Villanova Alum and Entrepreneur, Jared Scharen ’10

Jared Scharen, a 2010 Villanova graduate is currently working on a startup company called eRetirements (www.eretirements.com). eRetirements seeks to solve the problem thousands of baby boomers face each day: where should I retire? eRetirements utilizes a 20 question quiz to match people with three cities that are ideal for them based on their individual needs/preferences. The site then presents users with important information they would need to retire in that city, such as testimonials from retirees, information on weather, healthcare, cost of living, etc. The results will then be saved for future viewing purposes.

Jared and his team won the Northwestern University Elevator Pitch Competition with their idea for eRetirements. They presented a one minute elevator pitch and competed against 45 other startups across Northwestern, which included both graduate and undergraduate businesses. They were selected as 1of 6 teams to be part of the Northwestern accelerator called Wildfire. It is associated with Northwestern’s Incubator, The Garage. The Garage is similar to Villanova’s Idea Accelerator because it helps to fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration for students to build on their ideas. The Northwestern accelerator gave Jared and his team $5,000 in funds and also provided them with weekly dedicated mentor meetings from other successful Chicago entrepreneurs. The mentors helped to guide and prepare them for their pitch presentations. The Northwestern accelerator will end this month in March, when Jared and his team will pitch their business to venture capitalists in the Chicago area.

While also continuing to work on eRetirements, Jared is in his first year of graduate school at the Kellogg School of Management. When asked if he has any advice for those interested in getting involved in entrepreneurship, Jared states, “It is incredible how much work and dedication it takes, but from someone who worked in Finance and Management Consulting at JP Morgan and McKinsey, I can assure you that you’ll learn more than you would at any other job out there.”

Jared is willing to offer more individualized advice to those interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial venture. Feel free to email him at jared@eretirements.com for any advice or for questions about his startup and experiences.