George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Childhood Dreams Become Reality for EMBA Alum

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Walter PinsonOften childhood dreams remain in childhood never lasting past a moment in your youth. But for one Mason business grad, his ‘never give up’ attitude and dedication to perseverance allowed him to fulfill his childhood dreams.

Founder and CEO of Alekto Corporation, Walter Pinson, graduated from George Mason’s Executive MBA Program in 2010. Just two years later in 2012, Pinson and colleague Tiffany Smith founded Alekto, which creates industry and personal solutions to assist consumers with their credit scores.

Pinson says at the time he was looking into Executive MBA programs, there were not many options out there that offered a global residency program. Mason offered the program he was looking for at a great value.

“The infrastructure, resources, and professors are second to none at Mason. There are many exceptional programs across schools and departments,” says Pinson. “Hands down, the global residency program sets Mason apart from other business schools.”

Pinson says Mason is a world-class university. “It’s an international school with international flavor. You will hear many languages spoken on campus, and if you are a world traveler, you will feel very much at home,” says Pinson.

Pinson’s entrepreneurial spirit and penchant for problem solving started at a young age. At just 12 years old, he developed his first functional software application as a result of overhearing his mother lament on the drudgery of balancing her checkbook. Thus began a lifelong passion for creating software to solve real world problems.

Alekto was founded much the same way. According to Pinson, a conservative estimate by the Federal Trade Commission suggests that 1 in 20 Americans have serious errors on their credit reports. That’s well over 10 million people. Pinson was one of them; thus inspiring him to find a solution.

Alekto aligns the interests of consumers, businesses and credit bureaus in such a way that creates a win-win-win outcome for all involved. Alekto is the only company currently offering an online credit escrow platform, which is a method of protecting the credit of debtors who are paying back their debts.

As the startup founder, Pinson says he finds himself with his hands in everything. “From cold calls to late night coding and debugging to product positioning and messaging. Even ordering coffee.”

The quality Pinson found in his Mason degree extends to his employees. Alekto’s new chief operating officer, Darren C. Lyons, is also a Mason alum, graduating in 1990 with a bachelors in history. And giving back to Mason is of great importance to Alekto. This year Alekto was a hole sponsor for the 2nd annual George Mason University Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship golf tournament.

Pinson’s advice: “There is no one, fixed path to success. There are many. And it may be more about the journey than the destination, but we get to define that for ourselves. That’s power.”