Successful entrepreneurs Chase Beach, class of 2015, and Jessica Benson, class of 1986, will join the Why Witt? conversation, Jan. 31, to discuss “New Year, New Start-Up” on the live podcast stage starting at 7 p.m. in Founders on the lower level of the Benham-Pence Student Center. The conversation will also be streamed live on the Why Witt YouTube channel.
Beach, originally from Cincinnati, headed west to San Francisco in 2015 after graduation and eventually launched two businesses: Anadro, an independent power provider serving Southern California, and InsurGrid, a software company that streamlines the insurance-buying process. Located in the San Francisco Bay area, InsurGrid makes buying and selling insurance simple and transparent to everyone as per its mission. Carrying on his family’s 144-year-old insurance legacy, but in a new modern way, Beach created InsurGrid in 2019.
A member of the board of his town's Main Street Association, Leucadia 101, Beach was a member of Wittenberg's Alumni Board from 2018-2021 and currently resides in Encinitas, California, with his fiancée, Sarah.
Benson entered the world of virtual reality (VR) in 2015 while volunteering at a children’s hospital. During her time there, she established a grant-funded program delivering VR to patients and their families and now serves as vice president of market development of MyndVR. The initiative’s mission aimed to help relieve pain and stress associated with medical treatment and hospital stays. Benson felt that virtual experiences would provide significant relief for users and was soon inspired to launch Immersive Cure, a VR startup focusing on veterans, hospice, and palliative care organizations.
As a woman technology entrepreneur, Benson sold Immersive Cure to MyndVR in November of 2021. She is currently the vice president of Veteran, Hospice & Palliative Care for MyndVR as well as a spokesperson for virtual reality and its applications for the elderly market. Her experience has led her to be featured in Crain’s, Modern Healthcare, Akron Legal News, TechOhio, and Voice of America. She has also been profiled on ABC, Spectrum 1 News, and a variety of radio stations and podcasts. Additionally, Jessica has spoken on panels for The University of Akron’s National Science Foundation I-Corps Cohort and Global Silicon Valley Startup Bootcamp.
The brainchild of entrepreneurs Timmy McCarthy, class of 2002 and Wittenberg’s first-ever Professional in Residence, and John “HUD” Hudson, business owner, friend, and former classmate, Why Witt? debuted this summer. The program airs in front of a live studio audience once a month. Featured guests are Wittenberg alumni, who are then expected to mentor a current Wittenberg student following their participation in the program.
Why Witt? asks the following primary questions of all its guests: What led them to Wittenberg? What happened while they were here? How did they navigate the path after leaving Wittenberg? Each show is approximately one hour – 50 minutes for conversation and 10 minutes for audience questions, both from those in person and from those watching via the livestream. A link to listen will be posted on the program’s YouTube channel closer to the event time. Contact information for connecting with the Why Witt? creators can also be found on the program’s website here.