First Look at the Inaugural Project FinTech

With all that has transpired this year in banking and tech, the inaugural cohort for Project FinTech could not have been more relevant or timely. Opportunity in the FinTech industry is boundless and disruption is brewing.

We were excited to introduce this group of founders to our Nashville community, held alongside the bustling 3686 Festival put on by LaunchTN.

Founding Partners: First Horizon and ABA

Our cohort was joined by partnering industry giants and founding partners First Horizon Bank, celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and American Bankers Association (ABA). Other key players including Commerce Bank, LaunchTN, and Pinnacle also attended our First Look event, engaging with our founders.

“It’s been really awesome to see the partners that we have in this program show up with their teams, networks and resources, some already having made relationships with our founders,” said Maryn Papazian, Project FinTech program manager.

To kick off the pitches, we heard from Joe Maxwell our Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR), who paid homage to a time when he and Brian Fox, EC board member, sat down with the pioneers of FinTech, right here in Nashville. He expressed his enthusiasm to be able to see this program come to fruition. Both EIRs Joe Maxwell and Lee Farabaugh have been instrumental in the program’s design.

The Inaugural Cohort

The heart of the event was the official introduction of the 2023 Project Fintech Cohort. These promising startups have been handpicked for their groundbreaking solutions in the fintech space, and their potential to reshape the industry, addressing market gaps and opportunities. 

We heard from the following companies:

Ampersand, Inc. specializes in offering depositors access to deposit insurance protection that exceeds traditional FDIC coverage limits by allocating funds among its network of financial institutions.

Lendovative Technologies develops and supports niche commercial lending technologies for use by community banks and credit unions for the benefit of small businesses.

Grounded is a marketplace for financial institutions offering core deposits, loans, and CRA service.

Lumio Insight is a data analytics and dashboarding cloud service enabling financial institutions to gain insight into their customers, products, branches, and finances.

Nuestro Financial is a technology company focused on closing the financial literacy gap affecting vulnerable communities in the American Southeast.

Parlay generates risk-based insights and enhances workflows to help borrowers meet loan requirements for lenders seeking to efficiently qualify and convert small business loan customers.

Plata is the banking and transfer service all-in-one app designed to give millions of unbanked Latinos their financial start.

SpendCare is the first debit card that lets home care agencies safely spend money on behalf of their clients.

A Look to the Future

Our founders shared positive sentiments about the event, many of whom traveled from out of state.

“I’m so grateful for all the connections and to the EC for bringing the community together. We knew it was here but we didn’t know how to navigate it.” – Perry Peguillan, Co-founder of SpendCare

“I am excited to come back to Nashville for the ABA conference in November. It’s been great to get plugged into the Nashville community and I’m looking forward to continuing that.” – Jeff Fink, Founder of Lumio insight

Follow along, as we continue to post updates and share news about our Project FinTech cohort. 

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