NewFinance presents startups in integrated mobile payments, investing for teens

By Dennis Clemente

NEW YORK--Last July 27, NewFinance held a Shark Tank-like Open Mike Night featuring financial companies innovating through technology at Rise in Chelsea.  

The entrepreneurs were Melanie Smith, founder/CEO at KaChing, a mobile app designed to foster investing habits and financial mindfulness in teenagers;  Rob Koyfman of Koyfin.com, a web-based terminal that provides investors with research and visualization tools to analyze stocks, fx, macro and economic indicators and  Marcus Estes, CEO at Chroma, a securities exchange for the private markets economy.

Smith, who taught 9th Grade Math in public schools, said 41 million teens and tweens will earn over $91 billion annually.

“Over the next 30 years 6 trillion will pass to next generation,” she said, who also told about how crucial it may be to add gamification component to her app.

Koyfman, for his part, said he is looking into the 45 million equity investors.

Others included Gregg Jackowitz, founder & CEO at PaidEasy, a mobile payments application that allows users to seamlessly sync with a merchants’ Point of Sales system and João Menano, founder and head of business development at CrowdProcess or James.

PaidEasy is looking solve app fatigue by having all mobile payments for so many apps integrated on his system, according to Koyfman.

Consumer credit modeling software for risk officers Shuo Zhang, co-founder & CEO at ModernLend, also presented his platform, an online lender that uses alternative data metrics to lend to creditworthy international citizens.

ModernLend is trying to solve the problem for international visitors or students who are in the United States but have no credit score.

“It’s going to be the first credit card for international visitors. You get approved in under 24 hours,” Zhang said.

Last but not the least, Uday Akkaraju, founder at BOND, talked about his intelligent SMS bot that automatically grows users' wealth based on their financial goals, in the shortest possible duration.

For Bond, why even bother to do this when there are so many platforms out there?  

Akkaraju said, Wealth managers are not (always) accessible. BOND is easily accessible

This is very comfortable for everyone,” he said.

The investors at the meetup who asked questions and provided constructive feedback to the entrepreneurs included Matt Perlman, principal at Fenway Summer Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on promising early stage financial services companies;  Alex Tarhini, Associate at Point72 Ventures

Eric Gouin, CEO of Pentalabbs, a Strategic Industrial Investor in Services for Equity that gives to startups power of technology and digital marketing for their acceleration

Meghan Cross, managing mirector of Red Bear Angels, the angel group that invests in early-stage ventures founded or led by Cornell University alumni

Adi Levanon, director of Investments at FinTech Collective, investing in early stage Fintech companies with a focus on banking, lending, payments, capital markets, wealth & asset management, insurance and blockchain based technologies

The meetup was hosted by Ashish Singal.