Year started: 2012
Industry: Mobile Personal Finance
Offices: Ann Arbor, MI; New York City
Headquarters: Ann Arbor, MI
Activity: Created a business that helps consumers make better financial decisions at the point of purchase by reducing fees and interest charges, maximizing rewards and coupons and improving credit scores.
Annual Revenue: Undisclosed
Attended: Michigan State University
Degree: B.S., Finance, 2006
Company website: paywithglyph.com
“Empowering consumers to make better financial decisions at the point of purchase.”
A Michigan State University grad and former Accenture consultant, Michael Vichich is the CEO and co-founder of Glyph, a technology company that helps consumers connect their financial goals with purchase-level behaviors. Vichich, along with his partner, Tyler Felous, founded the company in 2012 after learning that the average consumer misses out on more than $600 per year in rewards because of not having or using the right credit card. The app helps consumers select the best card and protects credit ratings, creating what Vichich calls “peace of wallet.”
Glyph plans to create more positive relationships between banks and consumers by allowing banks to create and administer offers tailored to consumers at the point of sale.
The knowledge of what it takes to start a business of his own was fed by Vichich’s MSU education, especially a 400-level entrepreneurship class in the Broad Business School he took his senior year. The academic connections Mike made at MSU extended beyond graduation, as his entrepreneurship professor became the first investor in Glyph.
“The economy has turned mobile; Michigan is responding.”
While that entrepreneurship class showed Vichich a way to strike out on his own, it was the time he spent working at a non-profit company through MSU’s School of Business that would become the most significant influence on his career. That work exposed him to consulting and to people at Accenture, where he was recruited after school. Vichich was on the fast track at Accenture, attaining a senior-level management position in just five years. During that time, he consulted for some of the largest corporations in the world, gaining experience in all aspects of corporate strategy. But he still longed for the opportunity to execute his own ideas. Teaming up with Tyler Felous, another Accenture employee, Vichich raised $500,000 in seed funding from local angel investors to start Glyph.
Vichich and his team are strongly committed to Michigan’s economic revitalization and believe entrepreneurs need to be at the front line helping create new economic opportunities. He also believes that to be a leader of a tech startup, you have to have technical acumen. To that end, he founded “Develop Detroit,” a 10-week app development boot camp for aspiring “techies.” To give back to the community, Vichich awarded two students from Cass Tech High School free tuition to Develop Detroit so they could learn mobile programming, meet mentors and build relationships with potential employers. Develop Detroit hosted classes in summer 2012, fall 2012 and spring 2013. It also hosted a mobile conference in February 2013 in which more than 160 Detroit techies participated.
Photo credit: Doug Coombe