Our Mission for Education

Pay Theory is the solution to a problem we saw at first in education. School payments are moving onto specialized EdTech SaaS platforms. There are 100’s of these platforms with no unifying approach to taking and managing payments. The result is schools miss out on chances to increase efficiency and engagement or save time. Most EdTech vendors shoehorn general payments solutions into the school processes. Schools spend time on manual tasks, while parents face a phone full of apps and confusing online portals. Parents and schools pay to suffer through systems that don’t meet their needs. Roughly 30% of parents with kids in schools have a challenging relationship with the American banking system. These families struggle to track and pay school fees as schools rush to cashless systems and schools miss collecting revenue.

Our mission is to break this cycle. Pay Theory is a FinTech company focused on how schools and other future building service providers interact with families around money. We work with SaaS vendors to help these service providers save time by integrating with their existing systems and processes. For parents, we offer cash access, ease of use, and simple ways to see and manage balances. We envision a world where cashless schools and cash families coexist, and everyone saves time.

To help build our vision, our team has a background in Edtech and payments. Our goal is to make the difficult conversations around school fees simple and painless.

About Us

Our Team

Eric Fulkert

CO-FOUNDER, CTO

What I do: I build teams to solve complex problems 

Why Pay Theory? I started Pay Theory with Brad because I saw the issues for underbanked families in education and thought we could use tech to change how schools do payments.

Background: Before co-founding Pay Theory, I spent 7 years running an Edtech CMS company, and founded and exited Soundstr,  a music technology company. I have managed a wide range of technology projects, and specialize in building teams to address challenging concepts. I advise a wide range of startups in our local Cincinnati entrepreneur ecosystem on tech, strategy, and innovation. 

My Family: I’m husband to Molly, and father to Julian and Clara both who are high energy animal lovers who play on our farm. And I’ve got one on the way! We have 3 dogs, 3 cats, and a farm full of animals. We are an active outdoor family who loves hiking, camping, and working on our farm.

Education: Two decades’ experience in the applied technology development industry and three paid exits from companies I founded.

Brad Hoeweler

CO-FOUNDER, CEO

What I do: I build teams, lead and get out of the way, if necessary, empowering and helping to make a difference.

Why Pay Theory? Eric and I formed Pay Theory to solve issues of accessibility and financial inclusion for families.   

Background: Prior to Pay Theory, I spent 12 years as a founder and CEO of Skipjack, one of the first internet payment gateways. In 2009 we exited Skipjack to Vantiv (now WorldPay) and I continued to lead the team until 2011.  After Skipjack, I founded Argo Venture Labs to build, buy and invest in the payments/fintech space.  Argo has successfully built Argo Payments, and Pay Theory.  We purchased and operated Fintech 513, a payment facilitation consulting practice.  And it has invested successfully in Finix (exited) and Goodworld.

My Family: I’m the father of three amazing young men, Bradley, John, and Macallan, and am married to an amazingly dynamic wife, Rhiannon. Bradley and his wife, Molly, are parents to our first grandchild.  John is the creative force of the family and works at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  Macallan is off to college and is looking forward to changing the world.  Our family is completed by Bodhi, our lovable, domineering, and silly French Bulldog.

Education: Lindner School of Business at the University of Cincinnati (BBA, Finance and Accounting).

Aron Price

SYSTEM ARCHITECT AND SOFTWARE DESIGN

What I do: I create systems that help people thrive. 

Why Pay Theory? Pay Theory presented me with an opportunity to apply my experience with software to directly impact and improve the lives of my neighbors and their families, making education and opportunity more accessible. The fact that it brought along such a great team made it an easy choice to team up.

Background: Over the past decade I have been focused on rapid prototyping software with startups ranging from AI bedside assistants to song analysis at live music venues. At the same time I have worked helping develop an education CMS system, managing a telemedicine physician dashboard and volunteering technical assistance to political campaigns.

My Family: I’ve been married for over 20 years and am raising two soon-to-be teenagers.

Education: Graduate Studies in Cognitive Engineering, The Ohio State Unversity; DeVry University Columbus (Computer Information Systems, BS)

Pablo Martinez

MARKETING LEADER

What I do: I connect people who have a need to a platform that was made with them in mind.

Why Pay Theory? I came to Pay Theory with first hand experience of the un/underbanked system that millions of Americans interact with. I have seen the ingenuity and creativity that people will find in order to solve their financial needs. This included everything from going to the local bodega to purchase international calling calls, paying bills in person, and going to the local Walmart to receive a wire transfer from my parents while in college. I want to create systems that include the needs of this demographic while simultaneously easing the lives of families all across the socioeconomic spectrum.

Background: I have been a part of the Argo Ventures Team in different capacities over the last 5 years. I have worked on developing the company’s brand identity as well as creating and executing on a well-developed marketing strategy. 

My Family:  I’m a first-generation American of two wonderful and hardworking Latinos. My family’s scrappy ‘us against the world’ outlook was instrumental in my development and pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Education: University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business (BBA, Marketing)

Joe Miramonti

CUSTOMER INTEL AND CORPORATE STRATEGY

What I do: I create frameworks that harness the power of listening to markets, customers and stakeholders to build product teams that make a difference. 

Why Pay Theory? I came to Pay Theory knowing first hand the challenges families face when income is disrupted and how that can alter important, future-building decisions. 

Background: Prior to Pay Theory, I spent 15 years working between Marketing and Product Development for Procter & Gamble in the US and W. Europe on brands like Tide, Ariel and Swiffer. After P&G, I built and still manage Fedora Investment Partners, LLC,  a private investment partnership, based on my own customer intelligence model.  This model also drove my business growth consulting practice at alkeme, LLC. 

My Family: I’m husband to Leah and father to two elementary schoolers – Lucia, a book-loving ballerina and Bobby, master of dynamic addition and budding hockey player. Sandy is our giant, fuzzy dog. Two careers, school stuff and the kids crazy activity schedules keep us hoppin’…and payin’.

Education: University of Chicago Booth School of Business (MBA, Finance and Strategy); Purdue University School of Engineering (BS, Chemical Engineering).

Blake A Galloway

HEAD OF DESIGN

What I do: I design simple and beautiful solutions for complex and often overlooked problems. 

Why Pay Theory? I came to Pay Theory after calling one of our CEO’s, Eric, for advice regarding an EdTech startup I was in the process of creating. He introduced me to the issues Pay Theory was solving. After hearing more about their mission and meeting with the team it was an easy decision to table what I was working on and join forces with them.

Background: Prior to Pay Theory, I spent 2 years teaching secondary education, and 8 years as a digital designer for a multitude of projects including; ui/ux design for multiple startups, new product identity design for Procter & Gamble and motion graphics designer for a range of clients including Disney. 

My Family: My wife Emily and I have 2 kids, Jaida (3) and Phoenix (8 months) and a cat. Jaida has an adventurous spirit and is currently my little sidekick who draws with me and accompanies me in all my gardening and foraging. Phoenix is an ever-happy baby who likes to use me as a jungle gym. As a family, we love to spend out time outside hiking and going on adventures.

Education: Miami University (BA, Creative Arts) and Youtube (a lot of Youtube)

Austin Zani

DEVELOPER

What I do: Help in the development and testing of beautiful and user friendly web environments. 

Why Pay Theory? I was looking to join a team of passionate people who I could learn from and immediately contribute as a Junior Developer. I was talking to Pablo about the work they were doing at Pay Theory and he offered to introduce me to Eric and Aron. It became immediately clear I wanted to join the team to learn from them and help in tackling the unique and meaningful challenges ahead.

Background: Prior to Pay Theory I spent most of my career as a Service Manager and Apple Authorized repair technician finding solutions for people through support and education. I eventually decided I wanted to help create the software I was introducing to people. I enrolled in a Full Stack Java Boot Camp named Tech Elevator and after graduation landed here at Pay Theory.

My Family: I married my wife Cath a little over a year ago and we have two furry children, our rabbit Harley and our recently adopted dog Lola. 

Education:  Graduate – Java Web Development, Tech Elevator; University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences (BA, Communication)