Financial-Technology Entrepreneurs Present Latest Innovations to Wall Street Executives and Venture Capitalists

MarketWatch Jul 22, 2011 Back to press

Big Banks Provide Aid to Start-up Companies in the Financial Technology Sector

NEW YORK, Jul 22, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Six entrepreneurs today gave the venture community a first look at a range of cutting-edge financial technology innovations they developed over the past three months, with the guidance and support of some of the world's leading banks and venture capitalists. In March, the six were selected from a field of more than 90 start-up companies that applied to participate in the annual FinTech Innovation Lab. The Lab was created by the New York City Investment Fund, the economic development arm of the Partnership for New York City, and Accenture /quotes/zigman/565535/quotes/nls/acn ACN -0.65% to ensure that New York maintains its leadership in global finance -- an industry which is increasingly driven by technological innovation.

Since May, the entrepreneurs have developed, tested and fine-tuned their innovations -- which provide technology solutions for market data analysis, risk management and data visualization. Throughout the product development process, 10 global financial institutions -- Bank of America, Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, and UBS -- provided mentors, feedback and market access to the six companies. Among those lending their advice and support were JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. CEO Henry Kravis.

"These companies are among the innovators who are creating the next generation in financial technology," said Maria Gotsch, President & CEO of the New York City Investment Fund. "By giving them access to important potential customers, we are helping entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth and achieve an edge on competitors around the world."

Coaching and business advice was also provided by executives at six venture capital firms: Contour Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, RRE Ventures, Village Ventures and Warburg Pincus. The firms also gave each start-up $25,000 in funding for expenses. In addition, Accenture provided program leadership, work space, as well as mentoring by its financial services industry and technology experts.

"Innovation is more critical to the U.S. financial services industry than ever," said Chris Wearing, Managing Director in Accenture's U.S. Capital Markets practice. "Finding growth and new efficiencies in this radically changed marketplace depends heavily on new technologies and better processes. These entrepreneurs show how new ideas and technologies can help institutions adapt and profit. And they prove that New York continues to distinguish itself as a center for innovation."

"As the global capital of finance, New York City is uniquely positioned to become the center of innovation in financial technology," said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City. "These six companies represent a growing tech sector that will sustain the competitive advantage of New York's great financial institutions, while also creating businesses and jobs in New York City."

The six participants in this year's FinTech Innovation Lab and the products they developed are:

-- Aqumin: Using interactive 3D technology, Aqumin's AlphaVision(TM) facilitates visual analysis and interpretation of vast, disparate sources of public and proprietary market data. This enables financial market professionals to identify patterns and extract information quickly. For more information: www.aqumin.com

-- CB Insights: CB Insights' Mosaic assesses the health of private small businesses by finding signals of strength or weakness in publicly available information sources. Mosaic, through the use of these information inputs, empowers wealth management, investment banking, vendor procurement, and lending groups to improve their marketing and due diligence efforts. For more information: www.cbinsights.com/mosaic

-- Hanweck Associates: Hanweck Associates offers high-performance, real-time analytics and risk products for top-tier hedge funds, banks, broker/dealers and other financial institutions. The company uses commercial graphical processing units (GPUs) to accelerate computations in its products such as Volera(TM), a low-latency, real-time options analytics engine. For more information: www.hanweckassoc.com

-- Lenddo.com: Lenddo.com is the first service to use and analyze online social networks to assess credit worthiness. The Lenddo community uses these networks to help middle class people in emerging markets obtain loans and improve their financial reputation. For more information: www.lenddo.com

-- Syphr: Syphr is a provider of highly personalized credit management and financial optimization applications that help financial institutions and online finance websites attract business. The company's patent-pending technology identifies more qualified and better-informed customers. For more information: www.syphronline.com

-- Zipmark: Zipmark is a mobile and online payments company that works just like a check, minus the paper and trip to the bank. With a mobile barcode, Zipmark accepts secure payments from any bank, thrift or credit union, providing customers with a lower-cost alternative to pay their rent and other bills. For more information: www.zipmark.com

"New York City is one of the world's great financial capitals and the home to a burgeoning technology start-up culture, so we are uniquely positioned to foster an attractive environment for financial technology companies," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. "Congratulations to all six companies -- we look forward to watching you become the next New York financial technology success stories."

"It is great to see such vibrant innovation from the New York startup community," said Andy Brown, Chief Technology Officer of UBS. "We have enjoyed collaborating with the finalists and there has been a great business development dialog throughout. We have found technology that we can use at UBS through FinTech."

"We're excited to be part of this inaugural year for Fintech," said John Burns, CIO of the Investment Bank at Credit Suisse. "The quality of the firms and the products they are bringing to market are an affirmation of this program and one of the reasons we're committed to its success. Technology is at the core of what we do in financial services and this program will ensure an innovation pipeline for our industry in the years to come."

"We believe technology innovation is a key factor of gaining competitive advantage, and we are delighted to be part of a process that attracts innovative companies to be closer to the financial industry in New York City and helps them grow and foster emerging technologies that benefit us," said Steve Randich, Co-Head of ICG Technology and Co-CIO of Citibank.

For more information about the FinTech Innovation Lab, visit: www.fintechinnovationlab.com

About the Sponsors

The New York City Investment Fund ( www.nycif.org ) is the vision of Henry R. Kravis, founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., who serves as its Founding Chairman. The Investment Fund has raised over $110 million to mobilize the city's world financial and business leaders to help build a stronger and more diversified local economy. It has built a network of top experts from the investment and corporate communities who help identify and support New York City's most promising entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. The Fund is governed by a Board of Directors co-chaired by Russell L. Carson, General Partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe; and Richard M. Cashin, Managing Partner of One Equity Partners. The Investment Fund is an affiliate of the Partnership for New York City ( www.pfnyc.org ), an organization of the leaders of New York City's top corporate, investment, and entrepreneurial firms. They work in partnership with city and state government officials, labor groups, and the nonprofit sector to promote the interest of the city and its neighborhoods. The Partnership carries out research, policy formulation, and issue advocacy at the city, state, and federal levels, leveraging the resources and expertise of its CEO and Corporate partners. Partnership companies account for nearly 7 million American jobs and contribute over $740 billion to the national GDP.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 223,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$21.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010. Its website is www.accenture.com .

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