Little Rock ‘FinTech Ten’ startups to make presentations at Clinton Library

by Wesley Brown (wesbrocomm@gmail.com) 248 views 

Ten U.S. and international startups chosen to participate in the 2017 VC FinTech Accelerator at the Little Rock Technology Park will emerge Wednesday from a rigorous summer training program that many are hoping could lead to a niche financial technology sector in Arkansas.

Following a “dress rehearsal” on Tuesday, the FinTech founders from two international and eight U.S. teams will complete the VC FinTech Accelerator program and present their companies to more than 350 investors, financial services executives and community leaders during Demo Day on Wednesday at the Clinton Presidential Center.

Backed by the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Fortune 500 financial tech firm FIS and run by the nonprofit The Venture Center, Demo Day is the culmination of an intense 12-week summer boot camp for early stage businesses looking to disrupt the financial services industry, said Venture Center Chairman and President Lee Watson.

The chosen companies each are given $50,000, with a potential to earn an additional $100,000 to $300,000 during the summer program that includes in-depth mentoring and training from FIS and The Venture Center staff. Gov. Asa Hutchinson will provide the keynote speech at the Demo Day event on Wednesday afternoon at the Clinton Library. FIS CEO Gary Norcross will also provide remarks.

According to Watson, the 2017 program received 295 applications from startup financial technology firms across the U.S. and 39 other countries. Companies from the 2016 accelerator cohort have gained impressive traction since last year, including three Series A capital raises and an endorsement from the American Banker Association. Six of the ten companies were selected for the High Potential (HiPo) Network by FIS, five have been accepted to other highly competitive programs and all 10 have raised additional capital post-program.

Below are the 10 companies that will make presentations on Wednesday:

• Alpharank, San Francisco, Calif., an advanced analytics engine that helps banks take advantage of the trick T-Mobile used to cut their attrition rate by 50% in a single quarter.
• Alto IRA, Nashville, Tenn., a fast and easy way to invest in alternative assets like real estate and private equity with a self-directed IRA account.
• Bond.AI, New York City, an artificial intelligence that helps consumers optimize daily spending, refinance loans, understand financial goals and meet them in the shortest possible time.
• eGiftify, London, England, provides banks and businesses with innovative gifting, payment and client marketing solutions.
• Hedgehog, Detroit, Mich., a blockchain-based marketplace that leverages social capital to speed up investment syndication.
• Omnetrium, Chicago, Ill., a platform for financial institutions to drive new account growth, stable core deposits and robust client relationships.
• Plinqit, Ann Arbor, Mich., helps community banks build lasting and profitable relationships with Millennials.
• Quotanda, Mexico City, Mexico, a lending-as-a-service (LaaS) platform that enables lenders and schools to efficiently launch and manage student financing programs and make education more affordable.
• WalletFi, Chapel Hill, NC, reduces customer churn for banks and financial institutions by allowing users to easily identify and move recurring charges, subscriptions, and card-on-file payments across cards in their digital wallet.
• Xplanr Analytics, New York City, N.Y., makes risk, finance and compliance computations interactive, transparent and self-explanatory.

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