DC: What is your name, major, and anticipated graduation year?
Rodriguez: Wendy Rodriguez — Finance, 2022
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Rodriguez: Wise Legacy Finance is a company that provides personal finance products and services to Gen-Zers and Millennials to take control of their money, make wise financial decisions and achieve their financial goals. We value effectiveness, innovation and variety when offering financial solutions because we believe that personal finance is not a one-size-fits-all. For this reason, our services and products range from private financial coaching sessions to mini-courses/workshops to budget planners to a budgeting app.
DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?
Rodriguez: I don’t think there was an exact moment, but I’ve been wanting to start my own business as long as I can remember. I love the business world, and throughout the years I have become very passionate about the finance field. With this being said, there have been moments in my life that have led me to create Wise Legacy Finance, such as helping family and friends with their personal finances by creating their monthly budgets or plan for them to save money or pay off debt. I learned how vital personal finance is and how many young people especially, struggle in this area because they don’t find the necessary tools or solutions that effectively cater to their needs.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?
Rodriguez: My biggest influence for my startup is witnessing the positive change people can make in their lives. Whether they are just tired of not being in control of their money, want to change their financial habits/situation or build a strong financial foundation for their future — knowing that I can be a possibility in their lives motivates me to keep going.
DC: How have the effects of the pandemic changed your company’s focus or ideas?
Rodriguez: The pandemic taught us that life can change at any moment and it’s imperative to be prepared, especially financially. I saw the effects of having to deal with unprecedented financial situations and individuals not having a clue of what their next step should be — the impact on mental, physical and emotional health is something that cannot be ignored. The pandemic truly emphasized the importance of being aware of where one stands financially and being prepared with an emergency fund, savings etc.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?
Rodriguez: Wise Legacy Finance is officially an LLC and as of August, we currently offer four services — private coaching sessions, group mini-course, budgeting 101 workshop and speaker events. In just a few weeks, we have received some inquiries and have already begun booking for this fall season. Our social media account on Instagram @wiselegacyfinance is growing every week which is incredible. In addition, we have started working on our budgeting app and budget planners and are eager to see where we will be in the next six months.
DC: What do you feel that you have achieved from participating in Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?
Rodriguez: I can honestly say that Wise Legacy Finance wouldn’t be where it is right now if it wasn’t for Terp Startup Accelerator. I have achieved many things and have had significant accomplishments and for that I am extremely thankful. Week after week I learned from great speakers about important aspects of a business such as target market, financial modeling, scaling, branding, and so much more. In addition, I met incredible individuals from the Dingman Center and amazing fellow UMD entrepreneurs.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Rodriguez: Do it even if you’re afraid. Do it even if you have no idea where to begin. Do it even if you fail. There is no “perfect moment” to go after your dreams. Make it happen and work hard! Don’t underestimate the power of self-discipline and determination because it will take you further than motivation ever will. You can do it!