Today the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding Lab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) announced eight financial services innovators as the winners of its third competition, aimed at identifying solutions that can help Americans improve their financial health.
“Over the last three years, we have been incredibly impressed by both the quality and volume of applicants to the FinLab,” said Jennifer Tescher, CEO and founder of CFSI. “This year was perhaps the most competitive yet. We are encouraged to see so many talented startups and nonprofits focused on finding truly innovative solutions that can help the 57 percent of Americans who struggle with financial health.”
“At JPMorgan Chase, we are incredibly proud to mentor and support a data-driven community of innovators who are focused on helping more Americans achieve financial health,” said Karen Keogh, Head of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “We are delighted to see the progress that FinLab alumni have made over the past two years, with their products now serving over a million American consumers, and are confident that this year’s winners will continue to help us reach and empower overlooked populations.”
The broader issue of financial health was selected as this year’s challenge because 57 percent of Americans – some 138 million adults – have difficulty managing their daily financial lives, establishing a cushion for financial resilience, and positioning themselves for financial security and mobility according to CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Study. Research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute found that expenses fluctuate by 29 percent – nearly $1,300 – on a month-to-month basis for median-income households and that income volatility affects Americans across the income spectrum, with older families exhibiting a wider range of income and expense volatility.
The 2017 winners were selected from more than 300 applicants from across the United States. Winners were announced Thursday morning at the EMERGE Forum in Austin, TX, an event which gathers more than 800 banks, credit unions, fintech innovators and other financial services providers to generate ideas around the new era of financial services.
Meet the Winners:
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.
Each company will receive networking and advisory opportunities to grow and scale their business, $250,000 in capital, as well as the following benefits:
Access to the CFSI Network and partnership opportunities that can help innovators increase product reach
1:1 ongoing mentorship and expertise provided by CFSI and JPMorgan Chase executives and other industry leaders, including FinLab’s own Entrepreneur-In-Residence and FinLab year-one member Tyler Griffin, founder and CEO of Prism (acquired by PayNearMe)
Professional services assistance from industry leaders including CFSI, ideas42, IDEO.org, Paul Hastings, Promontory Financial, Google and others
Peer learning opportunities via in-person retreats throughout the year and regular virtual working sessions
Beyond the support it offers startups selected for its FinLab program, the Lab also recently issued a $100,000 grant to nonprofit GreenPath Financial Wellness, a national financial counseling organization, to support its work creating partnerships with Lab winners and other fintech providers. In partnering with providers of innovative financial health solutions, GreenPath plans to offer complementary tools that enhance its ability to serve and impact financially struggling Americans.
FinLab’s First Two Years
FinLab alumni make up a who’s who in fintech innovation, and include Year One alums 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, as well as Year Two companies 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.
Collectively, the members of FinLab’s first two classes have raised more than $120 million in funding and acquisition deals, and today serve more than 1.3 million American consumers. In addition, more than 100 JPMorgan Chase employees have volunteered their expertise and leveraged their networks to help winners improve their products and increase their reach.
STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT
“Protecting older Americans from financial exploitation is everyone’s responsibility,” said Debra Whitman, Chief Public Policy Officer, 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.”
“National Disability Institute has long admired the work of CFSI and JPMorgan Chase at the Financial Solutions Lab, and the Lab’s dedication toward advancing the financial health of all Americans, especially those from underserved populations, through technology-based solutions,” said Chris Rodriguez, Director, ABLE National Resource Center. “Moreover, we could not be more excited about the Lab’s recent pursuit to address the challenges facing Americans with disabilities with respect to financial well-being.”
“It’s exciting to see more entrepreneurs innovating through technology to build solutions that have the potential for transformational impact on the financial health of the underserved community,” said Ash Hassan, Strategic Partnerships, Fintech, Google Play. “Together with CFSI and JPMorgan Chase, we look forward to helping improve more Americans’ financial health.”
“We are proud to lend our behavioral science expertise to the Financial Solutions Lab for the third year,” said Josh Wright, Executive Director, ideas42. “Thanks to its data-driven approach and mentorship offered by JPMorgan Chase and CFSI, the Lab has helped so many organizations both improve their products using insights into human behavior and better reach the growing number of people trying to achieve financial health. This year’s winners will only add to the Lab’s legacy of using fintech to improve the lives of many.”
“We are thrilled to join JPMorgan Chase and CFSI in their work to help so many innovative companies design breakthrough solutions to meet the needs of often overlooked populations,” said Jocelyn Wyatt, Executive Director, IDEO.org. “We look forward to helping advance the Lab’s mission to promote financial health for these communities.”