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NXTSTAGE Financial Technology Pilot Competition 2021 Winner Announced

In partnership with Emprise Bank and Fidelity Bank, NXTUS, Inc.’s NXTSTAGE Financial Technology Pilot Competition announced its winner during the 2021 FinTech Innovation Showcase, streamed Wednesday from a pop-up filming studio at the Ice House.

Cedar Credit Builder (Sioux Falls, S.D.), which allows consumers with little or no credit history to strengthen their credit score using automated borrowing and repayment on a small-scale line of credit, will do a pilot implementation with Emprise Bank.

Matt Michaelis, Chairman, President and CEO of Emprise Bank said, “We are thrilled to move forward with Cedar Credit Builder, as their innovative yet simple solution to a critical consumer obstacle really stood out to our team. It aligns perfectly with our mission of empowering people to thrive and accelerates our ability to deliver a more personalized and relevant experience to our customers.”

Emprise, Fidelity and INTRUST banks helped select the finalists, met with their founders during their Wichita visit, and reported they are exploring additional collaborations with these leading entrepreneurs, even as the startups are now making their technology tools available to other local firms. 

“It’s an exciting time to be in banking and experience how technology is driving business performance and improving the customer experience. We’re eager to explore partnerships with this year’s NXTSTAGE finalists, an impressive group that exemplifies the types of innovation that are pushing our industry forward,” said Aaron Bastian, Fidelity Bank President and CEO.

“Thanks to NXTSTAGE, over the last two years Emprise Bank has had the opportunity to engage with FinTech startups from around the world, with each bringing an innovative solution and diverse perspectives. Ultimately this has been a huge help in fueling our innovation to deliver enhanced experiences to our customers and continuing to develop our region’s startup ecosystem,” Michaelis added.

The finalists – selected from 107 global competitors – visited Wichita to get to know the community and are offering their next-generation technology solutions to help regional banks, credit unions and financial services companies with these challenges:

  • Better serve ‘credit invisible’ and underbanked community segments
  • Promote financial literacy, debt repayment and home-lending equity
  • Enhance security and prevent fraud with modern identity verification tools
  • Link smoothly with small-business customers’ financial information
  • Boost sales with improved internal tools and hyper-targeted offers

Area companies can watch the finalists’ three-minute pitches in the Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4CPBvZI0fI or connect with them through NXTUS. 

Here are the 2021 NXTSTAGE Financial Technology Pilot Competition Finalists:

  • Authenticating.com (Santa Monica, Ca.) helps financial institutions prevent fraud and feel secure about who they do business with by providing global identity verification, low-cost background checks and continuous monitoring. 
  • Boss Insights (Toronto, Canada) is a leader in open banking, linking fintech and financial institutions to their small and medium-sized business clients’ financial accounting, commerce, payroll and tax data in minutes.
  • Cedar Credit Builder (Sioux Falls, S.D.) allows consumers to build credit on Auto-Pilot using an all new Smart Line of Credit that automates utilization and maximizes credit score impact.
  • Home Lending Pal (Orlando, Fla.) offers a marketplace that helps consumers shop for a home and the best mortgage, while providing lenders secure data separation designed to promote lending equality. 
  • Identomat (Champaign, Ill.) provides AI-powered identity verification and compliance services that help enable seamless remote customer onboarding, biometric authentication, and cost-effective fraud prevention.
  • Mall IQ (Santa Clara, Ca.) is a location intelligence and AI company offering financial institutions a privacy-first mobile-engagement product to grow revenues from current customers by increasing activation & wallet share.
  • My Fondi (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) understands most Americans live paycheck to paycheck and offers them a mobile app to budget One Paycheck at a Time and access tools & banking partners to reach their financial goals.
  • The Paidback App (Phoenix, Ariz.) makes paying off debt simple and fun using motivational and accountability tools to keep users on track and equip them with the best loan products.
  • SaasIQ (Tempe, Ariz.) empowers community banks with real-time small business accounting data to automate cross selling, underwriting and compliance.
  • Swipe Credit (Atlanta, Ga.) is an AI-enabled platform that helps financial institutions grow revenue, enhance customers’ digital experience and deliver personalized offers in real time, backed by Techstars & Western Union.
  • VYMO (San Francisco) is an enterprise SAAS startup that uses automation and business intelligence to improve sales outcomes for more than 150,000 salespeople at 50+ leading financial institutions.  
  • Zogo Finance (Durham, N.C.) offers a gamified financial education application that helps 125+ financial institutions across the United States educate, engage and gain the loyalty of the next generation of financial decision makers.

Emprise Bank, Fidelity Bank and INTRUST Bank, along with support from the Talent Ecosystem Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, BKD CPAs and Advisors, Greater Wichita Partnership and NetWork Kansas, help NXTSTAGE power the growth of young tech companies and accelerate innovation in Kansas.

NXTUS, Inc is a catalyst for the Wichita startup ecosystem by generating and collaborating on many efforts to support the region’s entrepreneurs. The organization helps startup founders launch and grow highly scalable businesses and connects the business community with the innovation that startups provide. NXTUS manages Accelerate Venture Partners, a fast-growing regional Angel investor syndicate, and the NXTSTAGE Pilot Competition, aimed at connecting startups that have products in the market to mature businesses and regional partners looking to become customers for their technologies.