Born and raised in Naperville, Illinois, Matt, along with his brother and sister, were raised humbly by a single mother. His mother often worked two jobs to make ends meet, and although his family was close, they were plagued by financial strife throughout his childhood. A Christian education was very important to the family, but Matt’s mother struggled to put all three children through Saint Raphael School in Naperville, and could not have done so without the help and support of their community. Matt’s faith remains an important part of his life to this day.
Matt’s journey to higher education was not typical. To help his family, Matt worked a variety of minimum wage jobs before he dropped out of high school and began taking jobs that required an incredibly demanding amount of manual labor. While Matt gained a tremendous amount of respect for the hard work it takes to be a day-to-day laborer, he was intellectually unfulfilled and began to recognize the value of having more diverse career options. A self-starter by nature, Matt got his GED and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where, inspired by his love of high school accounting classes, he graduated with high honors and a B.S. in Accounting and Finance in 2002. He is the first member of his family to attend and graduate from college.
After earning his degree, Matt worked as a trader and analyst in Chicago where he developed a passion for analyzing the world and the theories behind taking risk to gain reward. Around the same time, he began developing a knack for using accounting and math to find certainty within the uncertain situations of everyday life. Using these skills, Matt began to explore the algorithms necessary to marry these two interests so that he could help make decisions in the market and weigh in on the increasing role AI technology was playing in the industry. This led Matt to take an increased interest in the emerging world of financial technology and begin looking for avenues to contribute his own innovative ideas to the industry. His endeavors stem from the belief that the financial industry’s reluctance to adapt to new, revolutionary technologies has led to levels of inefficiency and inequity that is stifling the potential economic success of millions of Americans.
While originally from the Chicago area, Matt and his family are now located in Dallas. While Matt’s business dealings continue to be primarily located in Chicago due to the city’s powerhouse fintech market, he is interested in exploring opportunities closer to home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Matt is interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial spirit of his new home and, more specifically, in interested in business opportunities spanning from real estate developments, to local social impact initiatives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, to engaging in the local startup scene.