Wealth As Financial Wellness: The Beans CEO Melissa Pancoast On How Tech Can Bridge The Gap

The Crunchbase “Female Founder Series,” is a series of stories, Q&As, and thought-leadership pieces from glass-ceiling-smashers who overcame the odds and are now leading successful companies.

Melissa Pancoast is the founder and CEO of The Beans, a financial care company that is building financial products, experiences, and community for America’s “caring class.” She started her career as a teacher, where she saw the impact of financial stress firsthand in her community. 

After completing post-graduate work, she served as a researcher in the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions, where she saw the potential to massively and cheaply scale effective behavioral tech and developed the first program proven to reduce financial stress. Since then, she has run operations for Big Health, launched Seacliff Sales, and co-founded Comet Labs, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage machine intelligence companies.

In this Q&A, Pancoast shares insights into her journey founding The Beans, why we need to treat financial wellness as a health problem, and her advice for other entrepreneurs.

Melissa Pancoast headshot

Q: What were you doing before building The Beans? 

I had my first eye-opening experience in the perils of the U.S. education system when I attended a scholars program in middle school. The majority of students in my program came from affluent backgrounds and were predominantly white, while the general ed classes were very different. 

This first clued me in to the inequality in our education system, which starts at the earliest levels of schooling, and (Read more...)