The financial future of America and beyond will be shaped by many of todays fintech innovators, eight of whom were selected as winners of the Financial Solutions Lab’s third annual competition. Run out of the Center for Financial Services Innovation with support from JPMorgan Chase, the Financial Solutions Lab identifies companies that can help Americans improve their financial health.
Each winner receives $250,000 in capital and additional resources to further develop their products. Additional benefits include partnership opportunities, mentoring, professional services assistance, and peer learning opportunities.
More than 300 innovators applied for the competition. Winners were announced at the EMERGE Forum in Austin, TX.
2017’s challenge was financial health, a topic selected because 57 per cent of Americans – 138 million adults – have difficulty managing their financial lives. JPMorgan Chase Institute research discovered monthly expenses can fluctuate by 29 per cent or almost $1,300.
The 2017 winners are:
- Blueprint Income (New York, NY) is creating the future pension – a simple, pre-determined income stream backed by insurance companies. Blueprint Income makes it easy for anyone, regardless of employer, age, or wealth, to head into retirement with guaranteed, lifelong income.
- Dave (Los Angeles, CA) alerts consumers ahead of an upcoming overdraft and can instantly advance up to $75 at 0% interest to prevent overdraft fees.
- EverSafe (Columbia, MD) offers protection for aging Americans and their families by monitoring bank and investment accounts, credit cards and credit reports, alerting them to any sign of irregular activity.
- Grove (San Francisco, CA) delivers personalized financial advice that is accessible and affordable. By pairing technology with advisors, Grove puts a comprehensive financial plan within reach for everyone.
- Nova (San Francisco, CA) has built the world’s first cross-border credit reporting agency by building data partnerships across the globe. Nova’s Credit Passport accompanies immigrants on all their moves, so they need never start building credit from scratch again.
- Point (Palo Alto, CA) is an alternative to traditional home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Point buys into a fraction of a consumer’s property, paying today for a share of the home’s future appreciation. There are no monthly payments, no interest rate, and consumers can buy Point out or sell the home at any time.
- Token Transit (San Francisco, CA) is a mobile app to pay for public transportation that enables low-income riders to have convenient access to the transit passes they need. Riders are able to pay using a credit, debit, or a prepaid debit card. Token Transit also partners with pass programs to distribute free or subsidized passes to qualifying riders.
- Tomorrow (Seattle, WA) is aimed at providing long-term financial security to busy millennials and working families.
An additional company, national financial counseling nonprofit GreenPath Financial Wellness, received a $100,000 grant to support its work creating partnerships with Lab winners and other fintech providers.
This year’s winners join a distinguished roster of alumni including first year participants Ascend Consumer Finance, Digit, Even, LendStreet, PayGoal by Neighborhood Trust, Prism (now part of PayNearMe/Handle), Propel (which recently closed a $4 million funding round led by Andreesen Horowitz), Puddle and SupportPay, and 2016’s Albert, Bee, EARN, EarnUp, eCreditHero (now CreditHero, which recently participated in Tech Crunch Disrupt), Everlance, Remedy, Scratch and WiseBanyan. A profile of FinLab’s Year One winners is here, and Year Two winners can be found here. The first two classes have collectively raised in excess of $120 million through funding and acquisition deals and serve more than 1.3 million people.
Organizations which serve the same groups these companies do expressed their support for their efforts.
“Protecting older Americans from financial exploitation is everyone’s responsibility,” said Debra Whitman, chief public policy officer for the AARP. “We applaud the CFSI and JPMorgan Chase at the Financial Solutions Lab for their support of innovative fintech solutions that protect consumers as they age. Taking steps like using technology to monitor accounts and create alerts are essential to stop this growing form of abuse before it ever happens.”
“Access to money and financial management tools are key for lower-income households to achieve greater financial health and economic stability,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, National Council of La Raza (NCLR). “The Financial Solutions Lab enables innovators to offer new products and services to help Latino households manage their finances, thanks to the expertise of CFSI, and the mentorship and expertise offered by JPMorgan Chase.”
Learn for about CFSI, the Financial Solutions Lab, and some alums: