New York Entrepreneurs Pitch VCs on “FinTech” Startups

7/25/11Follow @arleneweintraub

On Friday, more than 70 venture capitalists and other investors braved a New York City heat wave, and made their way to the midtown office of financial-services giant UBS for the first ever FinTech Innovation Lab demo day. The lab was a 12-week long program for startups that are developing new technologies to serve the financial services industry. The six companies selected for the incubator-like experience—which was created by the New York City Investment Fund and Accenture—were in stealth mode until their presentations.

FinTech Innovation Lab is one of several programs the New York City Investment Fund has launched to support entrepreneurs in industries that traditionally haven’t gotten much attention from the venture capital community. During the program, the startup execs were mentored by representatives from 10 of the world’s top banks, including UBS, Bank of America, and Deutsche Bank. They also got feedback and advice from famous financial figures like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts CEO Henry Kravis.

Entrepreneur Gerald Hanweck, whose startup is developing risk-management technologies, says participating in the lab program was invaluable. “It helped us get access to senior managers in banks,” Hanweck says. “The mentoring, advice, exposure—we got a lot out of it.”

The six FinTech companies received $25,000 in seed funding from NYC Investment Fund. They indicated during their presentations that they are looking to raise initial funding rounds of between $1 million and $5 million.

Maria Gotsch, the Investment Fund’s CEO, says 90 companies applied for the inaugural FinTech Innovation Lab. The Fund picked 20 finalists, who made oral presentations to a panel of representatives from the financial industry. She says most of the feedback she’s received from the participants has focused on the … Next Page »

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