Venture Center Names 10 Firms in New Fintech Accelerator

Venture Center Names 10 Firms in New Fintech Accelerator
Founders of the companies selected to participate in the second annual ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program.   (Venture Center)

The Independent Community Bankers of America and the Venture Center, in partnership with the state of Arkansas, announced Wednesday the 10 companies selected for the second annual ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program.

Brian Bauer, managing director of fintech accelerators, called the program an “incredible opportunity that exists nowhere else in financial services” during his remarks at the kickoff.

Bauer said the program has two goals: to make sure the participating companies’ products and services fit the market they are intended for and to speed up the time it takes for them to get to market.

The 2020 companies are:

  • Finscend of Israel, which has developed software that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science to resolve bankcard disputes faster.

  • Fintel Connect of Vancouver, a digital marketing firm that aims to bring to community banks the performance marketing the big banks have been using for years.

  • Finzly of Charlotte, North Carolina, which helps banks with all types of payments by directing them to mobile apps that can help.

  • FI Works of Little Rock, which provides a marketing and sales platform designed to adapt big bank technologies for use by community banks.

  • of New York, a technology company building digital tools to help banks mitigate fraud.

  • Griffin Technologies of Kansas City, Kansas, which aims to connect banks to their customers in “moments that matter,” such as when they are looking at homes and cars to buy.

  • Hexanika of New York and India, which offers a regulatory compliance and reporting system that provides data abstraction, normalization and transformation from disparate systems within a bank.

  • Lendsmart of Hoboken, New Jersey, a data-driven digital lending platform combined with a homebuying marketplace. 

  • Pay It Better of Sacramento, California, a cloud-based platform that aims to help consumers manage their money, credit and reduce debt rapidly while giving community banks the ability to put their name on the technology.

  • Wallit of Portland, Maine, a rewards-based mobile engagement platform designed to help community banks improve mobile banking experiences and increase/improve engagement of their customers.

During the 12-week program, the participating companies will receive mentorship from a network of industry leaders, including community bank executives from more than 40 institutions, along with an initial investment of $75,000 each.

The companies will pitch their product or service at ICBA LIVE 2020 in Orlando on March 9 and at a demo day on March 25 at the Clinton Library in Little Rock.

ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey called last year’s inaugural program an “incredible success.”

Rainey said graduate Adlumin of Alexandria, Virginia, is now an ICBA preferred service provider. That company offers a cybersecurity incident and event management service with AI and machine learning.

Graduate MK Decision of San Diego, which provides a loan origination system with automated credit decisions and data-driven fraud prevention, has entered into a strategic partnership with ICBA. The system is already being deployed in the credit card space, Rainey said.

“Our mission of ICBA is to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish,” Rainey said. “We do that through innovation, advocacy and innovation. This journey with the Venture Center has been the most amazing partnership because the passion is represented on all sides of this equation.”

The 202 companies were chosen from hundreds of applicants. 

Bauer praised the selection committee, which is made of executives from sponsor ICBA or  the Independent Community Bankers of America, and banking professionals from around the world.

“We say that we’re problem-focused, solution-driven, and it’s just a really incredible partnership to put this on,” he said. “We really leverage that to be able to hone in on these problem areas, gain line of sight, look around the corner and then to turn around and select solutions, whittle down to the 10 companies you’re going to see today.”

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