(Photo by Roberto Torres)
The results are in: eight startups (most of them local) made it to the inaugural cohort of Village Capital’s VilCap Communities fintech accelerator, which is run in partnership with Ben Franklin Technology Partners and seeks to hook up two startups with $25,000 in seed money.
As we told you back in February, the program is unique because it brings the VilCap model to the world of fintech (and Philly): the companies in the accelerator will decide which startups get access to the cash at the end of the 12-week program. (Village Capital is based in D.C. and is running its VilCap Communities accelerator with local partners around the country.)
Here’s the list and a brief description from Ben Franklin.
- Asset-Map: a platform that creates interactive visuals blending design thinking and personal finance to deepen client conversation.
- Bright Idea Energy: a service that pays for and installs LEDs for free, and shares the savings with its partners.
- College Affordability: the makers of EFC PLUS, software that helps families and financial advisors navigate the various college financial decisions from saving for college to student loan repayment.
- Factury: a trading and settlement network with applications for the secondary loan market, connecting lenders with institutional investors.
- FinPay: a platform to provide patients with financing solutions at point-of-care.
- FixList: a real estate data analysis company that offers tools and services to help lenders, developers, and community groups make smart, impactful investments in the built environment.
- NeedsList: a platform that helps individuals find effective ways to meet refugee needs from anywhere in the world, while supporting local economies and grassroots innovation. (Here’s a story on NeedsList from our sister site Generocity.)
- PeopleJoy: a new employee benefit program that attracts and keeps millennial talent using student loan repayment assistance; for CEOs and business leaders struggling to address a talent shortage.
A few things of note:
- It seems that the definition of fintech was expanded past the more traditional payment processing companies (an expansion of the space beyond the buzzword, as Card Connect CEO Jeff Shanahan points out).
- Two companies on the list are impact-focused: NeedsList and Bright Idea Energy.
- All but one company is Philly-based. According to its website, Factury splits its time between NYC and San Francisco.
- Finally, a bit of a humble brag: FinPay and FixList are both on our realLIST.
Ben Franklin President and CEO RoseAnn Rosenthal called the lineup “an impressive range of companies and a great indicator of the depth of opportunity in our region.”
Reps from organizations including Vanguard, SEI, Wells Fargo, Gabriel Investments, InstaMed and others will be offering mentorship and advice to the startups as they build out their models and battle it our for the top two spots.