Steve Jobs is known as one of the tech industry’s biggest icons. He revolutionized how we use computers, how we communicate with people across the world and much more. Now, another tech revolutionary is changing our perspectives. And guess what? This time, she’s a woman of color.
Angel Rich is the founder of The Wealth Factory. The Wealth Factory is a start-up that designs and builds financial literacy and workforce development games for both students and adults. Their most recent project, an app called Credit Stacker, was downloaded 200,000 times within two weeks of its initial launch.
“We are building an entire suite of games that cover a full spectrum of financial topics and life skills that might influence finances — things like how to plan for college, career readiness and how to run a small business,” Rich told The Washington Post. “Our first game is called Credit Stacker. It simulates a credit report and the different blocks you move around in the game correlate to premium payments and overall debt you have to pay, correlated to your credit score.”
Rich’s unique perspective and product make it easy to see why Forbes is calling her the “next Steve Jobs,” but Rich is not an overnight success. She’s spent many years working to formulate her career path and achieve her desired goals. Here are a few important things to know about this revolutionary CEO.
1. She was born and raised in Washington D.C., where her company is based today.
Rich is a fourth-generation Washingtonian. Having grown up in a family that sold insurance, Rich understood the importance of money and financial literacy from a young age. She studied at both Hampton University and the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. She late worked as a global market research analyst in the corporate world.
2. She helped Prudential generate more than $6 billion in revenue.
Yes, you read that right! That’s “billion” with a “b” at the front. While at Prudential, Rich conducted over 70 behavior modification studies and used that experience to turn The Wealth Factory into the company it is today. Rich hopes that through Credit Stacker, users will learn more about personal finance and that that will carry over into other parts of their life.
“It’s not just about the games,” Rich told The Washington Post. “We are systematically modifying behavior, and that’s why we track the decisions consumers make. We actually have back-end algorithms built into each module to simulate the function of a real financial product.”
3. Her first product is Michelle Obama approved.
Credit Stacker has received multiple awards for its unique approach to financial literacy. JP Morgan Chase named it the “best solution in the world for reducing poverty” and the Office of Michelle Obama named the app “the best financial literacy project in the country.” In addition to the above, The Wealth Factory was named one of the top ed-tech companies of 2015 by the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools.
4. She wrote a book about income inequality.
As a woman of color, Rich has been personally affected by the income equality women and persons of color face. That’s especially true for when she’s working to raise funds for The Wealth Factory, despite her many accolades. “My competitor raised $75 million,” Rich said to Forbes. “I won best financial product and best learning game. My company raised only $200,000.”
One of the many ways Rich is fighting income equality? Earlier in 2017, Rich published a book on the history of significant financial moments that have shaped the black experience. The book, “History of the Black Dollar,” is meant to inspire younger generations to continue the fight for economic social justice.
5. She keeps her resources free.
With all of the awards and recognition surrounding Credit Stacker, it would be easy to monetize the app and focus on profits alone. Instead, Rich is continuing to focus on the impact for users; her revenue model generates money from the back-end through advertisers and contracts with larger companies, not by making users pay.
“Our customers would be schools, families, governments, financial institutions — we haven’t met a potential customer who hasn’t wanted our product,” Rich said. “It’s always been, ‘How soon can you get it to us?’ We really do feel as though we’ve discovered a market need here that is virtually untapped.”
6. She’s committed to making the world a better place.
Rich’s work so far shows that there is big money (and an even bigger impact) in making financial literacy fun. She and her leadership team (which includes two other women of color — Courtney Keen and Dominique Broadway) are ready to show the world what women can accomplish.
“We have a niche product to fill a real need,” Rich said. “We’re really about to make a lot of headway.”