In its ongoing commitment to help grow the fintech community and drive innovation in the financial services space, BECU has selected the winners of the third annual BECU FinTech Incubator competition. The four winning startups include Bumper, Joola, PYT Funds, and Stack. Established in 2018, the incubator is a partnership between BECU and CoMotion at the University of Washington (UW) to support fintech startups. The incubator became the first in the Seattle area focused on fintech and has housed seven startups over the past two and a half years: Noonum, Routable, Attunely, Fincluziv, Cozera, flub, and QUUE
To attract more fintech innovators to the region, BECU and CoMotion’s collaboration provides support, mentorship, incubation space, and training. Startups selected for the year-long program receive benefits including one year of sponsored membership to CoMotion Labs located near the UW campus; access to CoMotion training, events, and mentorship; connections to UW faculty and to BECU networks and subject matter experts; and access to Pitchbook. Startups with a live product that matches BECU’s organizational needs can also explore ways to collaborate on conducting user research or running a proof-of-concept.
Fintech refers to technology and innovation around the delivery of financial services. Many different types of technology aim to enhance the customer experience, including digitizing financial services through software, algorithms, computer or mobile application tools; peer-to-peer lending; crypto exchanges, and occasionally hardware like virtual reality (VR). This rapidly growing field has changed nearly all aspects of the financial industry, from banking and lending to how customers shop online.
This year’s virtual kickoff event will be held today, led by Anson Fatland, associate vice provost for Innovation Strategy and Ventures at CoMotion, and Doug Marshall, executive vice president, Chief Digital & Product Officer at BECU. Leaders from the four startups are also participating: Harrison Martindale of Bumper, Henny Damian of Joola, Stacie Whisonant of PYT Funds, and Will Rush of Stack.
“BECU’s goal is to drive innovation in the financial services space and offer long-term solutions to better support our members and communities, and our partnership with CoMotion does just that,” said Mike Zell, vice president of Digital at BECU. “We are excited to welcome these four new startups to the BECU Fintech Incubator and partner with CoMotion to provide the education, resources and tools needed to help inspire innovation and financial well-being.”
An investing app aimed at making long-term investing more accessible and engaging for Gen Z teenagers. Built specifically for the next generation of investors, Bumper allows users to begin their investing journey in a secure environment while developing healthy investing habits. Teens can begin investing with just $1 and an adult account sponsor, and they can learn about finance, the stock market, and investing through hundreds of interactive educational mini-modules.
A savings and rewards app offering an alternate pathway for friends and family to build access to capital, regardless of socioeconomic status. Inspired by a global financial concept, Joola enables members to create or join an existing co-savings group. Every group member makes an equal contribution, with one member receiving a lump sum after every cycle. The group ends when all members receive their payouts.
Connects families and banks to provide innovative solutions to finance higher education. Their innovative financing approach creates a new path to fund new skills and re-skill our working economy. PYT offers multiple student-centric solutions to match users with the right money to meet their needs, such as the Student Loanership™ Program, which rewards students for taking positive steps toward degree completion and future employment.
An application programming interface (API) layer between brands and brokerage firms that authenticates a user’s account and transmits trade order requests on behalf of that customer. Stack enables public brands to seamlessly offer their customers stock as a membership perk, in lieu of loyalty points or discounts, in addition to many other use cases.