Jessica Mah '06 and Andrea Barrica '06
A Tool for Entrepreneurs, by Entrepreneurs
Jessica Mah ’06 and Andrea Barrica ’06 draw on their experience at Simon’s Rock to grow inDinero, a tech start-up
At Simon’s Rock, we don’t tend to pay much attention to age. Sure, you need to be younger than the typical college student to enroll, but as alums know, once you arrive on campus, age goes on the back-burner and individuals are recognized for their passion and intellectual drive.
That kind of questioning motivates a lot of the Silicon Valley’s tech wunderkinds, recognized more for their talent than how recently they graduated. Still, many of the media outfits that have profiled inDinero, where Jessica Mah ’06 is CEO and Andrea Barrica ’06 is VP for Operations, can’t help but point out how young they are.
Mah in particular was born an entrepreneur. She started her first business, an eBay store, when she was 13. She soon identified a real problem that she shared with many other entrepreneurs: A lot of small business owners don’t have the money to hire a bookkeeper, and they also don’t have the skills (or time) to track the financials at their fledgling enterprises. inDinero addresses that problem by providing an easy-to-understand financial dashboard.
As Barrica explained it to RockNet, the company is a cloud-based software solution that helps small-business owners track their finances without any data entry, pulling the information from a business’s financial accounts.
Getting past the idea phase
When Mah and Barrica enrolled at Simon’s Rock in 2006, they became fast friends. They were both involved in numerous activities on campus and in their drive they recognized a shared commitment to just jumping in. “A lot of incredibly smart, very talented people have trouble getting past the idea phase,” Mah remembers.
That wasn’t the case for her and Barrica. Together, they transferred to UC Berkeley. As a senior, Mah curated Berkeley’s first TED event, where she invited Simon’s Rock politics professor Asma Abbas to speak, as a way to inspire her classmates that they can go out and create the events and organizations they’re so good at dreaming about.
inDinero was founded in Mah’s last days at Berkeley with two friends she’d made in a computer science club. “When I started inDinero, I looked for a team that had the skills I’d honed at Simon’s Rock: People who could write, think, and communicate at a high level,” Mah explains.
An idea catches on
Last year, Forbes called InDinero one of the “latest and greatest online tools for busy entrepreneurs.”
When Fast Company listed Mah as number 74 on a list of the “100 most creative people in business,” she listed Bard College at Simon’s Rock as one of her top interests. Barrica and Mah are both very proud alums who continually draw on what they got from Simon’s Rock.
“The Rock was the place I learned how to learn. It's where I began to accept that learning doesn't stop at graduation or climbing to the top of the corporate pyramid,” Barrica explains. “Somewhere on that journey, I gained the confidence and pride of knowing I was prepared to tackle anything that involved learning, effective communication skills, and critical thinking. These skills have helped me succeed at UC Berkeley and every job I've ever had, and I'm forever grateful.”
Mah is working to grow inDinero after a raising more than a million dollars in investment backing last year. Notably, all that funding came from other entrepreneurs who recognized the need for a tool to help people understand their business financials at-a-glance.
Check out Mah’s recent interview at the New York Times and the profile of inDinero that appeared on Fox Business to see more about their success, and why Mah thinks that right now is an “amazing time to start a business.”