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Tess Michaels, founder and CEO of Stride Funding
Episode 1028th December 2020 • Startups for Good • Miles Lasater
00:00:00 00:33:54

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Tess Michaels founder and CEO Stride Funding which is a venture backed student financing company. Stride offers a more flexible financing option to traditional student loans using an income shared agreement. Tess is a serial entrepreneur and has worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Vista Equity Partners. She is an alum of University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School 

Tess joins me today to discuss how she was inspired to start Stride and how she built the team there. She shares how they have managed their investor relationships with two rounds of capital funding and investor funding for their impact financing products. Stride is changing the payment structure of traditional loans to being more tied to the students' graduation outcome. Tess discusses some of the latency that occurred this year in conversion as students were adapting to the changing college landscape. We are happy to have Tess here to share some of her lessons, entrepreneurial heroes and some of the books they have written.

“I think economic mobility is very much something I’m a huge believer in. Both my parents were immigrants and education was the reason they really were able to progress in their careers and their journey to America” - Tess Michaels

Today on Startups for Good we cover:

  • Outcome driven products 
  • The differences between income shared agreements (ISA) and traditional loans
  • How higher education may change in light of the changes in instruction methods due to COVID
  • Investing in data science 
  • How impact investing was welcomed at a school like Wharton
  • How to juggle the many hats of raising funds for the business and the student financing 
  • Some of the biggest challenges of growing a business
  • Consumer education about ISAs and alternative financing models

Connect with Tess Michaels on Instagram or their website as well as any questions for Tess can be emailed at

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