Sports Editor: Zoe Forster

Cornell alumnus Max Martinez ‘13, a previous running back of the Varsity Football team, recently co-founded Phroogal, a search-engine dedicated to solving people’s financial problems.

“Currently, none of the ways we improve financial access take into account the actual way people learn about money,” which is mainly through social interaction and search engines, Martinez said.

According to Martinez, six in 10 people rely on Google to solve their financial problems and the answers provided are often incorrect, as Google is permeated by SEO optimized and advertised articles that hinder the consumer from finding the information most relevant to their needs.

Phroogal works like any other search-engine such as Google or Yelp. “It’ll index, aggregate, and enable peer-review of financial information,” Martinez said. However, what makes Phroogal unique is that it is designed primarily for financial knowledge.

As a recent college graduate, Martinez is aware that students are often lost when it comes to taxes, student loans, bankruptcy, and credit scores. Phroogal will help students discover “the most relevant, local, and trusted solution for their money situation,” Martinez said.

Martinez attributes his interest in helping people solve their problems to Cornell’s accepting and accommodating environment.

In addition, being a competitive student athlete gave Martinez a strong work ethic and allowed him to communicate with all different types of people. Martinez claims he can easily relate to people, because almost everyone is competing for something in their lives.

Martinez is competing for Phroogal.  He will work endlessly until Phroogal is the largest financial Q&A knowledge base on the web.

“For me, it’s not about the equity or becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg, but instead making an impact in my first major try in the technology world.”


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