From Big Data to Games: NYC Startups Pitch FinTech Innovations

7/18/12Follow @arleneweintraub

For the second year in a row, New York’s FinTech Innovation Lab is holding its demo day during a brutal heat wave. But perhaps the weather serves as an apropos metaphor: financial technology is hot, particularly in New York City, home to many of the companies these startups are targeting.

The FinTech Innovation Lab, a 12-week mentorship program for startups in the financial space, was established last year by Accenture and the New York City Investment Fund, an affiliate of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City that’s on a mission is to create jobs by diversifying the city’s economy. All startups accepted into the program have an option to receive $25,000, which will convert into shares in the company’s next round of equity financing.

The six members of last year’s FinTech class have done quite well since graduating from the program. Lenddo, for example—a company that uses social media to help middle-class people in emerging countries secure loans—raised $8 million in a Series A round in May. Zipmark pulled in $3.8 million in seed funding last December to develop its technology, which allows people to use their smartphones to send money from their bank accounts to merchants.

This year’s FinTech class is creating a range of new technologies for the financial industry. Today they are pitching their inventions to senior technology executives from several financial firms, including Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and American Express, as well as to venture capital firms such as Contour Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, RRE Ventures, Village Ventures, and Warburg Pincus.

Here are the members of this year’s class:

BillGuard: Using big-data analytics and crowdsourcing techniques, BillGuard alerts consumers to potentially fraudulent credit-card charges.

Centrifuge Visual Network Analytics: This company’s technology tools help financial organizations uncover patterns and insights in public, cloud, social network, and enterprise data.

Digital Reasoning: With its flagship platform, called Syntheses, Digital Reasoning helps companies and agencies detect fraud, examine market and consumer trends, and mitigate risk.

EidoSearch: This startup’s search tool allows financial professionals to generate new trading ideas, analyze macro-economic trends, and construct portfolios by back-testing a universe of securities.

True Office: Companies can use True Office’s data-rich games to transform compliance training from a dull, mandatory process to a fun experience for employees.

Visible Market: This company created StockTouch, a mobile app that more than 25,000 people use to monitor the financial markets in real time and to drill into nine major industry sectors.

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