“Cincinnati has 'skin in the game.'" — Cintrifuse CEO Pete Blackshaw
September 29, 2020
Image by David Mark from Pixabay
FinTech Frontier is hoping to connect the dots between Cincinnati’s large financial institutions and FinTech startups around the country. With the goal of providing a space for financial entrepreneurs to find the tools they need to build, the Cintrifuse-backed catalyst is holding events every other week through the end of October.
The first, held Sept. 17, covered machine learning and artificial intelligence in the financial industry. The panel, moderated by Brian Brackeen, General Partner at Lightship Capital, zoomed in from around the country. The panel consisted of: Chris Zock, Managing Director of Sandbox Insurtech Fund; Jennifer Choo, Partner and Head of Investments at Portag3; Roger Park, EY Americas Innovation Leader; and TX Zhuo, General Partner of Fika Ventures.
Among the topics discussed, the panel spent time on financial regulations, data, and AI. According to Park, it is crucial for startups to pay attention to regulations and regulators.
“Don’t ignore financial regulation and think it’s going to go away,” Park said, when it comes to financial technology. When a company starts growing and garners attention, you don’t want to find out what you’ve been doing is illegal.
Being a connector of big companies and startups, Cintrifuse is looking to help those in FinTech grow their fledgling businesses, while creating a symbiotic relationship. The panelists all chimed in on what startups can do to help fuel this relationship.
Choo explained that it’s important for startups to understand that they can learn something from a corporation. While corporations might move slowly, they have access to resources that are hard to come by at small businesses.
“Startups can help larger organizations by providing new solutions and opening up new distribution channels,” Zhuo said.
Cintrifuse CEO Pete Blackshaw opened and closed the panel. He noted that while Cincinnati has made large strides most venture capital is still being spent on the coasts, with the goal to get more money into the Midwest.
The next event for FinTech Frontier will be held on Oct. 1 and will cover Main Street Imagination. Midwest Activation will follow on Oct. 15. These events will culminate in a pitch competition with finalists competing on Oct. 29. There are $60,000 in prizes and, Blackshaw said, it shows that Cincinnati has “skin in the game.” The pitch competition is accepting applications through Oct. 15.
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Grab your headphones
Cincinnati Future is happy to announce a new "edu-tainment" option from our parent publishers at Flyover Future: Flyover Future Presents: Innovators podcast.
Ben Reno-Weber, entrepreneur and director of the Future of Work Initiative in and Brian Eichenberger, producer and podcast extraordinaire will co-host season one.
Episode 1: Judy Nichols, CEO of Breakpoint Technology
Predicting cardiac arrest, discovering why ER admissions increase for one town when it rains, and optimizing supply chain — thank you data revolution!
You can listen this episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, or wherever else you get your podcasts.
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Fifth Third provides grants to help businesses owned by women of color
The Fifth Third Foundation has announced that it will provide $1.2 million to launch a new program called Innovation meets Main Street: Boosting Black Women-Owned Businesses—and Cincinnati is one of seven markets benefiting from the program. Fifth Third is awarding grants to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Association of Enterprise Opportunity (AEO).
LISC received $1 million, which will go toward funding small businesses ($630,000) and investing in the Fearless Fund ($250,000), a VC firm that invests in businesses owned by women of color. The remaining funding will be used to deliver technical assistance.
AEO received $200,000, earmarked for providing business owners with access to Mainstreet RISE, which offers capital and services for underserved entrepreneurs.
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Lowering healthcare costs for SMBs
Mercy Health-Cincinnati and St. Elizabeth Healthcare—two of Cincy’s biggest health care providers—are joining forces to lower local healthcare costs for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). They have formed DirectHealth Connect, making it possible for SMBs to work with the systems directly instead of going through an insurance provider.
The new partnership was formed with the help of Boise-based Health2Business, which has established similar collaborations across the U.S.
Mercy Health-Cincinnati president Dave Fikse said the program has arrived as healthcare systems are trying to reduce costs incurred from the pandemic.
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NKU launches healthcare commercialization program
Northern Kentucky University has launched a new graduate program that teaches the process of developing and launching new healthcare products in the marketplace. The six-month online program culminates with a certificate in healthcare commercialization. It is the first grad program of its kind in the country.
Students in the program will learn how to transform research and development into viable healthcare products and services. The curriculum caters to healthcare providers, entrepreneurs, and career changers. Healthcare innovation is a growing focus for NKU, which has recently launched master’s programs in health administration and health informatics and a healthcare focused MBA.
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Cincy doctors discover drug for rare lung disease
A team of researchers led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital scientist Bruce Trapnell has developed a drug for a rare lung disease that has stymied researchers for decades. The disease, called autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, or aPAP, strikes an estimated 2,000 to 8,000 people in the U.S. The disease causes the lungs to fill up with a surfactant that must be washed out in an invasive procedure done under general anesthesia.
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Attend the virtual Vogt Awards Demo Day on Oct. 15
Register now for the virtual Vogt Awards Demo Day on Thursday, Oct. 15.
Meet the six 2020 early-stage companies selected to each receive a $25,000 grant, participation in a 10-week lean startup program, coaching from scalable startup CEOs, industry mentorship, and strategic introductions. With the announcement of these winners, the Community Foundation of Louisville is honored to have supported 84 companies with $3.5 million in Vogt Award grants throughout the program's 20-year history. You don’t want to miss this celebration, register here.
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AROUND THE REGION
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