App to change the way you retire

7 December 2016

Do you need to save more money for retirement? There may soon be an app for that, thanks to MBA graduate Carla Harris and her team.

UPDATE: Carla Harris was announced as one of ten winners of the SheStarts People's Choice Awards. She will receive $100,000 in pre-seed funding to develop Longevity. 

Carla Harris.

Carla Harris has been shortlisted for the SheStarts program to support women in tech startups. 

In her final capstone unit of her MBA at the University of Sydney Business School, Carla developed an app that has the potential to change the way you retire.

“My team initially started to talk to retirees about the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives and there was one common thread that stood out,” Carla said. “Too many retirees are in a situation where they don’t have enough money to retire on.”

“We tracked back a couple of generations and started talking to millenials and social media savvy people to understand how we could prevent them from being in the same situation as their grandparents.”

This is how Longevity was born: an app that helps to save money for retirement every time you spend.

Linking your everyday transaction accounts to your superannuation account, the app saves a small percentage of every spend into your superannuation, adding up over time.

“It was an obvious solution to a common problem,” added Carla.

“In the capstone unit, students confront the challenges that truly pioneering companies face,” said Professor Guy Ford, Director of the MBA program.

What is the MBA Business Capstone Unit?

Since completing the project, Carla has continued to develop the app with a team of computer programmers, data and research, and engineering experts.

“I love a challenge,” says the high-achiever, who also balanced her studies with motherhood – raising a baby who was eight-months-old when she started the MBA.

Longevity has since been selected out of over 800 applications to be one of 20 shortlisted for the SheStarts program run by Blue Chilli. The program aims to get more women into the tech start-up world.

“I nearly fell off my chair when I got the call that I was shortlisted,” Carla said.

“When I was investigating the stresses of finances in retirement, it stood out as a gendered issue: women retire with half the amount of superannuation as men.”

Carla hopes that the app will empower future retirees, particularly women, with the skills and technology they need to be financially stable.

Dr Eric Knight, coordinator of the MBA capstone unit, congratulated Carla on her success. “The MBA capstone unit is not a simulation, it’s not a consulting assignment. We are working with real, live business problems as Carla’s innovative idea shows.”

Katie Booth

Assistant Media and PR Adviser