The Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding Lab partner Chase announced eight financial services innovators as the winners of its third competition, aimed at identifying solutions that can help Americans improve their financial health.
Each winner will receive $250,000 in capital and additional resources to test, enhance and scale their products, many of which are designed to address the needs of often overlooked populations, such as people of color, low-income women, aging Americans, and individuals with disabilities.
The broader issue of financial health was selected as this year’s challenge because 57% of Americans – some 138 million adults – have difficulty managing their daily financial lives, establishing a cushion for financial resilience, and positioning themselves for financial security and mobility according to CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Study.
Research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute found that expenses fluctuate by 29% – nearly $1,300 – on a month-to-month basis for median-income households and that income volatility affects Americans across the income spectrum, with older families exhibiting a wider range of income and expense volatility.
The 2017 winners were selected from more than 300 applicants from across the United States.
• Blueprint Income (New York, NY) is creating the future pension – a simple, pre-determined income stream backed by insurance companies. Blueprint Income makes it easy for anyone, regardless of employer, age, or wealth, to head into retirement with guaranteed, lifelong income.
• Dave (Los Angeles, CA) alerts consumers ahead of an upcoming overdraft and can instantly advance up to $75 at 0% interest to prevent overdraft fees.
• EverSafe (Columbia, MD) offers protection for aging Americans and their families by monitoring bank and investment accounts, credit cards and credit reports, alerting them to any sign of irregular activity.
• Grove (San Francisco, CA) delivers personalized financial advice that is accessible and affordable. By pairing technology with advisors, Grove puts a comprehensive financial plan within reach for everyone.
• Nova (San Francisco, CA) has built the world’s first cross-border credit reporting agency by building data partnerships across the globe. Nova’s Credit Passport accompanies immigrants on all their moves, so they need never start building credit from scratch again.
• Point (Palo Alto, CA) is an alternative to traditional home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Point buys into a fraction of a consumer’s property, paying today for a share of the home’s future appreciation. There are no monthly payments, no interest rate, and consumers can buy Point out or sell the home at any time.
• Token Transit (San Francisco, CA) is a mobile app to pay for public transportation that enables low-income riders to have convenient access to the transit passes they need. Riders are able to pay using a credit, debit, or a prepaid debit card. Token Transit also partners with pass programs to distribute free or subsidized passes to qualifying riders.
• Tomorrow (Seattle, WA) is aimed at providing long-term financial security to busy millennials and working families.
Each company will receive networking and advisory opportunities to grow and scale their business, $250,000 in capital, as well as the following benefits:
• Access to the CFSI Network and partnership opportunities that can help innovators increase product reach
• 1:1 ongoing mentorship and expertise provided by CFSI and JPMorgan Chase executives and other industry leaders, including FinLab’s own Entrepreneur-In-Residence and FinLab year-one member Tyler Griffin, founder and CEO of Prism (acquired by PayNearMe)
• Professional services assistance from industry leaders including CFSI, ideas42, IDEO.org, Paul Hastings, Promontory Financial, Google and others
• Peer learning opportunities via in-person retreats throughout the year and regular virtual working sessions
Beyond the support it offers startups selected for its FinLab program, the Lab also recently issued a $100,000 grant to nonprofit GreenPath Financial Wellness, a national financial counseling organization, to support its work creating partnerships with Lab winners and other fintech providers.