Posted by Tara Lepelletier on Wed, Mar 23 2016

All Posts by Tara Lepelletier

My Favorite Startups at FinTech Rising 2016

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On Wednesday, myself, accompanied by two fellow colleagues, attended the New York Venture Capital Association’s FinTech Rising event held at Think Rise NYC in Flatiron. The event brought together leading members of the NYC VC and FinTech communities for a half day program filled with insightful discussion on the changing FinTech landscape. Some of our favorite companies sat on panels, including SeedInvest, Trusted Insight, EquityZen, Xignite, and Future Perfect Ventures.

The event also gave 17 startups the opportunity to give a 5-minute pitch to the audience in the hopes of advancing to their next goal, whether that be raising money, connecting with a new client base, or looking for advisory direction and support. It was my favorite part of the conference.

Startups are an inspiration to our agency. Seeing someone who saw a problem, thought of a way to fix it, and turn that into a business is motivating. We are currently a local supporter of Startupbootcamp FinTech NYC, a startup accelerator that pairs interesting startups with banks and VC mentors. We also have a practice area called Cognito Ventures, where we work with early-stage growth companies that are looking for their next seed round, messaging and branding support, media training and any other introductory elements startups deploy to elevate their product/service and brand.

Here are 6 firms at FinTech Rising that made a strong impression with me:


What they do: “LogicFI is a lending technology platform that empowers financial institutions with the software, infrastructure, and analytics necessary to compete in today's online lending market.”

Why they stood out: The current state of innovation in lending industry is fascinating, and LogicFi is one of the leaders. I have seen this company’s leadership speak before and was always impressed with their confidence and authority. This came through during their pitch. It was organized, to the point and inspired trust. Nothing makes us communicatiors more jazzed than a well thought-out message and presentation.


What they do: “qplum is a wealth management firm with focus on empowering the individual investor with a curated set of trading strategies.”

Why they stood out: I’m inclined to like brands that have a solid purpose, especially when that purpose is to help solve a problem through transparent means. qplum let’s you peak behind the curtain and learn about what is really going on in wealth management, making the process a little less intimidating.


What they do: “Debitize is a breakthrough financial tool that combines the benefits of both credit cards and debit cards. Now you can earn more rewards, build your credit score, and take advantage of better security and fraud protection, all without sacrificing the financial responsibility you enjoy with debit.”

Why they stood out: The convenience and simplicity of the tool. You need credit and like your rewards, but might not be the most financially responsible person (insert hand raising emoji girl here). Debitize automates this process so you can have your cake and eat it too, financially speaking.


What they do: “It is a place where you will be able to see how your trusted network and the community at large is investing. An eco-system where you can get research, analytical tools and trade using your brokerage account all under one umbrella.”

Why they stood out: Combining the very personal decision to invest supported by a trusted community. Alphastreet is a tool that creates a social community for investing underpinned by research so you can feel secure and smart. Alphastreet also makes suggestions on investments based on data gathered from your investing likes and dislikes.


What they do: “LearnLux teaches Millennials personal finance skills through online learning tools and connects them with financial institutions so that they can take immediate action.”

Why they stood out: I am a personal finance un-savvy millennial. There I said it. There are a lot of educational tools out there that focus on how to manage finances, but LearnLux has personality, and made me feel not so ashamed to be PFM-illiterate. I got a chance to speak with their co-founder, Rebecca Liebman, after the event and was really impressed to see such a smart young woman championing personal finance knowledge among her peers.


What they do: “Frank is a platform that makes it easy to lend and borrow money from friends and family.”

Why they stood out: This is just a feel good concept. The idea of being able to lend and borrow money without the fear of awkwardness opens up a lot of possibilities to help or be helped by the people you care about. My only issue with this brand is that they are so darn hard to find on social channels and by search.

The world of startups and funding (see here for our 5 ways to best announce your next funding round blog) is exciting. These startups are changing the financial landscape by providing new solutions to important problems. At Cognito we take pride in being a partner to companies in their early stages of growth as they seek to reach new audiences, promote their solutions and find their identity and voice among a sea of startups.

Cognito, Cognito Media, Events, Fintech,
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