Jacob joined Main Street Launch after a career in real estate development, venture finance, and economic development, and is responsible for developing the organization to achieve greater impact. He started his career in real estate development, first as a project manager for Peter Buck, a leading land use attorney and developer in Seattle, followed by key roles within the consulting division of Helmsley Hotels in New York. Subsequently, he helped launch Pacific Community Ventures (PCV), a non-profit community development equity fund, where he served as Director of Portfolio Management and Investment Development. In between, he founded a non-profit organization in Big Sur focused on watershed preservation and environmental education in partnership with the Esalen Institute. Jacob holds a Ph.D. in Community Studies from Union Institute, an M.B.A. from Claremont Graduate School’s Drucker School of Management, and a B.A. from California State University Pomona. He is also an artist and father.
Jacob started Veteran Program inspired in part by earlier work in veteran entrepreneurship by Alexsis de Raadt St James, a Bay Area philanthropist and venture capitalist. Jacob’s father, a merchant marine at the beginning of WW2, became a diesel engineer in the Navy and served in the South Pacific. He met Jacob’s mother at a USO event in San Diego, where he was ultimately discharged in 1946 and subsequently bought a home for his young family under the GI Bill, and where he started his first small business. His brother later served as an electrician in the Navy during the Vietnam war, and Jacob’s father in law, Jay Leopold, was an Army psychiatrist in Korea.
Jacob is President & CEO of Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC Small Business Finance), a leading CDFI small business lender to veterans. His career spans key roles in real estate development, venture finance, small business, and economic development.
He holds a Ph.D. in Community Studies from Union Institute, an M.B.A. from Claremont Graduate School’s Drucker – Ito School of Management.