Humble beginnings Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010
Finalist
Financial Services

Justin Brownhill will never forget the lessons he learned growing up in a working-class family. He says his parents taught him the value of hard work, often working several jobs at a once when he was a child. His work ethic led him to a successful stint as a swimmer, narrowly missing a chance to compete in the Olympics, and then to a dream career in investments.

As an investment banker, he noticed the difficulties that small to midsized businesses were having when it came to acquiring capital. Larger companies seemed to dominate the capital market, despite not needing immediate working capital. Smaller companies, however, were desperate for investors but could not compete.

With smaller companies failing despite their hard work, Brownhill decided to do something, and he and his partner, Nicholas Perkin, founded a company that would give small to midsized businesses a fair chance. The Receivables Exchange created an arena for smaller companies to auction their accounts receivables to interested buyers, without larger companies competing for the same investors. The company’s set-up is similar to that of eBay Inc.’s, except The Receivables Exchange acts as an intermediary between the buyer and seller, similar to a stock exchange, collecting payment on the auctioned invoices and redistributing payments to the seller. This ensures a safe platform for everyone involved.

This CEO is devoted to helping small and midsized companies navigate around the hurdles in the business world. His blue-collar upbringing also inspired Brownhill to reach out to students with Minds Matter, an organization dedicated to help high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds. Minds Matter is a nonprofit that pairs students with mentors to help with college preparations. He and the company also support Startup New Orleans and the New Orleans Entrepreneurs Club. When he is not working, Brownhill enjoys spending time at home with his wife and daughter.

How to Reach: The Receivables Exchange, (504) 208-1924 or www.receivablesxchange.com