The Financial Solutions Lab at the Financial Health Network with founding partner, JPMorgan Chase, announced the 9 winners of its $3 million competition for technology innovators. These 9 organizations represent the most promising group of financial technology social entrepreneurs tackling consumers’ cash flow management challenges in the United States today.
The Financial Solutions Lab winners were announced on June 11, 2015 in Austin, Texas, at the Financial Health Network’s EMERGE Conference in front of over 700 financial services industry professionals. They were selected from nearly 300 applicants from across the country and brought to live demo in New York City on May 15 in front of a panel of highly-selective judges.
Each winner will receive up to $250,000 in capital in a form suited to their needs, in addition to the following benefits:
- National partnership opportunities to help innovators increase the reach of their products.
- Access to the Financial Health Network network and to JPMorgan Chase expertise.
- Direct, ongoing mentorship from industry leaders.
- Professional services assistance from the industry leaders, including the Financial Health Network, ideas 42, IDEO, Paul Hastings, Promontory Financial, and others.
- Peer-learning opportunities, in person and virtually.
The 9 Winners and Their Winning Solutions
Ascend Consumer Finance (San Francisco, CA) – Low credit score borrowers face a tough choice: lock into a high-interest loan, or forgo credit in the hopes of improving credit and securing a better rate in the future. Ascend provides improving-credit borrowers with a third choice: get a fair rate today with a path to dramatically lower rates by demonstrating financial responsibility. By incentivizing reduced consumer debt, increased savings, and limited credit card spending, Ascend reduces risk on current loans and rewards the borrower by lowering interest payments.
Digit (San Francisco, CA) – Digit is an automated savings tool with an SMS-based UI that uses an intelligent algorithm to identify small amounts of money that can be moved into a Digit account based on spending and income. The company supports over 2,500 banks and credit unions and all Digit accounts are FDIC insured.
Even (Oakland, CA) – Even turns the inconsistent income of hourly and part-time workers into a steady salary. It does this by saving money from above-average paychecks (in a separate savings account) and boosting low paychecks automatically. It even provides more consistent cash flow, helping to prevent account overdrafts and avoiding the need to access short term credit.
LendStreet (Sunnyvale, CA) – LendStreet is a marketplace-lending platform which helps borrowers restructure and refinance debt, and allows investors to buy the loan at a discount. Borrowers get debt relief and payments that are structured around their lifestyle. LendStreet helps consumers get a fresh start to their financial lives.
PayGoal by Neighborhood Trust (New York, NY) – PayGoal is a workplace tool that enables financially underserved workers to improve their financial health. It is a simple, guided mobile experience that leverages behavioral economics principles to engage users and improve the allocation of wages toward their principal financial goals.
Prism (Bellevue, WA) – Prism is a comprehensive bill payment and presentation app that helps the millions of millennials across the country better manage their personal finances and pay their bills from their smartphones. It’s easy to forget that the majority of young Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and many of their financial decisions are being made taking only the next week or even just the next few days into consideration. Prism helps add transparency to bills making presentation and payment easy, free, and intuitive.
Propel (Brooklyn, NY) – Propel’s technology 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. 15 million Americans qualify for food stamps but aren’t enrolled, and the complexity of the enrollment process is a major barrier to accessing this critical lifeline. Propel makes the food stamp program more friendly.
Puddle (San Francisco, CA) – Puddle is a platform for reputation-based borrowing, currently available to anyone in the US with a debit card. Users gain access to a shared pool of capital by contributing funds and building reputation with others they trust. Based on the Accumulated Savings and Credit Association model that has worked offline all over the world, Puddle is bringing a successful and impactful solution online.
SupportPay (Santa Clara, CA) – SupportPay is an automated child support payment platform that enables parents to share child expenses and exchange child support/alimony directly with each other. SupportPay transforms the complex, time-consuming & conflict-ridden child support process while increasing the likelihood parents will exchange child support.
Download the one-page brief featuring all 9 winners.
Over the next few months we will be sharing more about the winning solutions and what the organizations are learning from participating in the Financial Solutions Lab. Later this year, the Financial Solutions Lab will announce its next challenge topic, and in early 2016 we will begin accepting applications for the second Financial Solutions Lab Challenge.
Stay tuned for the upcoming report featuring innovative fintech trends from the Financial Solutions Lab applications. The Financial Solutions Lab saw a surge of products and services that will help improve Americans’ cash flow management. The Financial Health Network is drawing on information collected from its year in the field for a new report on financial technology trends.
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