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Financial innovation @Finovate

Whilst I hid in Singapore last week, Finovate – the excellent financial innovation conference run by Jim Bruene and co at NetBanker – took place in San Francisco.  I wanted to go this year, as Finovate is definitely the one place you will find the NEXT generation of banking and financial solutions and providers.

The way it works is that the NetBanker team pick out the most innovative firms in the online financial world and invite them to appear on stage for seven minutes to pitch their wares.  At the end, a small few are picked out and tipped for the top, with previous winners including highly disruptive and now successful firms such as SmartyPig and MINT.

There was obviously a good buzz going on there this year, with over thirty-six firms getting their seven minutes of fame in front of a record audience of 500 industry executives …

Image_thumb_1 

The winners of the Finovate awards for Best of Show were announced on Wednesday last, and these are:

image          Bobber
Interactive
: Launched a youth-oriented online 
         
banking/savings program with gaming and social 
          features.  

image   Expensify:
Demoed new tools for managers to track and 
   monitor employee
spending via "expense reports that  
                                  don't suck."

image                oFlows:
Showed its new end-to-end paperless loan-
               
application system.

image      Wikinvest:
Launched its new Hurricane stock
      information system to
deliver real-time info
                                  faster than other outlets.

Meanwhile, other bloggers have been commenting, with Tom Cochrane picking out these firms to be of note:

Wikinvest: There would seem to be little doubt about
the future success and impact of this company.  Financial services data
aggregation is a common theme at Finovate but it is rapidly becoming a
commodity.  Wikinvest is heads and shoulders above the field when it
comes to leveraging data aggregation to provide interesting
features/analytics and outstanding products.

Kabbage: On-the-fly credit risk analysis and
lending to online sellers.  This is something very different, innovative
and potentially disruptive.  An impressive demo with an applicant’s
account funded in less than 7 minutes.

Bobber Interactive: I am not sure whether this was a
product or a very elaborate demo that has yet to become a product.  In
any event, it was very impressive and I am certain would appeal to my 15
year old nephew.  Certainly seems that this company and demo should
have caught the eye of any early stage venture investors in attendance.

Cortera: Think of a Web 2.0 version of Dun and
Bradstreet that is focused on small medium sized businesses.  In other
words, commercial credit analysis and information with a social media
bent that covers the vast majority of American business.  Not
necessarily sexy, but very, very interesting.

Continuity Control: Financial institution compliance
services.  Seems like a no-brainer in light of pending financial reform
and everything other crisis-reform cycle that has taken place in the
financial services sector over the past decade or so.  A solid
presentation and what appears to be a solid management team.

eRollover: Have to them a nod as the company hits
close to home with the focus on retirement planning.   Also spent some
quality time with their very high quality CEO .  A breath of fresh air
for the retirement income industry and a company we will
continue to follow.

Meanwhile, if you wanna know more, it would do you no harm to follow their twitter stream.

Finally, there are two more Finovates coming up in the next year:

Truly recommended.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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