FinLab goes to New York and DC

Asad Ramzanali and Maria Lajewski
FinLab goes to New York and DC

This holiday season, the Financial Solutions Lab gave the greatest gift any fintech entrepreneur could ask for: access to some of the most prominent industry experts and influencers across the financial services ecosystem.

In fact, 72% of FinLab applicants listed partnership opportunities as their greatest motivation for initially applying to the program. Luckily for CFSI, making connections across the financial services ecosystem is what we do best.

So earlier this month, the Lab undertook the most ambitious and logistically complex meeting to date, connecting FinLab members to more than 100 key stakeholders over two days and in two cities.

New York City
Lab members spent the first day at JPMorgan Chase’s New York City headquarters. The day started with JPMC executives presenting big picture industry trends and key issues Lab companies should be thinking about, like how to effectively engage government agencies and regulatory bodies. After lunch, each Lab company had three working sessions, tailored to deal with specific issues they are facing. For example, companies discussed best practices in pricing, received feedback on their investor and partnership pitches, and got the low-down on how banks source and vet third party partners.

Next, each company had two meetings to get feedback on various strategic questions from senior JPMC executives, which provided invaluable insights. The last event on the agenda was a reception with JPMC executives and key nonprofit partners. After the long day of productive workshops and meetings, the group rushed over to catch one of the last Amtrak trains to DC. Suffice it to say that the train (read: “party train”) to DC was a highlight in and of itself!

Washington, DC
Bright and early on Day 2, the Lab members attended a special White House briefing with Adrienne Harris, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council. Harris and the FinLab members candidly discussed a range of policy implications in the financial technology sector and the administration’s point of view.

After a short ride across town, FinLab members participated in a Regulatory Roundtable discussion, graciously hosted by the Bi-Partisan Policy Center, with over 30 senior representatives from all major regulatory bodies and the federal government. The impressive turnout was equally matched by the level of engagement in the room. FinLab companies provided a deeper look into the mechanics and consumer impact of their products, and also shared some of the regulatory hurdles hindering their ability to scale. The exchange of questions, comments and feedback positively reinforced the critical role CFSI and the Financial Solutions Lab plays in bridging the divide between regulation and financial technology.

Following the roundtable discussion, the Lab members dispersed across the Hill to attend a series of one-on-one meetings with key regulators and congressmen, including the Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission, House Committee on Agriculture, and the Office of Child Support Enforcement, to name just a few. The day concluded with an evening reception where FinLab members were able to connect with some of the country’s leading consumer advocacy organizations, national nonprofit providers and civil rights groups.

The Lab’s next and final meeting will conclude with a reception on February 11 in San Francisco. If you’re interested in joining us, email to inquire about an invitation. Limited space is available.

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Check out the “FinLab Snapshot: Solutions to Manage Household Cash Flow” for a look at consumer-focused financial technology in the United States today, including the areas of Planning, Credit, Payments, and Savings.
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