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Saturday, Apr 20, 2024

Fintech Founder Announces Run for Congress

Max Ukropina, founder of Newport Beach credit monitoring app Float, this month announced his run for Congress in California’s 47th district, which includes Irvine, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Seal Beach.

The Orange County native joins former state Assemblyman Scott Baugh among other Republican candidates.

Baugh, who also ran for the same seat in 2022, has raised over $500,000 to date, the most of any Republican in the field, according to recent reports.

The seat is currently held by Democrat Katie Porter, who’s now seeking a Senate spot. California state Sen. Dave Min and community organizer Joanna Weiss are the leading fundraisers for the Democratic nomination.

“OC has great schools, safe communities and natural beauty, but if you drive 30 minutes north, our beloved cities like LA and San Francisco are falling apart [from] rampant crime, homelessness and drug use,” Ukropina told the Business Journal.

Ukropina said he aims to keep the “lawlessness” of other California cities out of OC by avoiding their policies of “not prosecuting crimes” and providing the right support for unhoused people.

On the business side, he is an advocate for a “light-touch” government, whose laws do not impede on entrepreneurs’ ability to smoothly start and run their companies.

Float Founder

Ukropina’s passion for businesses stems from the challenges he has faced as the current CEO of Float and the former director of business development at Irvine-based micro-investing money manager Acorns, OC’s best-funded fintech.

His work with the two startups also opened his eyes to the financial challenges of American families, whom he hopes to continue helping on a much larger scale if elected to Congress.

“I’ve seen tens of thousands of American families that are struggling with figuring out how they’re going to get paid, where their next meal is going to come from,” Ukropina said.

“But I’ve had the absolute pleasure of helping many start their first savings fund and an investment account with Acorns,” he added. “With Float, we [teach] families that have real bad credit issues how to pay down their debt and improve their finances.”

Ukropina founded Float in 2018 out of frustration with “how hard it was for the average consumer to monitor their own credit, let alone allow someone else to monitor their credit with their consent.”

Float allows couples to share their credit information with each other, helps combine a household’s finances and provides advice on how to improve credit scores, according to its website.

Float has raised about $1 million to date. If elected, Ukropina says he will step down as CEO to dedicate his time to congressional affairs.

California’s Corporate Exodus

Ukropina hopes to transform California into a state that’s less hostile for businesses.
He cited California’s recent corporate exodus as an example of the state’s “anti-business policies.”

“Companies are fleeing our state because it’s not business-friendly,” he said.

The state two years ago saw 153 companies move their headquarters past its borders, which is more more than double the exits that took place in both 2020 and 2019, according to a report by think tank Hoover Institution.

If elected, Ukropina said he will support lower taxes, more lenient employment laws and de-regulation on corporations, to retain and foster the growth of businesses in California.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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