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FinTech Startups in Charlotte Present their Innovations to PayCLT

On May 6th the PayCLT event showcased ten FinTech startups and allowed their founders an opportunity to pitch their companies and answer questions posed by the industry experts in the audience. The startups represented were Moulah, Boon Investments, Car Payment Services, Brand Crowder, Interloop, Stock Tycoon, Thrive, Pluto, RediPay, and Trust Stamp. While a founder from every company was not able to attend and deliver a pitch, there was still representation from many segments of the FinTech market including payments, robo advising, lending, mobile commerce, personal financial management, and fraud prevention.

As part of our commitment and support for the Charlotte startup ecosystem, QCFinTech has already been featured in MEDICI in the FinTech-specific accelerators section. The 10 startups have been analyzed and classified in MEDICI. They have all received a complimentary annual subscription ($900 value each) to access the new platform and increase their exposure to the global FinTech ecosystem.

The first company to pitch was Moulah, and CEO Jad Chahine delivered the pitch. Moulah aims to save businesses money by eliminating the interchange fees commonly associated with debit and credit cards, and offering a low-cost, flat, monthly fee instead. This service will allow businesses to save the 2-4% of their revenue that will usually go towards paying these fees. Moulah will target businesses embedded within college communities, as 77% of college student use debit cards as a form of payment. There is also opportunity for national expansion as 43% of all payments in 2014 were made with debit cards. They also hope to be able to capture customer analytics within the digital ecosystem that they create, a valuable commodity to any business.

John Borkowski, CEO of Boon Investments, pitched his solution to the lack of investment options available to young potential investors in the growing middle classes of emerging international markets. Boon Investments is a mobile robo-advisor which will provide non-US residents an affordable way to earn passive income from the US investment markets. In many emerging economies there are many potential investors who choose to keep their savings in cash and cash equivalents due to complexity, volatility, and mistrust in the market so Boon hopes to capitalize on this by being the first ones to offer them an alternative solution for increased earnings and portfolio diversification.

The next pitch was for Car Payment Services and it was delivered by CEO Brandon Cavalier. Car Payment Services is an online payment portal for consumers with loans through independent lenders. It is built for the Buy Here Pay Here (BHPH) auto industry and their system allows customers with BHPH loans to completely pay for and manage their accounts online. This will free up time the dealer previously allotted to tasks including updating customer info, setting up recurring payment plans, and communicating with the lenders. Through the use of their service, Car Payment Services is allowing car dealers to free up significant amounts of time and improve customer satisfaction and collection percentages.

Jordan Berry, CTO of Interloop, pitched his business that boasts the claim of being the world’s first intelligent sales execution platform powered by IBM Watson. With complex sales being more challenging than ever, Interloop hopes to simplify the process by enabling sales execution in three ways: Using conversational AI to remove the friction of scheduling tasks, follow-ups, and many of the administrative tasks that burden sales people, monitoring the underlying signals in interactions from the buying team to help the sales team tailor content to each unique personality, and utilizing predictive analytics to help managers gain visibility to increase team performance over time.

Pluto, pitched by CCO Susie Kim, is a personal finance mobile app that is attempting to correct the massive intention-action gap that exists with millennial when it comes to their finances. Their competitive advantage compared to other major budgeting apps lies in the fact that Pluto aims to promote long-term changes in financial habits, while most other services focus on short-term tangible results. Pluto provides actionable goal-based savings and bite-sized challenges based on users’ financial data to facilitate behavior change step-by-step, ultimately enabling users to achieve their saving goals and form better overall money habits.

Next, Mark Gulley pitched RediPay, the company of which he is the founder and CEO that aims to improve the delivery of dental and vision benefits. RediPay is a cloud-based enterprise level application to facilitate direct reimbursement nationwide and solve the problem of spiraling healthcare costs due to the broken nature of the Fully-Insured Group Supplemental Benefits Market. RediPay will effectively serve as a replacement for conventional dental and vision insurance products and allow employers to self-fund these benefits. It will allow patients the freedom to choose their provider and use pre-tax benefit dollars, and employers to save on insurance costs and improve employee and family health through increased utilization of benefits.

Finally, Andrew Gowasack pitched Trust Stamp, of which he is the CEO. Trust Stamp protects against identity theft, friendly-fraud, and stranger danger by providing a secure digital token verifying the user’s photograph, identity, and trustworthiness. It accomplishes this buy using a multi-stage authentication and set of proprietary algorithms (executed by IBM Watson) to review public record sources and social media sites to verify a secure selfie, validate the user-profile, identify data inconsistencies, and generate a FICO-like trustworthiness score. Their competitive advantage exists in their use of solely objective data to generate a trust score, unlike sentiment scores which can be manipulated. It is also faster and cheaper than a full background check.

The next PayCLT topic has not been announced yet, but more information can be found on payclt.com and will be on May 20, 2016 at Packard Place, Charlotte, NC.

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