Turning a problem into a business (and transforming wealth transfer in the process)
Posted On November 21, 2023
Sometimes the problems life presents to us lead us to create new solutions.
So it was with Martha Underwood, our guest in a recent episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston.” Underwood had a family emergency in 2017, when her father fell from a roof while helping a neighbor clear debris after a hurricane and fell unconscious. Living in Birmingham, hundreds of miles away from her parents’ home in Miami, she found that finding and accessing his medical and financial information to make decisions on his behalf was problematic.
“With my background, I said there has to be a better way,” said Underwood, a former IBM anayst with a background in software and healthcare information systems. “I need to be able to access this information for him from anywhere.”
Underwood created Prismm, a secure digital vault where people can store all their financial, real estate and personal info and share it with family or trusted financial advisors.
The system is bank-level encrypted, ensuring security, and allows users to grant different levels of access, controlling who sees which information and when they can access it. Underwood sees it as becoming the primary platform through which wealth is transferred from one generation to the next.
Some of the information that Underwood advised storing in Prismm include your will, marriage license, divorce decree (if applicable), life insurance policy, healthcare directive, passport, a couple latest health records, recent financial statements, car titles, home deeds, and possibly even prescription information.
“We see that Prismm is going to grow into a platform where people can manage several things in their lives by just consolidating and bringing in information from all these information sources that we access every day to make it easier for our lives,” she said.
Prismm is drawing interest from not only individuals, but financial advisors, estate planners, and even banks looking to attract a new digital-native generation. “People typically have a safety deposit box at banks,” Underwood said. “This would be considered a digital safety deposit box.”
See more of Underwood’s story in the latest issue of Business Alabama, where she was honored in its “Women in Tech: 23 for ‘23” feature.