Tell us about your startup and what inspired you to start it.
Seedwell is a financial wellness benefit that helps employees automate personal finance and financial workflows at the payroll level.
Having personally spoken to over 250 strangers about their financial situation, after experiencing the mental and emotional strain that financial struggles can have on a family firsthand, only one thing was clear to me; financial struggles are not exclusive to any specific race, gender, age, career or income level. Although financial literacy is touted as the solution, it just feels like trying to feed broccoli to a child; Sometimes, they just don’t want it, even if they know it’s good for them.
Everyone who works hard contributing to society should have the right to enjoy their lives, without worrying about incorrectly navigating the financial system. With technology being where it is today, they shouldn’t have to work hard only to find themselves stressed out by personal finance decisions. At Seedwell, we believe financial literacy shouldn’t be required to simply enjoy life, but rather used as a tool to allow people to achieve their goals.
My vision is to build a world where we can “enable financial wellness without financial literacy”. Given the right team and plan, now is the time to do it; That is why I started Seedwell.
What drew you to entrepreneurship?
You can never create change by following in someone else’s footsteps. Becoming a tech entrepreneur and charting your own path is one of the best opportunities to create meaningful change in today’s world.
What energizes you to pursue your startup even when things aren’t going as planned?
My daughter, Emilia. Seeing how many friends I know that have to stay working at places they don’t want to work and careers they don’t want to be in because of the uncertainty and worry around their finances, I really wanted to do my part to change that. Helping build a future where Emi, and future generations after her, can have a chance to make life decisions without financial worries hanging over their heads keeps me motivated and working hard every day. Even if it’s a slow-moving dial, I would be happy to have given them more freedom to choose how to live their lives and have built a successful business while doing it.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own startup? Why?
It’s never easy to know when to trust in others’ opinions and when to believe in yourself, but no matter how much experience they have, no family member, friend, mentor, or expert knows exactly what will happen in the future. It’s your job as a founder to take ownership and make those hard decisions that will ultimately define the trajectory of your startup. It’s difficult and stressful, but that’s why you have a chance to write the future.
What book(s) or movie(s) do you highly recommend? Why?
(Book) Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson – By far the best book for founders looking to learn more about the fundraising process.
(Series) The Last Dance – See the making of the greatest dynasty in basketball history, and the behind the scenes mindset, sacrifice and process of the legends that made it happen.
(Podcast) How I Built This with Guy Raz – Best way to truly understand how there’s no one way to success and listen to fascinating stories of some of the world’s most well-known companies told directly by the founders.
What brings you joy?
Bringing joy to those I love…and relaxing on a beach in Hawaii while drinking a fruity drink.
What is one thing you’ve learned so far or taken away since joining IFH Lab?
Be generous with your time and respectful of others. As long as you’re willing to help the community, you’ll generally see the same in return. Being more transparent, specific and to the point allowed me to find willing experts and peers who were willing to give me their precious time.
Connect with Matt directly here.