James Gutierrez is a serial entrepreneur who is committed to helping the un-banked in the U.S. build wealth, enter the financial mainstream and achieve the American dream. In 2005, he co-founded Progress Financial, an innovative financial services company that offers unsecured credit under the name Progreso Financiero to Hispanic families that lack established credit scores and banking relationships.
Using a proprietary scoring model, Progreso lends money at fair rates and low losses, helping its customers build credit histories and move up the financial services ladder. Progreso is growing quickly with a national distribution network, thousands of customers, 100+ employees and venture backing from Greylock Partners and Charles River Ventures.
Prior to Progress Financial, James worked at Morgan Stanley, Bain & Company, and as a venture investor with Martin Varsavsky (founder of fon, Viatel and Jazzetel) in Europe. He also founded and served as CEO of Magic Beanstalk, a 3rd party recruiting company in 1999 that helped match college grads with employers in 50 leading US universities.
In his spare time, James enjoys helping other entrepreneurs and has made early stage investments via Great Oaks Ventures in over 15 start-ups, including StubHub, Jumpcut, Trulia, Zimbio, OKCupid, and Chirp. James is a Robert Toigo Fellow and alumnus of the SEO program in New York. He received his MBA from Stanford and a B.A. in Economics from Yale University.
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