Meet Finnest

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 1.22.21 PM

Richard McDonald and Clemens Grave met at Brown. They had something in common: Both had an entrepreneurial spirit and were pursuing a graduate program called Innovation  Management and Entrepreneurship. They had both studied engineering, mechanical and industrial, respectively. But that’s where the similarities ended. Richard grew up in  Nevada and Clemens came from Austria, and they noticed several differences in their cultural backgrounds.

One that stood out was their experiences with financial literacy-the differences between European and American banking systems and attitudes was the topic of ongoing conversation between them. They spent an entire summer together in Europe exploring these differences and ideating business ideas. Problem identified! But how best to solve it?

From left, co-founders of Finnest Clemens Grave and Richard McDonald. Finnest, is a mobile-based financial literacy startup for children and teens. PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Enter Finnest. Richard and Clemens are now building a platform to help youth ages 10 to 18 learn about money management–saving, spending and investing. They want to help instill confidence around financial literacy for parents and kids alike, providing a way to start conversations about money and a real-life teaching tool to back these conversations up.

They joined the SEG Impact Accelerator in order to take this business idea to the next level, and have just released a website and a pilot program to test this new tool. Both are busy interviewing parents and kids about this new product, exploring their attitudes about money, technology and how they intersect in modern family life. “We just want to help solve a problem for families,” says Richard.

The first debit cards are launching right now, and the data-gathering is increasing by the moment. As Finnest moves through the accelerator, they are using the SEG network to help build their prototype and scale their business.  And as they navigate the wide world of financial technology, they hold onto their mission of making financial literacy available across backgrounds, hoping to help change the world one savings account at a time.

Find out more about Finnest here.


Traci Picard
Venture Development Assistant

Traci Picard is a VISTA serving as Venture Development assistant here at SEG. She comes from the world of alternative health, running a small herbal business and teaching classes like Critical Thinking for Herbalists and Asking Better Questions. Traci is also a writer pursuing a Journalism degree, a mother of 3 and a passionate fan of books and the Public Library. Born in Providence, she has lived all over but continues to return home.