About Upstart

Founded by ex-Googlers, Upstart goes beyond the FICO score to finance people based on signals of their potential, including schools attended, area of study, academic performance, and work history. Our proprietary underwriting model identifies high quality borrowers despite limited credit and employment experience. Funds can be used for almost anything, including starting a business, paying for a coding bootcamp, eliminating student debt or paying off credit cards.

Our Team

  • Dave Girouard
    Dave Girouard
    Dave founded Upstart after 8 years at Google where he was President of Google Enterprise and VP of Apps. Dave graduated from Dartmouth College with an AB in Engineering Sciences and a BE in Computer Engineering. He also received an MBA from the Ross School at the University of Michigan with High Distinction.
  • Paul Gu
    Paul Gu
    Paul is a co-founder of Upstart and pioneered Upstart’s statistical models to predict income and employment. Paul’s background is in quantitative finance - he began to profitably trade at the age of 20, and previously worked in risk analysis at the D.E. Shaw Group. He has been recognized as one of Peter Thiel’s 20 under 20 Fellows and Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 under 40. Paul studied economics and computer science at Yale University.
  • Anna M. Counselman
    Anna M. Counselman
    Anna co-founded Upstart after 5 years at Google where she ran global Enterprise Customer Programs and Gmail Consumer Operations. Previously, Anna held a variety of operations roles at McMaster Carr and several startups. Anna graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University with a BA in Finance and Entrepreneurship.
  • Alison Nicoll
    Alison Nicoll
    Alison spent the last 10 years at innovative financial services companies, including a start-up in the prepaid card space and most recently at PayPal managing their North America legal team. She got her law degree from the University of Glasgow (in Scotland), and her Masters of Law from Columbia Law School.
  • Jeff Keltner
    Jeff Keltner
    Jeff spent 6 years at Google where he launched and ran the Google Apps for Education business and supported Google’s overall Enterprise business. Prior to Google, Jeff worked at IBM and led the UI engineering team at SSB Technologies. Jeff has a BS in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University.
  • Jonathan Eng
    Jonathan Eng
    Jonathan joins Upstart from Google, where he helped develop and launch the Knowledge Graph on Google Search. Prior to Google, he served as CTO of an online apparel company that he founded with high school friends. Jonathan is a Yale University graduate with a BS in Computer Science.
  • Cindy Chin Smith
    Cindy Chin Smith
    Cindy joins Upstart with over 7 years of operations experience including more than 5 years at Google in Enterprise operations. Following Google she managed the sales support team at The Climate Corporation. Cindy is a Boston University graduate with a BA in Management Information Systems and Finance.
  • Vishal Maini
    Vishal Maini
    Vishal joined Upstart after receiving his BA in Economics from Yale. During college, he worked as an analyst with Altman Vilandrie & Company, a boutique consulting firm specializing in tech, media, and telecom. He also spent a summer working with the SoundTracking team as part of True Ventures’ summer fellowship program.
  • Jenny Lin
    Jenny Lin
    Jenny joins Upstart after working as a UI designer and front-end developer at FamilyLeaf. She previously spent 2 years at Google working in rich media advertising. Jenny has a BFA in Fine Arts and BA in Information Science from Cornell University, and a MFA in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts.
  • Brigitte Bradford
    Brigitte Bradford
    Brigitte joins Upstart from Sparkpr where she developed, implemented, and analyzed PR and marketing campaigns for a variety of innovative clients. Previously, she worked for Kiva where she was responsible for their blog and social media content and strategy. Brigitte is a Northeastern University graduate with a BS in Psychology and Political Science.
  • Andrew Bezzub
    Andrew Bezzub
    Andrew joins Upstart with over 9 years of experience in software engineering. Prior to Upstart he was at Microsoft, and helped to develop the Mediaroom TV platform. Andrew moved to the US from Ukraine after he spent 7 years at innovative software companies. Andrew received his BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics.
  • Ryan Randall
    Ryan Randall
    Ryan joins Upstart after 10 years as an institutional investor, most recently as an Investment Officer with the Fairfax County Retirement System and a Sector Analyst and the Director of Public Policy at Passport Capital LLC. Prior to that he worked at E*TRADE, which he joined upon the acquisition of the company he founded. He holds a B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, holds the CFA and CAIA charters and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).
  • Simon Lepkin
    Simon Lepkin
    Simon joins Upstart after earning his Master’s in Mathematics at SUNY Binghamton. While there, he scaled his department’s online homework/exam system to manage more than 1000 students per semester. Simon received his bachelor’s degree (also in Mathematics) from Knox College.
  • Viraj Navkal
    Viraj Navkal
    Viraj joins Upstart after earning his PhD in Mathematics from UCLA, where he conducted research at the intersection of commutative algebra and algebraic K-theory. Viraj also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Mathematics and Physics and developed software for scientific research.
  • George Norris
    George Norris
    George joins Upstart from Virginia where he was a front end developer at Dominion Enterprises. He is a self taught coder who graduated from Old Dominion University with a major in graphic design.
  • Neha Hebbar
    Neha Hebbar
    Neha joins Upstart from Credit Suisse, where she worked as an Equity Research Analyst covering the Internet sector. Neha graduated from MIT with a BS in Management Science.
  • Andrew Kayvanfar
    Andrew Kayvanfar
    Andrew joins Upstart and the Bay Area after five years at Jefferies in New York where he was most recently a Vice President in ETF Trading. He is a California native, a fitness nut, and an active member of Minds Matter. Andrew earned his B.S.E. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Brian Mascarenhas
    Brian Mascarenhas
    Brian joins Upstart with over 10 years of experience in various software engineer roles, ranging from non-profit healthcare to adtech. He most recently worked with the San Francisco 49ers, helping to make their new stadium become the most technologically advanced sporting venue ever. He holds dual degrees in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Ben Chang
    Ben Chang
    Ben had 8 years of operations experience at Google in the Enterprise team. Most recently he managed a global support organization for Google Apps. Before Google, he worked at RSA and Logitech. Ben is a Pomona College graduate with a BA in Mathematical Economics.
  • Grant Schneider
    Grant Schneider
    Grant joins Upstart after earning his Ph.D. in Statistics from The Ohio State University, where his research involved developing a method called "Sequential Kriging-Based Optimization" used for maximum likelihood estimation of discretely-observed stochastic differential equations. A decade-long Buckeye, he also earned his Bachelor's degree in Finance and Honors Accounting at Ohio State.
  • Natalia Mirgorodskaya
    Natalia Mirgorodskaya
    Natalia joined Upstart after spending 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where she provided Assurance services to a range of private and public companies in the Financial Services space. Natalia holds a Master's degree in Economics from Moscow State University and a Master of Accountancy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California.
  • Kate Rowley Sutcu
    Kate Rowley Sutcu
    Kate joins the Upstart team after working as a project manager for a law firm providing real estate law services. Kate has a BS in Management from Georgia Tech.
  • Alex Rudyak
    Alex Rudyak
    Alex joins Upstart after working at iCrossing, where he managed large scale digital marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 clients. He graduated from UCSB with dual degrees in International Studies and Slavic Literature.
  • Brandon Kam
    Brandon Kam
    Brandon joins Upstart with over 7 years of experience in predictive modeling. He most recently worked at a quantitative finance firm in Chicago. He grew up in Hawaii and graduated from MIT with a B.S. in EE and an M. Eng. in EECS.
  • Xi Chen
    Xi Chen
    Xi graduated MIT with a BS in Physics. Following the completion of her study, she travelled to Ghana and Spain to pursue her passion in international development and education. Prior to Upstart, she taught Physics at Bay Ridge Preparatory School in Brooklyn.
  • Kyle Phillips
    Kyle Phillips
    Kyle graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BA in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant in California. He spent the past 6 years at Enterprise Holdings in the Business Management Department.
  • Jenny H. Li
    Jenny H. Li
    Jenny joins Upstart from Bain & Company, where she worked on data-driven strategy and operational excellence for Fortune 500 companies in financial services, consumer goods, and industrials. She brings experience from investment banking at UBS, and venture capital portfolio product development at Sparked, a two-sided volunteering market platform, through True Ventures. Jenny graduated from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
  • Ben Tejes
    Ben Tejes
    Ben joins Upstart after working at Google where he managed a global support organization within the Financial Operations department. Before Google, he worked at Triage Consulting Group and TechnoServe. Ben earned his B.S. In Management Science from the University of California, San Diego.
  • Anushka Bhatia
    Anushka Bhatia
    Anushka joined Upstart after receiving her BA in Economics and Minor in Psychology from Pepperdine. During college, she created "Transitions", a volunteering program for the Pepperdine Volunteer Center. As well as being the New Member Educator, she won "The Best New Member Education Plan" for Gamma Phi Beta - Zeta Theta Chapter.
  • Xinpeng Huang
    Xinpeng Huang
    Xinpeng joins Upstart after graduating with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, where he performed research on aperiodic plasmonics. He is a self-taught programmer, building web applications on the side while pursuing his graduate studies. He also holds dual B.S. degrees from MIT in EECS and Physics.
  • Paria Eskandari
    Paria Eskandari
    Paria graduated from UC Davis where she majored in English. She also worked for the UC Davis Annual fund, helping raise funds for various colleges and programs within the University. Paria is also a certified yoga teacher and teaches a weekly Upstart yoga class, exclusively for Upstarters!
  • Andris Zingitis
    Andris Zingitis
    Andris previously worked at Google on the Google Maps team. Prior to Upstart, he completed a Project/Program Management certificate program at UCSC Extension. Andris grew up in Latvia and graduated from Riga Technical University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Logistics.
  • Ning Tang
    Ning Tang
    Ning graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Sport Management. After graduation, she worked with the game day operations team for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA. Before joining Upstart, Ning worked in marketing for a real estate company in San Francisco.
  • Gui Carvalho
    Gui Carvalho
    Gui joins Upstart with 15 years software development experience. Previously, he was in Brazil where he worked on his own startup, Felizi. Gui also holds a BS in Computer Science from one of the top universities in Brazil.
  • Dan Apczynski
    Dan Apczynski
    Dan comes to the Upstart team after working on the engineering team at Zendesk. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Michigan State University and spent the beginning of his career working as a writer and editor in the publishing industry.
  • Dean Hakim
    Dean Hakim
    Dean joins Upstart after working at Space Systems Loral where he engaged in B2C product marketing and sales. In recognition of exemplary academic achievement he received the distinction of Dean's scholar multiple times while at San Jose State, where he studied Economics and graduated Cum Laude.
  • Patti Chen
    Patti Chen
    Patti joins Upstart with over 5 years of experience in debt structuring and sales for large consumer corporates. Most recently, she created a mobile app with MIT Media Lab to enhance community wellness through providing yoga, nutrition and stress management classes. Patti has a BA from Wellesley and an MBA from MIT Sloan.
  • Zinnia Horne
    Zinnia Horne
    Zinnia joins Upstart after working at Google for 4 years as a product specialist and user insights analyst. While there she drove user-facing product changes for products such as Google Now, Gmail, & Search. She earned a B.S. from Stanford University and an MBA from Wharton Business School.


  • Bob Kerrey
    Bob Kerrey
    Former Governor, Nebraska
  • Jessica Jackley
    Jessica Jackley
    Co-Founder, Kiva


  • Andy Palmer
    Andy Palmer
    Serial Entrepreneur
  • Eric Schmidt
    Eric Schmidt
    Executive Chairman, Google
  • Mark Cuban
    Mark Cuban
    Owner, Dallas Mavericks
  • Marc Benioff
    Marc Benioff
    Founder & CEO, Salesforce
  • Joe Liemandt
    Joe Liemandt
    Founder & CEO, Trilogy
  • Scott Banister
    Scott Banister
    Founder, IronPort