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.
More on Desiree Vargas Wrigley
Kid-class startup Pearachute snags Mark Cuban deal on ‘Shark Tank’ — here’s what happened next – Oct. 30, 2017
Competitor acquires Chicago-based crowdfunding site GiveForward – Mar. 29, 2017
Pearachute, a business for kids, now counts their parents as investors – Mar. 16, 2017
GiveForward co-founder builds subscription service for kids’ activities – Jan. 12, 2016
How a ‘Type A personality’ cedes control and stays true to the mission – Nov. 5, 2015
Nurturing developers takes straight talk and trust, experts say – Sep. 24, 2015
GiveForward expands to let donors offer meals, fulfill wishes – Sep. 17, 2015
Techweek100 announced for 2015, and there’s a notable change – June 2, 2015
GiveForward’s Desiree Vargas Wrigley takes new role; Josh Chapman new CEO – April 7, 2015
7 ‘tech superheroes’ to watch in 2015 – Jan. 20, 2015
5 keys to startup-leadership success from Desiree Vargas Wrigley – Sept. 3, 2014
Who made the list? Techweek Chicago reveals its Techweek 100 – June 3, 2014
Growth stories from founders: Desiree Vargas Wrigley – Feb. 3, 2014
Desiree Vargas Wrigley, GiveForward’s CEO, shares lessons on social enterprise – Oct. 15, 2013
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