Mark L. Rockefeller
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|Mark L. Rockefeller|
|Occupation||entrepreneur, inventor, military veteran activist|
|Known for||technology, social finance, impact investing, Co-founder of StreetShares, philanthropy|
Mark L. Rockefeller, also known as Mark Rockefeller, is an American entrepreneur, inventor, attorney and philanthropist. He is known for his contribution to financial technology, impact investment, and social finance.
He is an entrepreneurship mentor at Columbia University He is the co-founder and CEO of StreetShares, a technology company specializing in banking as a service (BaaS) and lending as a service (LaaS) financial software. Mark Rockefeller is also notable for his involvement in the US military veterans community as a founder and chairman of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that facilitates military veterans transition to the private sector economy by means of education, business coaching and financial assistance. Mark Rockefeller was appointed to the board of Inter-Agency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, a federal agency task force that assists military veteran business owners. He is a member of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Innovation and Discovery (FINND), a non-profit organization that brings innovative technologies to the attention of the U.S. federal government. He is widely published and commented in media sources on entrepreneurship, innovation, and public service.
Background and education
Mark Rockefeller grew up in Colorado and Montana in a middle class family. Mark attended the University of Colorado at Boulder on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business finance. While a student at the University of Colorado, Mark was a walk on member of the Colorado Buffaloes Football team and played Strong Safety. While in the military, he attended night school to earn an MBA from St. Mary’s UniversityTemplate:Disambiguation needed and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver. After the military, Rockefeller used the Post 9/11 GI Bill to pursue research and graduate work at Columbia University where he earned a graduate degree in law and wrote his thesis on new structures for social enterprise businesses
In 2001, Rockefeller began his career as a military officer, serving in the United States Air Force and JAG Corps. During his military career, Rockefeller served at posts in Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, The Pentagon, The Hague and in Iraq. He is a veteran of the Iraq War and participated in the Iraq troop surge of 2007.
In 2011, Rockefeller joined the international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Milbank LLP) as an associate attorney. Rockefeller worked in the firm's litigation department in its Washington D.C office where his duties included litigating financial and securities disputes. He was involved in litigation to return investor capital following Lehman's bankruptcy filing.
In 2013, Mark L. Rockefeller left Milbank LLP to establish StreetShares with Mickey Konson, a former Capital One senior executive. According to Start Up Grind, Rockefeller and Konson initially operated out of the basement of Rockefeller’s home and launched StreetShares publicly in 2014. StreetShares started as a peer-to-peer lending platform that applied the social bonds between military veterans to reduce the risk and price of loans, an affinity finance theory similar to that of international microcredit programs such as Grameen Bank. StreetShares’ technology was developed to provide an alternative to traditional banking or high-cost lenders that were targeting military veteran borrowers. In 2016, StreetShares created a new public social impact investing model that allowed members of the general public to fund businesses on the StreetShares platform for a fixed return, rather than taking the risk of the underlying loan. To make this innovation work, StreetShares used a new provision called Regulation A+ of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). In June 2019, StreetShares launched the StreetShares Platform, a software service to help community banks and credit unions make loans to small businesses. The technology debuted in New York City in September 2019.
Military veterans community involvement
In August 2016, Mark L. Rockefeller started StreetShares Foundation, a charity with the main focus on facilitating military veterans to adapt to the private sector economy through education courses, business training, grants and more. The foundation started as 501(c)(3) private organization (StreetShares Foundation Inc.). Charity Navigator website indicates that StreetShares Foundation is a NTEE (National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities) type of organization with philanthropy and grants providing organization. Since 2016, the organization has collaborated with a number of military veteran groups such as the Academy of United States Veterans (AUSV), National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) and others, in the field of business grants sponsorship and education mentorship programs for veteran entrepreneurs. It also gained support of the federal U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Awards and recognition
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2018)
- Greater Washington Innovator of the Year (2017)
- 40 Under 40 Entrepreneur (2016)
- Harvard Business School New Venture Contest, First Place (Best Investment) (2015)
- Cullum, James (January 31, 2018). "This fintech company is helping veterans start businesses". Technically. https://technical.ly/dc/2018/01/31/streetshares-series-b-mark-rockefeller/. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
- Prosser, Mark (January 4, 2016). "Why Veterans Lending to Veterans May be the Future of Small Business Lending". Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcprosser/2016/01/04/why-veterans-lending-to-veterans-may-be-the-future-of-small-business-lending/#7138434dc7cc. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
- Cortese, Amy (March 16, 2016). "With New Offering, StreetShares Opens Small Business Lending to All Investors". Locavesting. https://www.locavesting.com/crowdfunding/with-new-offering-streetshares-opens-small-business-lending-to-all-investors/. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
- Columbia Business School: Social Venture Advisory Network
- Columbia Social Entrepreneur: Mark L. Rockefeller
- Crunchbase: Mark L. Rockefeller
- CNBC: Supporting ‘vetrepreneurs’ in business after military life
- Military.com: Army Spouse Wins Great American Entrepreneur Challenge
- Veterans and Military Business Owners Association (Vamboa): StreetShares Foundations Announces Veteran Small Business Award Winner
- Cision: SBA Administrator Appoints New Members to Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Developmen
- MarketWatch: StreetShares' Mark L. Rockefeller Appointed to Small Business Administration Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development
- U.S Small Business Administration
- FINND: Foundation for Innovation and Discovery
- Military Influencer: Mark Rockefeller
- All American Speakers: Mark L. Rockefeller Biography
- Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce: Mark L. Rockefeller
- Command Your Business: Episode 28: Mark L. Rockefeller, Co-Founder/CEO StreetShares, Air Force Veteran
- Mark L. Rockefeller, Co-Founder and CEO of StreetShares
- #BorneTheBattle 44: Mark Rockefeller – Air Force Veteran, Street Shares CEO
- ESPN: Colorado '97 football class
- Colorado Buffaloes: MARK ROCKEFELLER
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- Startup Grind: Mark L. Rockefeller (StreetShares) - FinTech and Startup Culture
- Wack, Kevin (March 23, 2016). "A P-to-P Idea that Relies on Kinship Between Borrowers and Savers". American Banker. https://www.americanbanker.com/news/a-p-to-p-idea-that-relies-on-kinship-between-borrowers-and-savers. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
- Reosti, John (September 22, 2019). "Fintech's small-business lending plan will rely on banks, credit unions". American Banker. https://www.americanbanker.com/news/fintechs-small-business-lending-plan-will-rely-on-banks-credit-unions. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
- Shevin, Ron (October 14, 2019). "Bank/Fintech Partnerships: The Fad Is Over". Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ronshevlin/2019/10/14/bank-fintech-partnerships-the-fad-is-over/#562029027527. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
- StreetShares Foundation official website
- Charity Navigator: Streetshares Foundation Inc.
- Benzinga: StreetShares Foundation Sponsors the 4th Annual Veterans Awards Honoring Military Veterans
- Cision (April 18, 2019): StreetShares Foundation to Host $25,000 Veteran-Owned Business Pitch Competition at VETS19 Conference
- Target Funding: A Proven System to Get the Money and Resources You Need to Start or Grow Your Business
- Business Grants.org: StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award
- WBJ: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award/Financial Services Category
- Medium: Veteran Entrepreneurs Mark Rockefeller and Mickey Konson Win Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Financial Services
- NovaChamber: 2017 GREATER WASHINGTON INNOVATION AWARDS™ WINNERS
- 2016 TRENDING 40 ENTREPRENEURS UNDER 40
- Harvard Business School Names StreetShares "Best Investment" In International Competition