Grain - A Social Investing App Powered by IBM Watson: Instead of requiring our users to adapt to the world of investing, we adapt the world of investing to our users. - iCrowdNewswire

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Jul 15, 2016 8:07 AM ET

Grain – A Social Investing App Powered by IBM Watson: Instead of requiring our users to adapt to the world of investing, we adapt the world of investing to our users.

iCrowdNewswire - Jul 15, 2016


A Social Investing App Powered by IBM Watson





Grain is a revolutionary new way to invest. Social from the start, you can share ideas and trading activity with friends and family, discover stocks with a search engine powered by IBM Watson, then trade virtually or link a personal brokerage account to invest alongside people you trust.

Discover, share, and invest with one engaging app. 

Instead of requiring our users to adapt to the world of investing, we adapt the world of investing to our users. 

For the 75% of millennials who have never invested in the stock market, there’s now a refreshingly intuitive way to start preparing for the future.


The stock market is one of the most rewarding long-term paths to financial success, but according to Pew Research, a whopping 75% of millennials have never invested.

When you think about it, it’s not too surprising.

The stock market is complicated. Ask most people what a SPDR S&P 500 ETF is, and you’re likely to get a blank stare rather than a real answer. 

Most apps and services do nothing to simplify the market, assuming people will eventually learn its intricacies.

Not Grain. Grain molds the market to users to create astounding simplicity. By lowering this barrier to entry, we’re finally giving you the tool you need to nurture your financial future.


We don’t believe everyone should be expected to understand the complexities of the stock market as it’s currently being delivered. For something that deserves to be as commonplace as your morning cup of coffee, its illustration is incredibly confusing.

Grain helps you see the market through a lens of what you already know and understand: your observations, your insights, your beliefs, your passions. 

Now a few clicks can turn familiar keywords into related U.S. equities and exchange trade funds (ETFs) listed on major U.S. exchanges. 


The stock market is now searchable. Before, if you wanted to choose your own investments, you had to find them by specific stock name or ticker symbol. But what if you’re new to the game? What if you don’t know what company to type into that search box? Or who makes a product you love?

Watson distills the stock market into profiles that help you decide which companies are worth your money. Connect simple concepts and keywords to stocks and funds that match your interests. 

With the hybrid of Grain’s collaborative core and Watson’s innovative technology, you are supported by friends and family while being informed by the next generation of cognitive computing. You can finally feel good about your authority to make your own investment decisions.

This is a different kind of tool for a new era of computing, where people and computers work together instead of at ends. It’s a way for you to take control, to build a portfolio as unique as you are.


With Grain, we’ve harnessed the power of your social circle and Watson to bring you the most trusted way to discover, share, and invest.




Grain shows you a News Feed of all your friends’ activity. Do Joe and Nicole know something you don’t? They bought a few more shares of Google last night – maybe you should, too.




We have also created an “Explore” section similar to what you’d see on Instagram. If your favorite free trade coffee company announces a major new initiative, you’ll see it in the Explore section. IBM Watson lives here. 




Grain is about communities coming together to share their collective knowledge. Find your own hot investment opportunity and share it with people you trust to make sure they don’t miss out.




Grain supports major U.S. brokerages, so you can open a new account and/or directly link preexisting accounts with E-Trade, Fidelity, Scottrade, TD Ameritrade, and more. You can even make trades and track your progress from several accounts directly in the Grain app. 

With powerful search and baked-in social capabilities, Grain is the only investment tool you need. Your future depends on being smart with your money today. Grain paves the way, so you can invest wisely and get on with your day.



Grain launched in a closed beta in winter 2015, and our beta testers have been singing the app’s praises and providing valuable feedback. We now have over 19,000 people on our wait list and are gearing up for an official App Store launch in fall 2016.

Grain has been winning awards left and right. When we started the company as students at the University of Notre Dame, we came away from the McCloskey Business Plan Competition with the Vennli Best Undergraduate Venture Award, FISH R&D Award, Innovation Park Accelerator Award, and Plug and Play Tech Center Startup Camp Award. That’s more prizes than any of the other 150 competing ventures.

We also won audience favorite after receiving praise from Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary during an on-campus pitch event in front of a packed auditorium of more than 1,000 people! When you make investing simple for a whole new generation of investors, people take notice.

Ready to hear what’s next for Grain? Click the “Business Profile ” tab at the top of this page to find out just how much potential the Grain app holds!




Joe Mueller, CEO and Co-Founder

Joe previously held roles in sales and analysis at BNY Mellon and Eze Software Group. He supported a top-tier client advisory group, facilitated long-term strategic partnerships, and implemented electronic trading and data management connections for buy- and sell-side institutions across North America, South America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific.

Joe graduated with a BBA in Finance and a minor in Catholic Social Tradition from the University of Notre Dame. He was a rower on the Notre Dame Crew team and is a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Federico Segura, CFO and Co-Founder

Federico’s past experience in finance ranges from UBS to the portfolio management company, Strategic Automotive, to the niche real estate investment trust, Capital Automotive. 

Federico has a BBA in Finance and a minor in Italian from the University of Notre Dame. He was also a rower on the Notre Dame Crew team and likes to play guitar, cook interesting foods, and learn new languages.

Stephanie Tilden, CTO and Co-Founder

Stephanie’s aptitude in software development is integral to the team’s success. At a large tech company in the identity division, she develops features to improve user experience during sign in and sign up and leads data collection, aggregation, and visualization for partner teams. She has extensive experience in full stack web and app development through side projects and previous careers.

Stephanie has a BS in Computer Science and a supplementary major in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. She loves when people challenge her to think in new and different ways, especially over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Gerald Linn, Head of Business Development

Gerald brings more than a decade of experience in technology implementation, consumer strategy and business development. His unique experience base of Corporate Sales, Software Analysis, and Project Management led to his most recent role at IBM as one of the youngest Project Executives in company history. Prior to joining Grain, Gerald led consultative strategy and implementation projects while working at Microsoft, Expedia and IBM Fortune 500 Clients.

Gerald has a BS in Analytical Chemistry from SDSM&T and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He’s an avid marathon runner and amateur comedian.

Dave Colson, Design Director

Dave specializes in building brands, visual communication, and design. He creates 360-degree campaigns, brand assets, global guidelines, packaging, cross-functional retail templates, wayfinding, and interactive displays for Under Armour. He also served at a design studio and mid-sized ad agency where he developed branding, marketing, UI, and publication design for Architect of the Capitol, 2U, Berkeley School of Information, and Caterpillar.

Dave received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has lived on two continents in three countries and believes it’s important to look after your neighbors.

Nicole Mueller, Art Director

Nicole is the owner and co-founder of a mural painting business in Baltimore, where she designs, paints, and manages large-scale, multi-location commercial mural projects. Prior experience also includes drawing and painting instruction, college admissions representation, and community event coordination.

Nicole holds a BFA in Painting with a concentration in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she graduated with honors. She’s a practicing artist and painter with an excellent eye for color. She’s also a professional dog-lover and a community volunteer.


Richard Pivnicka

Richard is an accountant, lawyer, patented inventor, community board member, angel investor, and Chairman/Founder of CzechTech, the people/VC network. He is currently the Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic and previously served as Honorary Vice Dean of the San Francisco Consular Corps, composed of 78 foreign consulates.

Alireza Masrour

Alireza has led more than 100 investments for the Plug & Play Investment Arm since 2008, including an investment in our company. His portfolio exits include Matcha (Apple), TrustGo (Baidu), Mobspire (Aarki), SplitP (SK Telecom), Sha-Sha (Telly), HealthPocket (Health Insurance Innovations), PasswordBox (Intel) and (Marketo).

Mike Avila

Mike is a marketing and publishing expert with 20+ years of experience, who has sold over $1 billion in advertising and media to financial service brands. He currently resides in Denver as the Corporate Relations Advertising Manager for The Journal of Financial Planning and the Financial Planning Association, the principal organization for Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals.

Mike Cavanaugh

Mike is the Principal & Founder of Know Your Options Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. He is also Executive Director of the Small Business Advocacy Council, a not-for-profit that supports over 1,000 businesses in the Chicago area. Previously Mike was a broker and floor trader on the Chicago Board of Trade. He holds several professional licenses including Series 3, 7, 63, and 65.


Contact Information:

Richard Pivnicka - Founder

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