James Gutierrez
CEO & Co-FounderAura
James is the CEO of Aura, a technology-powered, CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America.

Prior to Aura, James founded Oportun (formerly Progreso Financiero), recently named by Time Magazine as a Top 50 Most Genius Companies of 2018. As CEO from 2005-2012, he led Oportun from its development as a nascent start-up to a market leader in the lending industry and raised over $250 million of venture capital and debt to fund its growth. James has served on the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council and its Centennial Advisory Committee and helped pass legislation in California and the US Senate (Title XII of Dodd-Frank) to promote safe and affordable alternatives to payday loans. BusinessWeek selected Mr. Gutierrez as among America’s most promising social entrepreneurs. In 2013, he was awarded the Jerry Porras Latino Leadership Award by Stanford’s Graduate School of Business for his work as entrepreneur helping Latino families build credit in America.

James also serves as vice-chair of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), a 501(c)(3) association of 300+ technology companies in Silicon Valley and on the board of SEO San Francisco, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the achievement gap in San Francisco. Previously, Mr. Gutierrez was a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the largest trade association for non-profit micro-business lenders.

James is a partner of Insikt Ventures, an early stage financial technology fund with investments in OnDeck Capital, Listo!, and Blend Labs. He is also an early investor in over twenty startup companies, including Trulia (merged with Zillow), OkCupid (acquired by Match.com), StubHub, and Talent Inc.

Mr. Gutierrez holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and a MBA from the Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.