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Upstart Strategically Opens New R&D Center in Ohio

The Columbus location will be the first outside of California for this Silicon Valley innovator

Mon Feb 25 2019

Company Name: Upstart Network, Inc.
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Industry Sector: Financial Services
Company Profile: Upstart is the first lending platform to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to price credit and automate the borrowing process. Upstart maintains one of the industry’s highest consumer ratings, according to leading consumer review sites. In addition to its direct-to-consumer lending platform, Upstart offers to license its technology to banks, credit unions and other partners via its “lending as a service” program.
Company Website:

Project Summary:

Type of Project: New location

Number of Jobs:

  • Jobs committed: 257
  • Jobs retained: 0
  • Types of jobs: Software engineers, data scientists and operations specialists.

Capital Investment: $719,000

Timetable: JobsOhio first connected with Upstart through a mutual contact in October 2018. By November 2018, the project was in motion, and JobsOhio was diligently working to help the company establish its new location. Upstart’s new operations are expected to open in early 2019.

Company Need:

Upstart expects to continue growing, as the emergence of machine learning in lending is expected to reshape the banking and broader credit industry over the next 10 years. Upstart knew that it needed to expand outside of California in order to establish a more national footprint. Driven by external projections and internal success, Upstart wanted this investment to be both its first location outside of California and a research and development center.

It is essential that Upstart hires teams dedicated to software engineering, data science and other operations. The company will hire many employees by the end of 2019 and through the next five years. Access to a large pool of qualified talent is a must for the company.

Why Ohio?

Upstart chose to locate in Columbus, Ohio.

According to the company’s CEO, Columbus was an obvious choice, due in part to the availability of talent. In many locations, finding high-performing talent is difficult, but Columbus has a large pool of skilled workers. Readily available leadership and Columbus’ robust financial services environment were also a draw. Moreover, the region has a great quality of life and a strong culture created by the Ohio State University. Proximity to the university will also give the company access to a pipeline of talent.

The cost to operate in Ohio is significantly less than on the West Coast for technology companies. Engineering costs are 40 percent less in Ohio, the cost of living is 50 percent less and operating costs are 69 percent less. This gives companies more capital to invest in innovation and growth, and employees enjoy a greater quality of life for a fraction of the cost.

Ohio native Grant Schneider, Upstart’s leading data scientist, will run the new Columbus operations. Upstart’s arrival is the latest sign of fintech growth in Ohio and represents another California-based company selecting Ohio for a second home.

JobsOhio has led the way in highlighting fintech as a major growth opportunity for Ohio. The attraction of Upstart is a great example of how JobsOhio and its partners bring new opportunities to Ohio through relationship-building, client service and strategic alignment.


“In searching for a second home, we looked for a hotbed of incredible talent, a super high quality of life, easy access from the Bay Area, and readily available leadership that could transplant Upstart’s unique DNA to a new setting. As the home of Ohio State University and also the second-largest city in the Midwest, Columbus was clearly the right answer for us. In fact, even with a finger or two on the scale, this University of Michigan graduate couldn’t deny the obvious advantages of Columbus!”

– Dave Girouard, founder & CEO, Upstart


JobsOhio, Columbus 2020

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