#18. Jason Fritton
CEO & Co-founder, Patch of Land
As the co-founder and CEO at Patch of Land, Jason Fritton leads one of the top national alternative real estate lenders and crowdfunding platforms in the country. He oversees operations, strategy and execution. A successful e-commerce entrepreneur, today he’s regarded as one of this industry’s “business rockstars.” But that’s not how he sees himself. Fritton likes to quote an African proverb, because it sums up his company’s philosophy: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” He came up with the concept for Patch of Land in early 2011 to help rescue parts of Chicago devastated by the real estate crash, hence the motto “Building Wealth, Growing Communities.” A well-known proponent of crowdfunding legislation, he’s worked with Congress to get provisions included in the 2012 JOBS Act. Along the way, he’s founded a multi-million-dollar business, worked in technology project design and procurement in the public sector, and managed a major project for the U.S. Army. At Cornell, Fritton studied philosophy and history. Under his leadership, Patch of Land works for professional real estate developers and accredited investors, promoting the benefits of investing in real estate online through a debt-based crowdfunding portal. Fritton’s mission is to use the latest technology, data and process efficiency to reduce the time and cost of loan underwriting for borrowers whose real estate projects are too often overlooked or rejected outright by banks and traditional lenders. Because of Fritton’s priorities, transparency, low minimums, project-by-project investment and ease of transaction have helped set the stage for real change and real profit. Fritton is rightly proud of his team at Patch of Land, because since fall 2013 they’ve funded 217 loans in the amount of almost $97 million, while returning around $25 million to investors.