Judith erwin

founder and ceo

grasshopper bank

Judith Erwin is founder and CEO of Grasshopper Bank, the first digital commercial bank in the United States. A veteran of commercial banking with more than 35 years experience – the most recent 20 focused on venture banking – she and her team are working to provide a better banking experience for entrepreneurs and innovative companies.


After a childhood of moving continuously as the daughter of an Air Force Master Sergeant, Judith graduated from Cupertino High School in 1977, 5 years after Steve Jobs graduated from the rival Monte Vista High School. She graduated from Oregon State with a BS in Economics in 1982 and began her career working at a bank branch during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  


Over the course of the next 20 years, she held a variety of banking roles in both New York and San Francisco, including senior positions at Comerica Bank and Imperial Bank. Throughout, she worked to provide venture firms and entrepreneurs with a banking partner that went above and beyond their needs.


In 2005, Judith was part of the founding executive team for Square 1 Bank. In that role, she built the bank’s venture capital practice and helped drive its considerable success until it went public in 2014.


In early 2016, it was time to try something new. Building on her many career experiences, Judith founded Grasshopper Bank with a focus on providing a differentiated technology strategy that worked for innovators. 


After 35 years in banking, she knew exactly what was broken in commercial banking. Launched in May 2019, Grasshopper Bank provides a much better user experience for digital entrepreneurs by offering cutting edge technology and better customer service. In launching the bank, Judith and her fellow Grasshoppers achieved a number of firsts: first US digital commercial bank, first new bank in NY in ten years, record-breaking bank fund raise, and first de novo with both a female CEO and a female CFO.   



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