Digital Onboarding, SizeUp, and ForwardLane are among 21 startups that will take part in the 2019 MassChallenge FinTech inaugural program. The program runs from January to June, and will support startups as they work with the accelerator’s partners to develop solutions in asset management, insurance, retail and commercial banking, e-commerce, and transportation. Specific challenge areas include developing AI-powered research assistance, big data for SMEs, and student financing.
“Our inaugural cohort represents trailblazing technologies that advance financial services, from AI-powered on boarding platforms to modern giving solutions,” Program Director of MassChallenge FinTech Devon Sherman explained. “We look forward to structuring and driving meaningful, outcome-driven partnerships between startups and enterprises that tackle some of the industry’s biggest pain points and opportunities.”
Participating startups will also have access to MassChallenge FinTech and FinTech Sandbox’s enterprise readiness program, as well as the FinTech Sandbox’s data and resources. MassChallenge FinTech will award a total of $250,000 in cash prizes at the conclusion of the six-month program, at zero cost and for zero equity.
Also participating in the 2019 cohort are:
- Catapult HQ
- Pinkaloo Technologies
- Surround Insurance
MassChallenge FinTech is supported by a public-private partnership that features Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Putnam Investments, Fidelity Investments, Citizens Bank, John Hancock, and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP) among its founding partners. The program’s challenge partners include Eastern Bank, AARP, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Walmart, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). FinTech Sandbox, Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, and Brandeis International Business School are community partners of the program.
Explaining his company’s decision to partner with MassChallenge FinTech, Head of Innovation and Advice for John Hancock Steve Dorval said, “To us, innovation means looking for new tools, new technologies and new ways of working that can enhance the businesses we’re already in or give us insights into creating new opportunities.” He added that MassChallenge FinTech enabled John Hancock to “engage with intelligent passionate people that are solving important problems.”
Digital Onboarding demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2018. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Digital Onboarding announced earlier this month that it was partnering with Hudson River Financial FCU. The company will help the $57 million member-owned financial cooperative improve access to account-related benefits.
Making its most recent appearance on the Finovate stage at FinovateEurope 2016, SizeUp helps banks empower their SME clients with business insights that can drive increased customer acquisition, retention, and engagement. Founded in 2011 and based in San Francisco, California, SizeUp was featured by Bplans earlier this year in its look at 85 of the Best Business Tools for Startups.
ForwardLane announced an expansion of its menu of AI tools this fall, a move the company believes will help bring the benefits of artificial intelligence to small and mid-sized financial advisors. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in New York City, ForwardLane demonstrated its cognitive productivity solution for wealth management at FinovateSpring 2016, leveraging machine learning to deliver personalized investment advice to mass affluent investors.