Fintech Innovation Lab 2014

I have written about the Fintech Innovation Lab here before. It's one of the first vertical accelerator programs that have cropped up in NYC and its one of the best. They take a handful of promising fintech companies each year and give them introductions to the top execs at the leading financial services companies in NYC.

If you are running a fintech startup and feel like you could use some mentoring, visibility with investors, and above all, some intros to potential customers, you should think about applying.

The application deadline is in three weeks, December 6th. Details and the application page are here.

#hacking finance

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Is the goal to disrupt / innovate in finance, or to develop solutions that cater to the needs of the large incumbents?

    1. JimHirshfield

      Right….I’m reading between the lines here Wm. Is this “come be mentored by the companies you want to disrupt”??

    2. andyswan

      Doesn’t matter… it’s a much better shot than trying to disrupt on your own.The companies that are participating are doing so out of their own self-interest, whether they are big, small, new or old.

    3. JLM

      .In a left handed way, one could easily see this effort as ensuring the survival of the existing legacy network. Why not?Legacy companies can also be disruptive to themselves as odd as that may seem to the lean, agile and fleet footed crowd who reads here.If you suspect that disruption may be a problem, then you get out in front of it.Perhaps the best example of such a thing was the entire saga Schwab which transformed an industry by focusing on the real cost of just trade execution and then decades later circled back to dispense the advice they had dispensed with as a traffic driver to their transaction platform.There are a great number of such opportunities out there.The fintech regulatory umbrella will be an interesting barrier to entry. The fintech guys may curse the rain but they are always catching it in barrels. The big guys like the regulatory scheme which ensures their own survival and strangles a lot of fledgling innovation in the cradle.Bit different industry but look at the hotel industry going after Air BnB.JLM.

      1. panterosa,

        There’s also publishing building smaller ships to jump onto when their big ones sink. See Macmillan for one.

    4. jason wright

      it is to be in the disruption/ innovation game, hedging to serve their interests.

    5. fredwilson

      the latter mostly

      1. LE

        Explains perhaps why USV isn’t on the sponsor page.

    6. Greg Neufeld

      We love the FinTech Innovation Lab. That being said, there are companies that aren’t ready or positioned to “play nicely” with the large incumbents. As @andyswan:disqus knows, that’s why we built Valuestream – Check us out and ping me if you’re interested to learn more about the companies we’re supporting and growing.

      1. William Mougayar

        Great. Thanks. Fintech is a big market opportunity. I will check these out.

  2. Brian Crain

    A Fintech innovation lab that doesn’t have one bitcoin company in its portfolio (as far as I can see). That doesn’t exactly speak for their innovativeness…

    1. pointsnfigures

      There are plenty of places to innovate in Fintech outside of Bitcoin. Credit, credit processing, expense processing, back office operations, computer speed, algo processing, information processing and conversion, big data analysis, the list is endless.In finance it’s hard to figure out if you have a feature or a business.

      1. Brian Crain

        Sure, but if not one of their ~20 companies does something with bitcoins if they’re missing something. Of course, the other comments are right: if all the partners are incumbents you won’t do things that rock the boat too much.

    2. MGotsch

      We welcome bitcoin companies to apply this year

      1. Brian Crain

        That’s encouraging to hear.

  3. Richard

    Fintech is a startup concept accelerator as much as a startup business accelerator.

  4. andyswan

    The list of sponsors/partners is impressive. I’m struck by the lack of retail brokerage firms. If they’d like to change that, email me andy@andyswan .comThere’s so much opportunity in fintech, it’s unbelievable. Disruption and massive wealth creation can be as simple as measuring risk tolerance, or changing the way young people look at investing.Good luck to all participants, large and small.

    1. pointsnfigures;;

      1. andyswan

        Right;;;; the list goes on and on.People see “finance” and they automatically think about mortgage scams and value-capturing…but there’s so much value creation going on it’s mind-blowing! That’s why you can pay for your coffee in 0.3 seconds on a loan…Personally I’ve been extremely impressed with American Express’s innovation in social. True leadership in the 1st inning from a 100+ year old brand.

        1. ShanaC

          venmo i thought was bought out

          1. andyswan

            it was, but it’s still disruptive and young

        2. Dave Pinsen

          Thanks for mentioning PA, Andy. Working on a big update now.Trefis was part of the Seeking Alpha app store. Pretty cool tool.

    2. Richard

      Young investors 1) max out your company sponsored retirement plan, 2) save an additional 15-20% of your gross salary, 3) invest in a broad based equity ETF, 4) buy into a long term care insurance plan, 4) focus on your career.

      1. andyswan

        Tons of opportunity in financial education.

        1. Richard

          Yep, I shared with many a bus driver and other working middle making things happens people the lesson often called the miracle of compound interest. You too can have a a conpany that grows 10% a years with employees (all with the last name dollar).

          1. pointsnfigures

            Financial illiteracy is a danger to capitalistic American society.

          2. Richard

            calling it “literacy” is the first problem.

        2. howardlindzon

          khan academy already has a financial section

      2. LE

        Depends on what your long term goals are and if we are talking about an entrepreneur -or- a young attorney, professional or postal worker or middle manager at Walmart or Pharma. (In other words someone who works for someone else and isn’t in control of their future and doesn’t need to invest in their own ventures.)I mean if you are an entrepreneur you need to be liquid. Not have your money all tied up in something that happens when you are 70 – 40 years in the future. At least not while you are in your 20’s and maybe not even in some of your 30’s.If you are not liquid you won’t be able to take advantage of opportunities and/or expand your business. I don’t mean your lottery startup business (in which case if that hits all the other items you’ve mentioned won’t really matter anyway) I mean the type of business you use your own funds to start or need investment in. The 99% of entrepreneurship.I’ve even seen young professionals do stupid things focusing on retirement.Specifically #2.Having a ton of high priced school loans and paying interest but socking away their salary for something that won’t matter for 30 years! Ridiculous. Get rid of the 10% loans now. My point is they just followed the mantra (which is what people do) without looking at the specific of their situation. Details matter.By the way one thing left off your list that I do (generally) support is a personal disability policy. [1] But that’s insurance and if you are young and healthy and can get a policy with a long term cheap it’s worth looking into.[1] I just calculated the potential lifetime cost of my personal disability policy (paid yearly) and given what it pays per month (if disabled or partially disabled) and the yearly cost even though I’ve never needed it my napkin calcs say “good decision”.

        1. Richard

          Great points^3. The ETF isn’t necessarily within a retirement plan.

    3. WA

      The Retail Firms..interesting. I think of dinosaurs watching big comets streak across the sky. Watch, learn how to mitigate risk by those who don’t earlier on, invest in innovation once it becomes utility versus competitive advantage, and use regulation to stifle those whom are best positioned to implement it-given the volume of public touch-points in client relationships. The game of fees for “value added” would be too much in peril for retail. A good end of life-cycle example for one of the retail models would be as follows. Rise of the discounter in the 80’s, 1990’s, on-line trading at virtual pennies per trade versus the hundreds in commissions, the rise of fee based accounts in order to side step the anti-commission revolution. The recurring fee base models is now in the throws of trying to justify itself by validating the fee amount through the value added service delivered to many other areas in a client’s financial reality. All good for a little while longer, until GenY/Millennial begin to inherit accounts via generational wealth transfer and invest on their own behalf. Watching the rise of apps and innovation at recent levels, from an affluent retail rep perspective excites me to no avail…and yet I watch the majority of colleagues across the industry in delusional anchoring biases of denial or in the unique case…of petrified fear of the neccessary changes we need to move forward in the industry.

    4. LE

      Who’s the cute girl in the video Andy? (Got me to watch….)

      1. Matt A. Myers

        The GoDaddy approach

      2. andyswan

        Lindsay Campbell… pretty sharp tack in fintech world and one hell of a model American.She was host of WallStrip 6 years ago:

    5. ShanaC

      if only more young people had money to invest in the first place

      1. jason wright

        ..and ‘invest’ it in themselves for their now.

  5. jason wright

    fresh blood being introduced to dracula

    1. pointsnfigures

      Heh. Funny to insiders.

    2. pointsnfigures

      Funny to insiders

  6. MGotsch

    Goal of program is to expand NYC’s fintech sector and create local jobs in NYC. Past graduates of program have been both disruptive–Lenddo, Billguard, Inktank–and products to help banks and insurance companies on security, risk/compliance and better customer engagement.

  7. Salt Shaker

    Regulatory issues=Mass Constipation

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Sounds painful

    2. pointsnfigures

      some suck, some can be innovated around.

  8. Emily Merkle

    I have a colleague who worked at a prior startup. They developed an algorithm to automate transactions ever so slightly than everyone else. Pot of gold. The NYSE shut them down.