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LearnVest’s Mission to Wrangle Your Personal Finances (Astia company)
August 13, 2012 | Money Matters
The Female Founders Series is presented by American Express OPEN. For the full State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, visit openforum.com/women. American Express OPEN salutes, celebrates and wants to help fuel the future of women business owners.
The personal finance site LearnVest — a portmanteau of “learn,” “earn” and “invest” — launched in December 2009. Founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel, 28, graduated from Harvard College in 2006 and deferred admission to Harvard Business School so she could take a job as a Morgan Stanley analyst to gain real-world experience.
After two years as a trader, von Tobel left Wall Street for a business development position at file-sharing service Drop.io, where she learned the ropes of startup life for six months before heading to Harvard Business School in fall 2008. After her idea for a personal finance business won an Astia business plan competition, von Tobel took a leave of absence from Harvard after one semester. She had come up with the idea for LearnVest in 2006, upon realizing that she and her friends never really learned how to manage their finances, and the Astia win gave her the confidence to pursue the startup.