Miles Lasater and Mark Volchek have come a long way since their days at Yale. As students twelve years ago the young entrepreneurs were brainstorming about how to make life easier at college.
We were friends at Yale and we constantly talking about how solve problems in the world. Whether that was going to turn into a business or just improve people’s lives.
Their big idea does both. They created a company, Higher One, to bring the financial aid process out of the dark ages.
Starting from applying for financial aid, often signing documents and then even paying your bill often you have to stand in line, to you know, pay with a paper check.
Their breakthrough idea: turning a student’s ID card into a debit card. They hit it big. In just over a decade, Higher One’s service has spread to eight hundred college campuses across the country. Like here at Sacred Heart University here in Connecticut. Now millions of students carry Higher One card or use their mobile app to shop or transfer funds. Emily Cordero uses hers all the time.
Recently I’ve used it for gas, I’ve used it for books here on campus, coffee store, movie theater, anything like that.
A few blocks from Yale, Higher One’s new headquarters are revitalizing an old neighborhood. No one punches in the clock here. Take a ping pong break or hit the gym, just meet your goals. Higher One is now a billion dollar company traded on the New York Stock exchange.
It is definitely the fulfillment of our dreams and beyond anything I imagined. The one dream they’re still chasing, landing Yale as a client.