BECU and UW CoMotion announce Pocketnest among winners of Fintech Incubator competition
Content originally appeared in CoMotion blog post
Winning startups bring collaborative banking, community capital, charitable giving, and financial wellness innovations to the BECU FinTech Incubator
In its ongoing commitment to help grow the fintech community and drive innovation in the financial services space, BECU has selected the winners of the fourth annual BECU FinTech Incubator competition. The four winning startups are Asa, Honeycomb Credit, NetGiver, and Pocketnest.
Established in 2018, the incubator is a partnership between BECU, the largest not-for-profit credit union in Washington, and CoMotion at the University of Washington (UW) to support fintech startups. The collaboration combines BECU’s expertise in financial services, data analysis, and member experiences with CoMotion’s strengths in incubation, partnership, innovation, company formation, and technology commercialization.
Located in CoMotion Labs technology incubator near UW’s campus, the fintech incubator has supported 11 startups over the past three and a half years: Noonum, Routable, Attunely, Fincluziv, Cozera, flub, QUUE, Bumper, Joola, Pay Your Tuition Funds, and Stack.
BECU and CoMotion’s collaboration provides support, mentorship, incubation space, and training to the incubator’s members. The startups selected for the year-long program receive benefits including one year of sponsored membership to CoMotion Labs; access to CoMotion training, events, and mentorship; connections to UW faculty and to BECU networks and subject matter experts; and access to Pitchbook. Startups with a live product that matches BECU’s organizational needs can also explore ways to collaborate on conducting user research or running a proof-of-concept.
Fintech refers to technology and innovation around the delivery of financial services. Many different types of technology aim to enhance the customer experience, including digitizing financial services through software, algorithms, computer or mobile application tools; peer-to-peer lending; crypto exchanges, and occasionally hardware like virtual reality (VR). This rapidly growing field has changed nearly all aspects of the financial industry, from banking and lending to how customers shop online.
This year’s kickoff event will be on July 6th at the BECU FinTech incubator. It will be led by Anson Fatland, associate vice provost for Innovation Strategy and Ventures at CoMotion, and Mike Zell, senior vice president of Digital at BECU. Leaders from the four startups are also participating: Landon Glenn of Asa Financial, George Cook of Honeycomb Credit, Miriam Ackerman of NetGiver, and Jessica Willis of Pocketnest.
“At BECU, we aim to provide our members with the right tools and resources they need to reach their financial goals and meet their growing financial needs,” said Mike Zell, BECU’s senior vice president of Digital. “By partnering with UW CoMotion, we support startups who will help foster innovation in the financial services industry and increase the financial well-being of our communities for the long-term.”
Learn more about the newest members
Landon Glenn, CEO Asa is paving a new path forward in financial services, collaborative banking. This model connects financial institutions with vetted fintechs for end-users in a secure, compliant, and easy-to-implement marketplace. By creating a trusted, closed ecosystem in which financial institutions and fintechs benefit from one another, Asa helps banks and credit unions to innovate, fintechs to scale, and customers to take control of their data and finances through their financial institution.
George Cook, Co-Founder & CEO Honeycomb Credit is a community capital platform where small businesses can borrow expansion loans from their own customers and fans. Small businesses are increasingly locked out of traditional bank loans, making it harder and more expensive to get the money they need to grow and thrive. Honeycomb gives businesses the capital they need while letting community members invest as little as $100 to support businesses they love while earning competitive returns.
Miriam Ackerman, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer NetGiver supports charitable giving, matching credit unions with donors and nonprofits. The app, which can be credit-union-branded, facilitates giving to 501(c)(3) organizations simply and securely, with zero fees for donors and nonprofits. For credit unions, NetGiver is a values-aligning marketing tool supporting the retention and acquisition of members while creating impactful relationships with nonprofits in their communities.
Jessica Willis, Founder & CEO Pocketnest, Inc. is a financial wellness platform forging deeper connections between people and their financial institutions to help them achieve financial wellness. Made by and for millennials and Gen-Xers, it brings institutions rich member data and insights to reach younger audiences, serve more people, identify cross-sell opportunities, and promote financial wellness. Pocketnest licenses its software to institutions like banks, credit unions, investment advisors, 401(k) plan sponsors, and employee wellness platforms.