Last month, IE School Of Business hosted one of their 50+ Fintech Venture Day’s in New York City. This unique program was created to explore the “second wave” of FinTech (financial technology) and the new products and challenges it has produced. FinTech Venture Day was an event full of intriguing talks, networking with investors, and a Shark Tank-esque pitch-slam competition between seven FinTech start-ups.
At the top of the evening FinTech Correspondent Anna Irrera hosted a fireside chat with Pascal Bouvier, who is a Venture Partner at Santander InnoVentures. During their chat he answered a very poignant question in the world of FinTech: “What is challenging cryptocurrency for regulators and banks?” Many FinTech leaders and investors believe we are in the “second wave” of FinTech. This means that many important relationships are forming between banks, FinTech start-ups, regulators, and cryptocurrency companies.
Pascal let us in on the fact that banks were fearful in the beginning and are still fearful today due to unknown risks. Payment rails, ownership, crypto assets (ico’s), disruptive fees, and applications are everyday challenges for regulators and banks. These reasons are being sifted through by the partnership of the two forces with some help from thoughtful FinTech start ups.
“Innovation is not linear it comes in bursts and stops” - Pascal Bouvier
The relationship between cryptocurrencies and banks are beginning to take a major turn. FinTech companies are helping to shape this relationship by utilizing each other's strengths.
During the Fintech 2.0 Opportunities and Challenge for investors and startups panel, influencers, investors, managers, and founders discussed what is best for everyone involved in the merging of industry giants and FinTech startups.
Co-Founder, President, and Chief Strategy Officer of Bank Mobile Luvleen Sidhu believes that banks need Fintech as they have much to learn from them. While banks have access to low-cost funding, they are terrible with customer service and UX. Meanwhile, startups focus on their UX (user experience) and excel in customer satisfaction, but lack funding. Startups can also help banks get a hold of the latest tech.
During the panel discussion Paul Capon, Managing Partner at Luna Ventures had a message for FinTech startups. He advised that new businesses should take a step back and evaluate. “Lots of companies don’t know how to monetize,” they have a stream of income but lose it. By staying on top of their assets, they can avoid dilution and tackle these common pitfalls.
After the panel, each candidate began presenting their startups. The competitors had fifteen minutes each to pitch their company to the panel of judges.The winners of the pitch competition receive a 100% scholarship to a course at IE in Madrid, Spain, with paid airfare, workspace in their campus incubator Area 31, and access to expertise and mentoring from a community of academic and business professionals.
The first company up was James, which is a platform that provides AI for Credit Risk. James aims to make sure that risk management professionals get the most out of their data while they work. James can help tailor validation reports, prepare documents, and deploy models. Co-Founders Pedro Fonseca and Joao Menano are also improving upon James everyday so it can grow to be a successful AI and a leader in aiding the Credit Risk Management industry.
The goal of Neon Risk is to aid Risk Management with their Chatbot Jenny. Neon Risk believes that “Financial decision-making is hindered by too little –or sometimes too much data. As a result, poorly answered or unanswered questions lead to sub-optimal decisions with real-dollar impacts.” Their solution, Jenny, fixes that problem by enabling users to ask their questions in real time on any smart device and receive immediate and accurate answers, thus making report creation quick and easy.
CEO Maria Eagleton believes that “credit is broken” and created Chargacard to fix it.
Chargacard is a Blockchain credit network alternative to Mastercard and Visa. Maria and her team want to help low income people pay their bills and help businesses get paid. By appealing to millennial consumers who are skeptical about credit lines, Chargacard allows businesses to look at a user's credit and create a payment plan that correlates with their spending history. Thus, allowing consumers the freedom to not have to open any line of credit. With a 0% interest rate and a 2% transaction fee, Chargacard may be the future of Block Based payment programs.
Narmi's mission is to be the superior mobile and online banking platform for regional
and community financial institutions ( RCFIs). RCFIs are similar to websites like Mint.com. This stagnant digital channel gives Narmi the option to dominate the market. There are 10,000 RCFIs in the united states that
Narmi wants to engage with and aid in their customer retention. They also want to help them grow and compete with larger banks for a diverse financial ecosystem while linking them with other FinTech Startups.
The average person doesn’t think about investing their money, especially if they are
from a low income area. NvestN is building for the next generation of investors by providing them with a simple platform that lets them take hold of their financial destiny. Their B2C platform is engaging and
easy to use. By using a simple questionnaire the user will soon understand their own financial beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes.
The Global AI corporation is an AI-driven quantitative investment research company that uses
Big Data to provide investment insights to clients In government and institutional investment sector. Their goal is to disrupt a sixteen billion dollar financial analytics sector which suffers from a colossal information overload. This overload has caused increase in Big Data with a lack of tools to transform it into actual insights. Global AI plans to take their SaaS powered application to create actionable investment insights.
Keel is using machine learning to create an environment for investors. The Keel
marketplace is where people can find unbiased trading ideas by viewing top investors actual trading portfolios. Their marketplace also allows anyone to import their trading accounts to the Platform. This allows people who are interested in investing to follow the stock trades top investors and look at dollar amounts.
After a short break, the winners were announced by fan favorite, runner-up, and first place winner. The people’s choice winner was NvestN, and the second runner-up was presented to Neon Risk. Last, the winner of the grand prize was presented to Narmi.
FinTech and cryptocurrency is a flourishing market with a lot of room to grow. Every startup that presented brings a new way to improve the financial tech market. During the first fireside chat of the evening, Pascal Bouvier was asked if he thinks that there could be a crash so big that ico’s will have to be used/traded. He compared our current crypto climate to the steam engines used during the industrial revolution. These currencies are resilient and are not crashing anytime soon. Just like the industrial revolution, things were slow going and people doubted its success then, but look at where we are today.