This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise
This entrepreneur is keeping diversity in mind as she builds her platform.
Physician Ami Kumordzie developed a fintech platform with no experience and a mission to connect consumers with IRS-compliant merchants, urging people to invest in improving their health.
According to Forbes, after the Sika Health CEO observed the flaws within the healthcare system while studying at Stanford University School of Medicine, she decided not to go into residency and got her M.B.A. instead.
“My first job was as a management consultant working for healthcare clients at BCG,” she said adding that the analytical position helped her identify the gap in the market.
Kumordzie was inspired to launch Sika Health after her mother was laid off from her hotel job during the pandemic.
“Even though I have worked in healthcare my entire career, I had to scramble and practically become a tax expert to figure out how she [my mother] could spend these funds before she would lose them,” she said.
“About 70 million Americans are enrolled in FSA or HSA accounts, contributing about $150 billion a year,” Kumordzie said, noting the major loss consumers experience from forfeiting their FSA benefits.
“That’s a real tragedy because it is money people could have invested in improving their health,” Kumordzie said.
“We need more ways to save and tools that help stretch our dollars,” she said. “[Using FSA and HSA dollars] effectively means that you’re buying healthcare at 30% off expenses.”
Kumordzie raised $6.2 million in the early stages of funding.
“The goal was to raise $500,000,” she said. “Within weeks, I surpassed my goal and raised $1.2 million.” Kumordzie reached $5 million later during a seed funding round led by Forerunner Ventures representative Brian O’Malley.
“Having a brand like Forerunner as one of our backers makes a big difference when you’re trying to hire,” Kumordzie said. “It makes a big difference when you’re having a hiring conversation and trying to convince someone to leave their high-paying stable job to take a risk on an early-stage business.”
Kumordzie credits her non-traditional background to the success of drawing venture capitalists.
The fintech founder wanted to be able to hire great tech professionals and eventually, Sika Health was able to hire the founding engineer of the payments team at Etsy.
“Sika is on a mission to ensure customers can access and spend their HSA/FSA funds on items they want, when they want, hassle-free,” the website wrote.