#2. Frank Rotman
Founding Partner, QED Investors
Few people in the world of small business finance could say their math skills have left the planet, but that’s literally the case with Frank Rotman, a founding partner at QED Investors, a boutique venture capital fund. Long before he took off with QED in 2007, he was a research assistant at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he developed algorithms that JPL used in scheduling scientific experiments on board NASA’s Mars Explorer Mission. His intelligent computer optimization model let JPL scientists assign an objective “value” to the amount of science done by each requested experiment on the unmanned spacecraft. Here on Earth, Rotman is widely known in the lending industry as a credit risk and portfolio management expert. He’s helped turn around underperforming business units, created new businesses from concept to market leadership positions, and overseen the credit performance of Capital One, where he was one of the earliest analysts hired there and headed its installment loan division. After he left Cap One in 2005, he launched a student lending company. At QED, his investments are focused on financial services and financial technology companies that are credit-oriented or have data analytics foundations at their core. Among his portfolio of more than 20 major investments are many of the emerging next-generation companies in the financial services system, such as: Credit Karma, Prosper, Avant Credit, SoFi, GreenSky, LendUp and CAN Capital, previously Capital Access Network. Rotman graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics and a Master of Science in systems engineering.