Startup founders are known to be hesitant when it comes to finding office space, perhaps turning a garage, a spare bedroom, or a co-working space into a primary HQ.
No Andrew Scholtens in Marietta, Georgia. He got open office space for his business OinkChing in a prominent cemetery.
Yes, a cemetery.
“I was looking for an office space that was very affordable, quiet, cool, and close to Marietta Square,” Scholtens told Hypepotamus. “I was looking at a website for class D real estate…and this one came up and it said: Veterans Affairs Land Office, $8 per square foot. ”
Turns out, that house is an old cemetery building that has long since been abandoned in the Marietta National Cemetery.
A financial plan for a startup startup. But it also fits well with the startup’s mission, which is all about teaching finance to adults.
The OinkChing platform and its “secret sauce” – 26 financial principles. The goal is to go beyond the boring and boring videos you might find on some YouTube ads on personal finance.
“Content should be educational or entertaining, preferably both…Our goal is not to share any ideas. An adult has choices. And so we focus on that time [a person] ready to go to achieve something financially. That’s the time to find out the world,” added Scholtens.
The library is organized around specific life events, such as when a user is ready to buy a car, send their child to college, or open a retirement account. Each video goes deep into real life financial situations to help an individual make better decisions for themselves.
It may seem like teaching a user to think like a cost manager in order to increase each line in a personal budget or to find some practical ways to reduce weekly food expenses.
Courses dealing with economic issues, such as living with inflation, are free.
Currently, only a quarter of the 2,000 minutes are focused on financial matters such as mortgages and credit cards. The rest is focused on practical, everyday purchases that can strengthen one’s personal financial goals.
“We are the third group. We do not offer financing. We are not a real agent… we focus on literacy. I don’t give advice. We talk a lot about planning. But I never give advice. It’s just this is how it works. And this is how people use those systems to benefit themselves,” he added.
Users who come to the B2B side of OinkChing’s business model, which partners with local banks and credit unions, can get a discount on the video image. A first aid is First American Bank and Trust from Athens, Georgia.
The Beginning of OinkChing
The idea for OinkChing dates back to Scholtens’ time at Equifax. He spent twelve years managing multiple credit reporting positions, eventually moving up to Senior Officer and VP roles.
“In 2017, Equifax was breached. Not only was the amount of data stolen, but the quality of the data stolen was excellent,” he told Hypepotamus. “But I’ve seen customers get really angry. And then there’s nothing the idiots have to do next.”
Equifax offered a small financial penalty or a few years of free credit monitoring. But, according to Scholtens, the majority of people did not respond or did not choose the option of credit monitoring.
His main takeaway: Literacy is a real issue for Americans.
He started building his own simulator to help his children understand basic financial concepts. That simulator led him down to a “four-year research study” on financial training tools that are out there in the market. When he realized that there was a clear opportunity out there, he set out to create the educational environment he wanted to see.
Well… back to the cemetery
Yes, we have to dig more into the story of a start-up house in a cemetery.
Ending up in a prominent Southern cemetery might not be on the map of most startups. But it seems like the right place for OinkChing.
“Our expenses are very low. It takes a lot of time to create 2,000 minutes of 4K content. And it takes time to sell to banks and credit unions because they’re struggling,” he added.
Those interested in seeing how a startup is renovating an old worker’s home can get a tour of OinkChing’s Marietta HQ here and on their Instagram page.