Open Book Ben
Denver, CO 80111, US
Open Book Ben is an alternative to a traditional business credit bureau. We are building an on-line community where small and medium-sized businesses (“SMBs”) collaborate and share creditworthiness and other business intelligence. The system is in Beta. Several financial institutions and other companies are using it. Their feedback is below.
BEN is democratizing access to creditworthiness and other types of important business data. Why? SMBs struggle with nearly every aspect of business credit. The existing credit bureaus often fail to score SMBs accurately. Some small firms do not even show up in their databases. And since there is no affordable solution for business credit data, SMBs suffer huge write offs – $64 billion last year.
BEN has solutions for each of these problems as discussed below. Our platform is an attractive alternative to the credit bureaus. BEN also offers powerful marketing and lead gen tools. We also offer a greatly-needed SMB supply chain tool. Our “Vendor Worth” scoring helps SMBs assess the quality of B2B vendors.
Products / Services
Open Book Ben’s Credit Bureau Alternative
Open Book Ben has built an on-line community where small and medium-sized businesses (“SMBs”) collaborate and share creditworthiness and other business intelligence. The system is in Beta. Several financial institutions, including Wells Fargo Bank, and other companies are using it. Their feedback is below. BEN is democratizing access to credit and other business data. We will help SMBs put a dent in the $64 billion a year in bad debt they are currently writing off. The product solves other important problems as well. The existing credit bureaus often fail to score SMBs accurately. Some small firms do not even show up in their databases. And since there is no affordable solution for business credit data, SMBs suffer huge write offs – $64 billion last year. Small businesses lending, now a $588 billion market, could also be much higher if there were a way to score small firms without always required owners to personally guaranty indebtedness.
Open Book Ben’s Small Business Supply Chain Management Tool
Open Book Ben’s has also developed a greatly-needed small business supply chain tool. Our “Vendor Worth” scoring helps small businesses assess the quality of business-to-business vendors. It is just like Yelp! only focused on the B2B marketplace which is nearly a white space. For years, the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit, has attempted to do this. But their scoring is arbitrary and sometimes even “pay to play.”
Open Book Ben’s small business sales lead generation tools
As an advocate for small business, Open Book Ben has developed affordable and powerful sales lead generation tools for our members.
Chief Executive Officer
John Reese is Open Book Ben’s CEO. Reese has a long successful career as a senior corporate executive and as a three-time start-up CEO. He led Citicorp’s storied and groundbreaking development of ATMs, home banking services and pay-at-the-pump gas station systems. During a successful tenure at financial giant TRW, he served as President of TRW Financial Systems, Inc. Reese also founded and led multiple technology companies through their startups and initial capitalizations. Most recently he founded and for seven years was CEO of Parchment Inc. (formally Docufide), industry leader in the electronic exchange of academic credentials. He continues there as Board Chairman.
D. Van Skilling
D. Van Skilling is a founding investor and a member of OBB’s Board of Directors. Skilling is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Experian Information Solutions, Inc., the largest credit bureau in the world. He held that post after a 26-year career at TRW, and after organizing the transaction to take Experian private, and the sale to Great Universal Stores, a UK corporation. Mr. Skilling retired as CEO of Experian in 1999, after helping Experian to reach $1.45 billion in annual revenue. He was subsequently chairman of Core Logic. There are too many good stories to tell about Van, but one is that Van gave Bill Gates his first job. It was at TRW. Bill Gates was still in high school at the time! Skilling holds a B.A. from Colorado College in chemistry and zoology and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.
Gambill is an investor and member of OBB’s Board of Directors. Gambill is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of TransUnion, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the world, with $1.14 billion in revenue. His career at TransUnion lasted 22 years. He was named CEO in 1992 and served until 2007. Under his leadership, TransUnion grew from $200 million in sales to over $1 billion, with 3,000 employees operating in more than 30 countries and five continents. Gambill received his Bachelor of Science in business administration and economics from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 1968. He served many years on the board of the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), including two terms as chairman, as well as several other public and private boards. Gambill testified before Congress on industry issues in 2003.
Stoeckert is an investor and member of OBB’s Board of Directors. He is the former President of Dun & Bradstreet North America. Prior to his work at D&B, Stoeckert was at ADP, Inc., where for 17 years he held senior leadership positions, including four division presidencies. Prior to joining ADP in 1991, Stoeckert was with Ryder System for 16 years. At Ryder he also led two Ryder divisions and held their presidencies. He worked at Ryder from 1984 until 1988. Stoeckert holds an MBA from the University of Miami. His undergraduate degree is in psychology.
J. Christopher Robbins
Robbins is Chairman of Open Book Ben. Robbins has started several successful service industry companies and is one of Open Book Ben’s lead investor. Robbins is a 1997 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He also earned a law degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami in 2002. Robbins is devoting full time and attention to Open Book Ben.
Carr is an investor and member of OBB’s Board of Directors. Carr is the owner and currently serves as the CEO of Blue Book Services, Inc., founded in 1901 (http://www.bluebookservices.com/). He served 14 years (1993-2007) as the mayor of Wheaton, Illinois, a city with over 50,000 residents. Carr has also taught business and management classes at Wheaton College and College of DuPage. Carr earned an undergraduate degree from Culver-Stockton College, Canton, Mo., and two masters’ degrees from Yale University, Administrative Sciences and Religion.
Chief Technology Officer
Pilloud is OBB’s Chief Technology Officer and leads our software development team. She was previously a lead software developer at Raytheon. She has 22 years of software development experience, including over 10 years leading teams of software engineers. For a short time, she also worked at Hewlett Packard.
Chief Research & Development
Anatoly Reynberg, Ph.D.
Anatoly Reynberg, Ph.D. is Open Book Ben’s Lead Data Scientist. For 10 years, Reynberg was a lead scientist, statistician, and developer at Experian. There, he developed innovative mathematical and algorithmic functionality. Prior to his time at Experian, Dr. Reynberg was principal analyst and a lead data scientist at MarketSwitch. Previously, he spent nearly five years at Providian as an data analyst and data and software developer. Reynberg holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the Russian Academy of Sciences. He also holds United States Patent No. 6873979 entitled “Method of building predictive models on transactional data.” He earned a Master’s of Science and bachelor’s degrees in applied mathematics from the Moscow State Institute of Electronics and Mathematics.
Group Leader/Lead Research & Development
Costas Boussios, Ph.D.
Boussios is OBB’s Chief Data Scientist. Until 2008, he was Dun & Bradstreet’s (http://www.dnb.com/) Director of Risk Scoring. Prior to that position, he was responsible for designing and implementing elements of Dun & Bradstreet’s credit algorithms. He joined Dun & Bradstreet when he and his colleagues sold their company, Open Ratings, to D&B in 2006. Boussios holds a Ph.D. (1998) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in control systems and machine learning. Mr. Boussios is a contractor, not an employee.