When LendIt was founded back in 2013 we had no idea it would get to the size and scale that it is today. My fellow co-founders and I just wanted to host our small but growing community so we could all learn, network and do business together.
As the industry has grown and matured LendIt has grown along with it. Since those early days focused on peer to peer lending we have repositioned ourselves recently to focus on any innovation in financial services. Obviously, lending is still a significant part of our events but at our next conferences – in London next week and San Francisco in April – you will also see a focus on blockchain, digital banking and other major innovations happening in finance.
LendIt events today look and feel very different from our early events. Along with that LendIt as an organization has grown and matured. Last month we made some internal changes that I want to share with you here.
When we first started we were just four co-founders: Jason Jones, Bo Brustkern, Dara Albright and myself. There was no CEO; we just all worked together as a collaborative partnership. At some point we decided that someone should be CEO and I took on that role initially. I am not really one for titles and I was a somewhat reluctant CEO to be honest.
My partner Jason Jones, who has been the driving force in the growth of our business, took over the CEO role some time ago as the business became more complex. Under his leadership, we scaled our team and back office infrastructure, expanded into China, grew and diversified our global audience base, expanded our business from lending to all of fintech, and emerged as one of the largest financial services events in the world.
As of early September, Jason has transitioned out of the CEO role and is now Co-Chairman along with me. This allows him to focus his entrepreneurial drive on areas of our business where he can make the most impact. He is turning his attention to become more client focused as major global financial services and technology companies become more involved in our business. He is also passionate about blockchain and will be running our new “conference within a conference” at LendIt USA 2018 on that topic. And he will continue to serve as Chairman of PitchIt, our global startup competition. As always, you can expect big things to come from Jason, so stay tuned.