Sick of the bulge brackets? Here is what’s happening in FinTech in NYC…
AlleyNYC recently hosted New York City’s first annual FinTech Hackathon. The event promoted the development of financial technology by providing programmers and designers with resources to innovate, discover and produce new products and technologies that could potentially benefit the industry.
With a $10,000 grand prize resonating in the forefront of their minds, 37 groups of “hackers” came together on Saturday morning to begin their 2-day challenge. They spent the day brainstorming, hacking and participating in workshops ranging from OpenShift to OpenFin HTML5. Technology partners provided hackers with APIs and development tools including OpenGamma, Dwolla, 10gen, Zipmark, Disqus and Tradable.
“In addition to engaging FinTech developers, we want to bring together a diverse group of financial technology partners who can make their products available to attendees to build on top of,” said Michael Schonfeld, co-organizer of the Hackathon.
Sallie Krawcheck, the former head of Merrill Lynch; Matt Harris, the managing director at Bain Capital Ventures; Erica Frontiero, the senior vice president of GE Capital Markets were among the panel of judges.
A tremendous range of creativity and innovation was on display during presentations. One group created openStreet, an online platform for community funding, giving access to anyone who wants to invest. Project Freedom’s movement to provide tax services for freelancers enthused the audience while Zap, the third-place winner of the clever smartphone credit card reader, without the credit card reader, redefined payment methods. Second place went to TidBits, which minimizes the risk of accepting bitcoins through price hedging.
RealID was the $10,000 grand prize winner. The service allows financial institutions to verify the real identity of their customers. RealID ensures accurate verification and complete coverage by relying on trusted local service providers to do physical verification, using primary identity documents.
NYC’s FinTech Hackathon was one of first to take place this year with others to be scheduled in London, San Francisco and Toronto.