Desiree Vargas Wrigley

Desiree Vargas Wrigley
(GiveForward)

Desiree Vargas Wrigley is one of Chicago’s most prominent female founders. She is now on her second venture, Pearachute, a subscription service for kids’ activities.

In February 2016, she raised $1.2 million from former Match.com CEO Sam Yagan, who is the company’s chairman; Sittercity founder Genevieve Thiers, and 11 Roniin CEO Paul Lee.

She left GiveForward, an online fundraising website for medical expenses that has raised over $100 million since its first donation, in November 2015. Vargas Wrigley started GiveForward, her first company, at age 25 in early 2008.

“A lot of jobs you get into, you’re learning, you get better and more experienced at one particular thing. The opposite happens to a founder when you’re going through a growth stage…you’re suddenly responsible for managing,” she told Blue Sky. “There’s a lot of learning that you have to do, and conflict resolution, and managing expectations, and managing your board. I’ve played CFO and COO along with CEO since the beginning.”

Vargas Wrigley graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies. She worked as a specialist in collegiate entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation prior to launching GiveForward.

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