September 10, 2017
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 installment, you’ll learn about the motivation behind Brian starting M1 Finance, how he went about launching a MVP in the heavily regulated finance industry, and how he raised $9 million before launching his company. Plus, we’ll discuss the benefits of robo-advisors over all ETFs, what M1 Finance costs and how they plan to differentiate from other robo-advisors, and how Brian got his first customers.
Additionally, we talk about 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, and why Chicago has to improve our risk appetite.
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