said. “Do something that helps you understand the basics. For example, most people don’t know that if you invest, you’ll end up making more money from investing than your actual salary in the end.”

Lastly, know where you stand.

“Know your net worth,” Pascarella said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative. You need to know where you’re at now so you can track your progress and improve.”

Learn more about Invibed and its Wealth Coaching® program. Pascarella also shares finance advice for millennials as a Forbes contributor. Read more from Dani Pascarella.