Fintech companies tout products following the ThinkTech Accelerator program

Eleven fintech companies showcased their products Wednesday, April 20, for Demo Day, the culmination of the Independent Community Bankers of America’s 16-week ThinkTech Accelerator program hosted by the Venture Center in Little Rock.

This was the fourth year of the program, which helps established companies improve their products and operations. Participants complete a four-week incubator program followed by an immersive 12-week program where they meet one-on-one bankers to discuss their products and receive feedback. This year, 127 banks participated.

In a typical year, companies would have representatives in Arkansas for the entire program, which would also bring community bankers to Arkansas. This year, they were here physically for a week, and the rest of the program took place virtually because of the pandemic. Last year’s program was entirely virtual.

The 2022 cohort was chosen from hundreds of applicants by a selection committee comprising around thirty bankers.

In its four years of existence, Thinktech has graduated 37 companies, 94% of which are still active. In his opening remarks at Demo Day, Venture Center Executive Director Wayne Miller said “dozens upon dozens of meaningful deals” have been struck between cohorts and member banks. All of this year’s participants are based in the United States and Canada, but Venture Center programs are aimed at companies around the world.

Two former members have been based in Arkansas: Springdale-based Teslar Software, a Class of 2019 member; and Little Rock-based FI Works, a 2020 entrant.

On Demo Day, the 11 companies provided approximately seven-minute presentations to a virtual audience of community bankers and others, with audience members asking near the end of the presentations if they wanted more information.

The 2022 cohort includes the following companies:

– Accrue Technologies, which helps businesses and consumers open accounts. The company was recently acquired by Core 10, based in Franklin, Tennessee.
– Chimney, whose easy-to-use financial calculators can be integrated into bank websites to help customers use their loan, savings and other services. The company is based in Brooklyn, New York.
– KlariVis, which organizes a bank’s customer data. The company is based in Roanoke, Virginia.
– LemonadeLXP, which provides a digital engagement platform for onboarding new customers.
– Quilo, which provides a mobile lending platform and is based in Lakeside, Montana.
– Senso, which proactively engages borrowers before they make their next real estate purchase or refinance. The company is based in Toronto.
– Sequretek, which protects banks against cybercrime. He is based in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
– DocFox, a workflow automation tool for corporate account opening. He is based in Miami.
– Unifimoney, a digital wealth management tool based in San Francisco.
– Vero Technologies, which helps community banks provide inventory financing to car dealerships and others. He is based in Brooklyn.
– Wealthstack, a veteran-owned company based in Austin, Texas, which helps banks offer digital retirement plans to their employees, as well as more than 100 educational and retirement videos.

KlariVis was named Cohort MVP for its collaborative approach and potential to address the challenges and opportunities of community bankers. Quilo won the 2022 Banker’s Choice Award at the Independent Community Bankers of America’s annual convention in March.

In the KlariVis presentation, Gill Hundley, Chief Risk Officer, said that as Banking Risk Manager, she received 10-15 static reports per email daily, where she had to locate stored information.

KlariVis solves this problem. It is a business dashboard and analytics platform that saves bankers time on spreadsheets. It automates daily extract files from the bank’s central system and other systems and presents information to bankers.

Ashley Fiore, Chief Business Intelligence Officer, displayed the reports generated by KlariVis. A bank’s information showed its total deposits and month-to-month and year-to-year changes. It tracked top depositors as well as average balances per customer and number of accounts. Another chart showed how the composition of deposits has changed since the beginning of the month, giving insight into why this particular bank saw a $29 million drop in deposits. Another graph provided analyzes for each branch.

Many screens displayed other types of information, including detailed information about the bank’s loan portfolio. Another page provided information for the council’s monthly reports.

The Independent Community Bankers of America represents nearly 5,000 community banks, which together hold $5.9 trillion in assets, $4.9 trillion in deposits and more than $3.5 trillion in loans. Community banks make up 99% of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans, and are the only physical presence in one-third of U.S. counties, according to the ICBA website.

Ryan H. Bowman