Desiree Vargas Wrigley

About

I am a second-time founder and CEO of Pearachute, a company that strives to help parents feel like better parent and to inspire children's creativity and passion by empowering parents through convenience and choice. I love building businesses that matter. I started Pearachute to solve a need I had personally, which was that as a busy mom with kids in childcare, I worried about over-scheduling and overcommitting our family but still wanted to experience art, music, dance etc with them. After unsuccessfully forcing my oldest into swimming and soccer, I realized that the format for young childhood classes is broken. It creates stress to drag them to classes they get bored with and wastes valuable money on things that don’t bring families closer together. Previously, I co-founded GiveForward, one of the world's first crowdfunding platforms. Over my seven years there, we helped hundreds of thousands of families raise more than $190 million and built the company to $5mm/year in revenue. My co-founder, Ethan Austin, and I learned so much through our multiple rounds of funding (Angel, series A, venture debt, and strategic), and I am grateful for the opportunity to take those lessons to those I mentors and to my next adventure. I am passionate about how technology can make the world a smaller and more connected place. I subscribe to the belief that every one of us can take small actions that change someone's world. As a believer in the Conscious Capitalism movement, I'm deeply committed to maximizing stakeholder value and creating a workplace that elevates every team member. I'm an active mentor to other entrepreneurs and enjoy sharing the lessons we've learned along the way as a panelist or keynote speaker. I am the mother of two young boys, Griffin (5) and Aedan (3), and stepmom to Danielle (12), and wife to a Chicago Police Officer.
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