Cal State Fullerton alumni make up 10 percent of the total employee population at Quick Bridge Funding LLC, headquartered in Irvine. That’s no coincidence, says the company’s president and business alumnus Ben Gold ’04, ’12 (B.A. business administration-marketing, MBA). “Our first hires were CSUF students, because I knew they would be hard-working,” he says. “I wanted to stick with people who I knew had a good shot at success.”
In June 2011, Gold co-founded Irvine-based Quick Bridge Funding with Jason Osiecki and investors David Gilbert and Brij Patel. The company provides short-term working capital for small and medium-sized businesses.
Under Gold’s leadership, Quick Bridge Funding has grown from a small business with two employees to a company with a workforce of more than 90. It is now recognized as one of the leading alternative lending providers for small and medium-sized businesses in the United States, having lent more than $330 million to more than 6,700 different businesses since inception.
The company was recently ranked No. 5 in Inc. magazine’s “2015 America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies” list with a revenue growth rate of 24,138 percent. In September 2015, Orange County Business Journal rated the company No. 9 among the “Fastest Growing Privately-Held Midsize Companies” in the region.
Much of the organization’s success is due to the growth of the alternative lending industry as small businesses have grown wary of bank lending since the Great Recession of the late 2000s, Gold says. His management skills, he adds, are derived at least partly from his education.
“The experience of working with people from diverse backgrounds as a Mihaylo student has helped me in professional leadership roles, which require interaction with many different kinds of people,” Gold says. He also credits Quick Bridge cofounder Patel for guiding him within his career – “he’s been a great mentor for my entire adult life,” adds Gold. “He helped me get my start.” Gold worked for Patel previously at Alliance Funding Group, and Patel tapped him to lead Quick Bridge. “My relationship with Brij has been life-changing,” he says.
Gold also spends considerable time with Mihaylo students, and Quick Bridge provides internship opportunities for them. His personal commitment includes participation in Mihaylo’s Executive Council – along with fellow alumni, he co-founded the 35/Thirty-five group, which encourages young business professionals, aged 35 and younger, to join the council. Since 2013, Gold has served as treasurer of the Executive Council Board of Directors and supports the council’s scholarship program. Gold also participates in Professor for a Day and the Executive Council mentoring program. He is a regular speaker for MBA events, and he is a generous supporter of the Mihaylo Tutoring Center.
“The power of your network means a lot. It’s very important to build a strong network and be perceived as a leader in the community,” says Gold by way of explaining why he invests his time and resources in the Executive Council and other Mihaylo projects. When he talks with other alumni about becoming involved, he says that enhancing his own network is a great byproduct of the more important goals of helping pave the way for the next generation and supporting the business school. “Everybody can agree that we got a great education at Mihaylo,” he says. “Those of us who have had success must continue to build the Mihaylo brand.”