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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship


The Legatum Center supports entrepreneurs all around the world through the Fellowships and Grants

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Hugo Lopez Velarde Martinez

Mastercard Foundation 2019 - 2020
Legatum Fellow
United States of America
Financial Services
MBA, Sloan School of Management

Hugo’s venture, DUO, is a challenger bank building the next generation of financial services for small and medium-sized businesses (“SMBs”) in Mexico. In Mexico, most of the 4M SMBs lack access to adequate financial services and are underserved by banks on the basis of their operational history and size. They are either offered products that do not meet their needs or simply do not get serviced at all.  DUO’s expense management platform and corporate card allow business owners to gain control and visibility on their business while accessing the financial solutions they need to reach their full potential. DUO provides immediate, online financial services tailored to the needs of SMBs, so that owners spend less time on their banking, and more time making their companies grow.

Hugo started his career at Santander Bank, in its SMB banking division, where he gained a first glimpse at the problem DUO is trying to address today. Later on, Hugo moved to Mexico City to work as an Investment Banking Analyst at Credit Suisse, where he helped public and private companies raise money from local and foreign investors. Before coming to MIT, Hugo was an investment professional for Tresalia Capital, where he oversaw investments in direct-to-consumer, financial, and logistics companies in Mexico and the US. Currently, Hugo co-manages People Ventures, an angel investor vehicle that invests in Latin American startups; he also sits on the board of HAVI, a Mexican leasing company.

Hugo was born and raised in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where he attended Universidad Panamericana and majored in finance and management. Hugo is currently pursuing an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management.



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