EMERGE: FinLab Announces Winners in Startup Contest (June 11, 2015)
Nine startups dedicated to helping households better manage their finances on a tight budget have been selected as winners of the inaugural Cash Flow Management Competition, held by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and JPMorgan Chase’s Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab). The winners were announced today at CFSI’s EMERGE Conference in Austin, Texas. Each company will receive $250,000 in capital and resources from FinLab to put toward testing and further expanding availability of their products and services. The nine winners were selected from nearly 300 applicants by a panel of judges, including leaders of CFSI and JPMorgan, along with experts in fintech, behavioral economics and human-centered design.
The winners are:
- Ascend Consumer Finance Inc. (San Francisco), which reduces risk on current loans and rewards the borrower by lowering interest payments for positive financial behaviors, such as reducing debt, decreasing credit card spending and increasing savings.
- Digit (San Francisco), which analyzes a user’s spending habits and automatically allocates available funds from checking to savings.
- Even (Oakland, Calif.), which turns the inconsistent income of hourly and part-time workers into a steady salary by saving money from above-average paychecks (in a separate savings account) and boosting low paychecks automatically.
- LendStreet (Sunnyvale, Calif.), a marketplace-lending platform, which helps borrowers reduce their debt and rebuild their credit, and enables investors to buy the loan at a discount.
- PayGoal by Neighborhood Trust (New York City), a workplace tool that enables financially underserved workers to improve the allocation of wages toward their principal financial goals using a simple, guided mobile experience that leverages behavioral insights.
- Prism (Bellevue, Wash.), a comprehensive bill payment and management app that helps consumers better manage their personal finances and pay their bills from their smartphones.
- Propel (Brooklyn, N.Y.), which simplifies the food stamp application process by streamlining the initial enrollment form, eliminating the hassle of submitting paper documents and providing a phone-friendly interface.
- Puddle (San Francisco), a platform for reputation-based borrowing, enabling anyone with a debit card to make small short-term loans to other trusted borrowers.
- SupportPay (Santa Clara, Calif.), an automated child support payment platform that enables parents to share child expenses and exchange child support directly with each other.
“We are thrilled to be showcasing some of the country’s most promising solutions to a common financial challenge—that of managing one’s income and expenses on a daily basis,” said Sarah Gordon, vice president, CFSI. “We believe this group of winners are not only tackling a salient consumer challenge, but demonstrating that our nation has the talent and the tools to create innovative solutions that can scale in a way to improve Americans’ financial health.”
Launched last year, FinLab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by CFSI with founding partner JPMorgan Chase, supporting innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit and build assets. FinLab is launching a series of competitions to identify solutions to consumer financial challenges and provide incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses and nonprofits to build products and services that address those challenges and improve consumers’ financial health.