Jason is a man on a mission. By the year 2020 him and his business partner are looking to impact 20 million young adults and teens. How you ask? They intend on teaching them to be more financially savvy through a very interactive game downloadable via iTunes or Google Play Store. The game is called “Thrive ‘N’ Shine” and is being compared to Candy Crush and Angry birds by many students in their test groups. In the game you are prompted to create a character and select a career path. You then go through life while budgeting your money. Unexpected things occur which can deplete the budget. If the player makes wise decisions there are rewards and consequences for the opposite. Through playing the game Jason’s intends on teaching young adults proper money management so that when they come of adult age, it is second nature. When I heard about this app, the first thing I thought was, “I wish this game was around when I was in high school”. In October 2014 Jason's company was one of 11 companies to be included in a $6.2 fund to "Develop and evaluate an innovative financial capability framework for high school students" Treasury.gov.
Jason is from Inglewood, California. He’s always been an entrepreneur and started his first company before he was in elementary school. He bought a rare candy in bulk and sold it for a profit. He went on to start four more before he graduated from high school. Jason received his bachelors in Economics at Harvard, where he met his best friend and business partner Tracy Moore. Jason has always been passionate about helping people by teaching them about their finances. Though it really hit home when his mom was evicted from her home during his sophomore year of college. It is to this experience that Jason attributes much of his passion for his company’s mission.
After school Jason went on to work at Merrill Lynch in private wealth management, he then went on to work at Wikinvest. In 2012 Mindblown Labs was born and their goal is to “create highly engaging, experiential learning tools to empower young people with critical money management skills.” Though Jason’s business partner is his best friend he highly advises against selecting someone to be your business partner just merely because of a friendship. He emphasizes that it’s always important to select the best people to execute the plan. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “Sometimes the people that you are doing business with are more important than the business that you are doing.”
To get started Jason and his team raised money for their first app on Kickstarter with a goal of $60,000 and successfully raised $77,500! In May Jason was asked by President Obama to join the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. According to the U.S. Dept. of Treasury “The Council will advise the President and the Secretary of the Treasury on how to promote financial capability among young Americans and encourage building the financial capability of young people at an early stage in schools, families, communities, and the workplace and through use of technology. These recommendations will contribute to the nation's future financial stability and increase upward economic mobility.” Jason is a serial entrepreneur who is in the business of helping others become financially savvy. I’ve always been told that good business is done when everyone wins. If Mindblown Labs isn’t good business, I’m not sure what is. Read below to get some more of Jason’s thoughts on entrepreneurship.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
"When initially picking people to be part of your team, always pick the best. A big mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is picking their friends. Never pick your friends just because they are your friends. It's good to get out there and see who else wants to join you and see what talents that they bring to the table. Luckily my business partner is my best friend, but he's also incredibly talented and a great asset."