Last year, Montreal’s Fintech Ecosystem went to a whole new level. Numerous stakeholders stepped-in to plug gaps in the pipeline, various exciting events were hosted and a number of fintechs were created. FormFintech’s Ascension pre-incubation program, aimed at early-stage startups, also came into existence.
For the first cohort, 10 fintechs received guidance and coaching from over 40 established experts through multiple sessions spanning over 12 weeks. Ascension Alumni Cohort 2018 Patrick Roy, Founder at Ophelia Technologies, mentioned that “going through different workshops on subjects such as customer journey, sales, regulations etc helped us to convert an idea into an actual product that still needed work, but was rightly positioned to rapidly move towards a high potential startup.” Another Ascension alumni, Xavier Freeman, co-founder at Allset, added "Ascension allowed us to access guidance from successful mentors, key industry connections and tools to accelerate Allset's growth. We are thankful for the support and highly recommend this program to entrepreneurs in the fintech space".
Apart from coaching and mentorship, FormFintech also helped teams in the areas of financing and springboard opportunities. For instance, because of being associated to our Ascension incubator program, 3 teams received grants worth $25K each from the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation (Québec). The program concluded with an exciting demo-day, where multiple prizes where available in the form of: $1K plus a meeting with top Desjardins executives; a welcome package and working space from District 3 Innovations Center; 1-on-1 session with David Nault; direct meeting for a potential deal with BDC; direct access to first-round interviews with the Holt FinTech Accelerator; $1K plus dedicated space at the Fintech Forum from Finance Montreal and a 5-week design training session from Valtech.
With the phenomenal success of the first cohort, we're thrilled to announce and welcome our 2019 Ascension Cohort. With a mixture of early-stage fintech startups that are either in the validation or prototyping phase, FormFintech is excited to work alongside experts, to help these 14 startups climb to their next fintech summit.
The 2019 Ascension Cohort
In total, 14 teams have been selected into the program with 2 in personal finance management, 2 in cryptocurrencies, 3 in business process automation, 2 in insurtech, 3 in investment tech, 1 in payments and 1 in responsible investments. Below is a short summary of each of these startups.
Looking to develop a product that will allow insurance agents to make recommendations using client data. This will be done not only through an online platform, but also through mobile apps so that agents can provide great service anywhere and everywhere.
A mobile payment application that streamlines the billing process at bars and restaurants, allowing customers to split items and pay the bill directly from their smartphone. In the future, CHK PLZ, plans to enter the data market and enable restaurateurs to better understand their customers and improve the dining experience.
With more and more modern tech being used with legacy systems at financial institutions, there is a need to make transition processes as smooth and effective as possible. Commit.guru with the aid of artificial intelligence and machine learning aims to assess the probability of bugs whenever new commits are introduced into a system.
CRZUS wants to improve the financial health of future generations by making financial education a part of every young individual's everyday life through the use of a mobile app connected with debit cards specially designed for people below the age of 18. All this while providing parents with a simple, safe and supervised tool that turns pocket money into practical life lessons.
Reaching financial goals requires planning and expert advice. With the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies as an asset class, many want to receive expert advice on crypto investing. Daswealth's online platform will do exactly that through the use of sophisticated algorithms that provide recommendations based on a person's financial goals.
Cryptocurrencies have created a lot of wealth, which eventually led to questions pertaining to capital gains and taxation. But due to the inherent nature of cryptos, these calculations are much harder than what everyone imagined. Ez Ledger wants to make this process simpler and automated.
Stock market investing is hard and has always been so, and ever since the advent of time, stock pickers and quants have looked for ways to beat the market. Many have failed, but a lot have also succeeded. Gedesys, with its sophisticated machine learning enabled algorithm has plans to be another addition to the success stories category.
Kaira's goal is to understand the psychological profile, behaviors and financial patterns of an individual, through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide tailored and customized experiences, recommendations and plans in the area of financial management.
Lyra Insight wants to provide an accessible source of information to analyze the history of board of directors or senior management at an organization and determine the risk of fraud. Their target market includes wealth managers who can use Lyra Insight's platform to immediately access information on a company’s senior leadership.
Starting a new job is always exciting, but charting out the necessary work contracts and dealing with all the paperwork is highly painful for both the employer and employee. Nomid is targeting this pain point by creating a mechanism to automate calculations and transactions related to salary, taxes and a myriad of other formalities associated with payroll.
Oxia's platform, Carboscope, aims to automate the task of data collection, measurement and audit of the carbon footprint of small and medium sized companies. With a simple and affordable source of data for carbon emissions, SMEs can develop a clear understanding of their footprint and work with relevant stakeholders to reduce it.
Data is the new oil, valuable but unusable in its crude form. PropFile's mission is to clean and aggregate data originating from different sources in the commercial and residential real estate market. Interested financial institutions, such as insurance firms, would be able to tap into this data source to make better decisions and provide appropriate pricing for consumers.
Everyone wants product recommendations and services specific to their own needs, whether it be in the financial services industry or otherwise. Recommender.io will analyze a user's behaviour through various data sources and feed that information into a state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm that is scalable, seamless and reliable.
Everyone is interested in investing, but most don't know where to start or how to invest. XeoHive wants to make trading and investing easier and more profitable for the everyday investor. It plans to provide retail and institutional investors with analytics and pre-built trading tools powered through machine learning algorithms.
For the next 11 weeks, each of these startups will work towards developing and growing their state-of-the-art products and business models, which will be showcased at the demo-day held in April. We at FormFintech eat, live and breathe Fintech startups. Nothing is more exciting for us than to see a startup refine its product, grow its team and make that first sale! We're excited to have a phenomenal group of experts and collaborators joining us this year to help our fintech startups climb to their next summit.
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