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Tom Voutsos

Tom Voutsos smiles to camera

Scholar Tom Voutsos from University of Chicago Scholars 2021-2022.

Co-Founder and CEO, LadderUp Housing


Tom Voutsos is the co-founder and CEO of LadderUp Housing, an organization committed to bridging the wealth gap by providing an alternative pathway to homeownership for working class people living in low-income communities. LadderUp purchases and renovates homes, allowing the future homeowners to rent the property while building their credit score with guidance from a non-profit financial coaching partner. Once they are able to receive traditional mortgage financing, LadderUp sells the home to the participant. By targeting mid-sized Midwest cities, LadderUp can maintain affordability for the customer while creating a sustainable business model. Tom led LadderUp to a second-place finish in the University of Chicago’s Social New Venture Challenge, completed a pre-seed round of fundraising, and is implementing LadderUp’s model in Toledo, Ohio.

Tom is pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prior to his academic career at the University of Chicago, Tom served as a Marine Corps officer and President of TRU Colors, a start-up brewery that hires active gang members to reduce violence.

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More About the Scholars Program


More About the Scholars Program

The Obama Foundation Scholars program gives rising leaders from around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level.

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