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Stanford to Chicago to Raising $9 Million and Reinventing Millennial Investing - Brian Barnes / Founder of M1 Finance

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Brian Barnes is the CEO and Founder of M1 Finance, a startup making an automated investment tool that lets users put their money to work in a balanced portfolio without the hassle of actually managing it.

Just a few years after graduating from Stanford, Brian raised $9 million and moved back to Chicago to build the platform. 

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • The motivation behind Brian starting M1 Finance
  • How Brian went about launching a MVP in the heavily regulated finance industry
  • How Brian raised $9 million pre-launch 
  • The benefits of robo-advisors over all ETFs
  • What M1 Finance costs and how they plan to differentiate from other robo-advisors
  • How Brian got his first customers
  • What Brian has learned about life and business from his mom Brenda Barnes, Former CEO of Pepsi and Sara Lee?
  • What the most effective marketing channels have been
  • How M1 Finance's message has evolved over time
  • How to communicate a relatively complicated product to consumers quickly
  • The importance of design in fintech 
  • Why Brian moved back to Chicago after going to Stanford and whether he thinks it matters
  • Why Chicago has to improve our risk appetite

Favorite Books:

Making Parents Lives Better with Healthy Kids Lunches & How a Porn Site Led to a Big Rebrand - Rebecca Sholiton & Nate Cooper / Wise Apple

Creating the Next Corner Store in the Age of Amazon - Michael LaVitola / Founder of Foxtrot