Countless kids grow up dreaming about starting their own companies. For Notre Dame graduates Joe Mueller and Federico Segura, that dream has become a reality since they co-founded Grain — a mobile app that connects family and friends in the realm of personal finance.
Mueller and Segura both studied business at Notre Dame, gaining experience and insight through classes, research projects and entrepreneurial lectures. They graduated in 2015 and now work out of Silicon Valley — Mueller as the CEO and Segura, the chief financial officer (CFO).
“I had to be a self-starter and forge my own trails,” Mueller said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen even two, three, four months down the road.”
Using the computing power of IBM’s Watson, Grain is able to take keyword inputs from everyday life, like “solar power,” and turn them into related investment ideas, such as “Solar City stock,” for a portfolio. By connecting to a social network, the app’s users can share ideas and compare company performances with people they trust in a welcoming center, Mueller said.
“We saw a disconnection between our studies and personal finance, and we wanted to help friends and family to bridge that gap,” Mueller said.
Through the Mendoza-sponsored Shark Tank event and Notre Dame’s annual McCloskey Business Plan Competition, the co-founders were able to develop Grain from an idea into a viable platform.
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