How Avant Lives Up to Its Name With a Cutting-Edge Strategy

How Avant Lives Up to Its Name With a Cutting-Edge Strategy
Image credit: Nic Roth | Courtesy of Avant
In step (from left): Avant founders Paul Zhang, Al Goldstein and John Sun.

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This company was included in our Entrepreneur360™ Performance Index coverage.  

The Matrix gets a lot of attention at Avant. Not the science-fiction movie; rather, the four-part matrix the Chicago-based marketplace lending platform has developed to codify the process through which it tackles new initiatives.

Step 1 is easy: Scale. Any move the company makes has to be proportionate to complexity (that is, the more complex the move is, the larger it must be). Step 2: The move must extend the company’s brand and provide stellar customer experience. Step 3: Company leadership must understand the new initiative at its core. Step 4: The company must have the right resources to make the move worthwhile.

“We embrace the notion that you can never be too focused,” explains CEO Al Goldstein, co-founder and CEO. “We like to think of it as an 80-20 rule: 80 percent of our time on the core mission but somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of our time thinking about what is going to come next.”

Employees play a big part of this mission. The company holds weekly demo days and Q&A sessions; at quarterly town hall meetings, executives share financial information with the entire team.

All of this has paid off: Since the company’s debut in 2013, Avant has grown from three to 730 employees worldwide and launched operations on two continents. Sure, Goldstein and his crew like to boast about their accomplishments. But if the wins are legit, is it ever really boasting?

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