Monday, September 18, 2017

Recapping #MIN102 -- Cool #FinTech

District Hall is a Great Spot for MIN Events
Mass Innovation Nights returned to District Hall in the Seaport District on Wednesday night for a fintech themed event. The crowd was huge! I'm told there were over 300 attendees there checking out 13 fintech startups and consulting an unusually large contingent of experts. The Experts Corner was more like an Experts Wing.

A Glimpse of the Crowd
State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg  kicked off the presentations and really got people excited about fintech and about the Office of Economic Empowerment. The standing room only crowd was really into fintech and seemed even more attentive than usual to both Treasurer Goldberg's talk and the four chosen presenters' pitches.
State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg

Beautiful Boston
The four chosen presenters for the night were StackUP, RateGravity, will-it, and FutureFuel.

StackUP is an online platform to analyze and rate the performance of your financial advisers. If you want to know if your advisers are doing a good job managing your financial future or if/when you need to find a new financial advisor, StackUp does the comparisons for you so you can make a smart choice.
will-it got my vote for favorite. It's a great estate planning tool with a collaborative approach to 'who gets what'. All those personal and sentimental items, like my Nana's Belleek swan or that bookcase that's in all the family photos, are usually left for family members to sort and divide.  will-it helps catalogue those items and the stories and history that go with them. You can invite friends and family  to join and request the things they want.  It's a great way to get the dialogue about your stuff  to happen and to pass on your "stuff" in a meaningful way – rather then just leaving it behind.

RateGravity had the most memorable line of the night, presenting after will-it: The only thing worse than death is mortgages. That got a good laugh as many people know the pain of mortgages. RateGravity uses technology to save you tens of thousands of dollars when financing your home. They make it easy to figure out whether you'll be approved for financing and how much you can afford to borrow. RateGravity shows you the range of interest rates available for your particular needs and connects you to a network of fully vetted lenders that offer preferential terms. You save a ton of money when you find exactly the right mortgage for you.
People in the crowd were getting particularly excited about FutureFuel's technology-driven solutions to the student debt crisis. Need to refinance at a lower rate or lower your monthly payments or both? FutureFuel's marketplace offers lots of lenders who compete to refinance your student loans with no impact on your credit score. Does your company want to attract and retain your future work force?  The FutureFuel platform makes it possible for employers and other partners to "turn on" student loan repayment as an employee benefit.  Their tools make it possible to crush student debt instead of student debt crushing you.
It was impossible for me to talk to every one of the startups, let alone the legion of experts, but I did enjoy meeting everyone I did talk to. The buzzing intensity of the event reminded me of a slogan I saw on a building down the street from District Hall: Boston is on the move. You should be too.

LearnLux is on a mission to empower you to take control of your personal finances. The online education hub puts it within your reach to master the whole personal finance thing from basic banking, to retirement planning, to building credit. You can even learn about insurance. Teach yourself with LearnLux and start making financial decisions with confidence.
So many teams had matching T-shirts that it was hard to pick a Best Costume of MIN102. Since will-it and RateGravity both had blue shirts with sans serif fonts and cool logos, I declare them to be co-winners of Best Costume :-)
Venky from Keel Networking with David from Awesome Videomakers
Pyggly is a gamified savings app that makes it way less complicated to achieve financial goals. The team was fun to chat with and the piggy banks on their table were cute. I hereby award them Best Prop of MIN102.
Pyggly -- Best Prop of MIN102


Audience Choice Winners were:
Audience Choice Winners in Pink Backlight

As I mentioned there were a ton of experts, they included:
FactSet had cool sportsballs decorating their table. Habitude Warrior had a table full of books, DCU seemed to be everywhere, and all the experts were getting plenty of traffic to their tables.
Team FactSet
Erik Swanson posed for the traditional Expert Looking Expert shot with his classic Habitude Warrior  flair.

Expert Looking Expert -- Habitude Warrior