Financial institutions, technology providers and industry analysts gathered in San Jose on Tuesday to listen to a steady stream of pitches from startup financial technology companies at the Finovate Spring competition. At stake is the title of “Best in Show,” which helped launch other now well-known fintech companies like LearnVest, Mint and Betterment.
More than 70 companies will present over two days and winners will be named Wednesday evening. In the first hour of the convention, the audience heard pitches from 10 companies with products ranging from banking security solutions to mobile loan application apps to financial tools for underserved consumers.
The wealth management industry is well-represented and one early presenter, DarcMatter, showed off an online investment platform for institutional-level access to alternative investment opportunities.
Other presenters include automated asset allocation services like Trizic, a company looking to bring white-label “robo-advisor” technology to broker/dealers, asset managers and registered investment advisors. Hedgeable, a robo-advisor that claims to use hedging, risk management and downside protection to provide a more sophisticated product than Wealthfront or Betterment, will announce new developments to their service.
In addition to awards and media attention, startups are also looking to catch the eye of some of the largest financial services firms. West coast companies like Wells Fargo and Charles Schwab have a large presence in the audience and have already invested in several of the presenters. Envestnet, a wealth management technology provider that has been on a recent streak of acquisitions, is also in the audience, as is industry research firm Aite Group.