It’s my pleasure to introduce you to the Sunny Day Fund™ team and share why we’re so passionate about connecting people to accessible savings.
Over two decades ago, my parents immigrated to the United States with “negative assets” and their only remaining child – me. They did this to give me a great education, the most important gift they could think of, and to build a better life for our family. Of course, as with most immigrant stories, that pursuit was fraught with financial and personal crises. I used my gift of American education to help my family navigate those crises as best I could, and along the way, it became clear how powerful savings could be. Specifically liquid savings – money immediately and easily available.
Those precious lessons were always at the back of my mind as I worked on my prior startups, earned undergrad and grad degrees at the University of Virginia, and consulted with Accenture’s Technology Strategy group. Those savings lessons paired with my professional experience eventually became the genesis of a simple question – if employers can help their employees save for retirement, why can’t they help employees… just save? The impact could be transformative – hundreds of millions of people could overcome emergencies or unexpected expenses, not to mention save towards large planned expenses as well. After nearly five years of deep market research, including surveys and hundreds of stakeholder conversations with employers and employees, I made the pitch to my partner, Sarah – a pitch that remains our refrigerator still today. With her and our families’ blessings, I took the leap to answer that question via Sunny Day Fund™.
No journey should start alone, especially one as big as this. And so Pranitha became the first team member. She brought with her risk and operations management experience at Bank of America, where she oversaw a team handling trade execution and compliance. That financial experience and attention detail proved crucial as she evolved to become our Project Manager. Next, Sunil joined the team as an advisor with his wealth of knowledge on product development. With his counsel, I architected the core platform.
As we developed the platform, it became clear quickly that we needed to have proper quality testing, and that role needed to be internal. Pranitha and I identified Sneha – a coding undergrad – to take on this responsibility along with designing what would become our automated nudge communications. Sneha, who still works part-time with the team, is currently pursuing her Masters in Computer Science at UNC-Charlotte.
At about the same time, it became crucial to establish a standalone engineering team. Josh joined soon thereafter as our lead engineer, bringing over 20 years of experience developing products for both startups and large organizations. His practical knowledge was complemented by the coding prowess and tireless efforts of Samba, who came to us from TechGrit – our technology partner.
With engineering humming, my focus turned to bringing together an advisory board with deeper experience in fintech and HRtech. I turned to the one network I knew best – the University of Virginia – to recruit a stacked team. Tim, Nancy, Greg, and Christian saw the possibilities of what Sunny Day Fund™ could accomplish, and started volunteering their time nearly a year ago to the cause. Shawn joined soon after a serendipitous accelerator application.
More recently, as Sunny Day Fund™ hit the ground with our early customers, I realized that we needed a dedicated leader who would devote their full attention to successfully executing our savings programs with clients and through partnerships. We found that leader in Meredith, a former global HR leader with over a decade of experience, who will soon be joining the team full time.
Along the way, we received resources from our family and friends, time from too many people to name, and unbridled support from networks such as Lighthouse Labs and Startup Boost. Two that remain graciously on hand are Stephen and Shep, unlocking their domain knowledge to the benefit of the team.
And we continue to grow! If you’re reading this and feeling like this is the start of something exciting (because it is) check out our open roles at LinkedIn or Angel.co. I’d love to talk with you, and perhaps one day call you my colleague.