Last month the FinTech universe descended upon the City by the Bay for a week of meet-ups, panel discussions, startup pitches, lunch & learns, product demos and – of course – happy hours.
I thought SF Bay Area FinTechWeek2020 was a blast. Events across the Bay Area over four days attracted an array of attendees from several different industries. From FinTech startups and financial institutions to accelerators and venture capital, the participants were a diverse, engaged group.
1. FinTechWeek2020 Proved that FinTech in the Bay Area is Thriving
Maybe I’m just biased because I call the Bay Area home, but I’ve always thought the FinTech scene here was special. After FinTechWeek2020, I think it is safe to say I have a pretty valid argument. According to Crunchbase, there are more than 600 different FinTech organizations in the Bay Area, powered by more than $26 billion in funding. FinTech leaders are able to back up their ideas with the resources they need to succeed.
FinTechWeek2020 saw a broad array of FinTech pitches from more than 50 companies. I was particularly impressed with engaged audiences that asked thoughtful questions and made sure to follow up with presenters at other events and meet-and-greets.
Speaking of attentive audiences, every ticketed event at FinTechWeek2020 sold out. It’s easy to have engaged crowds, when the room is jam-packed and there’s not an empty seat in the house!
2. FinTech is Expanding to Many Different Industries
To kick off the FinTech week festivities, Envestnet | Yodlee hosted a FinTech “hAPI” hour. Not only was this a great networking opportunity, but a chance to host a few presentations from some of our FinTech friends.
I saw three presentations that struck me as more than just solutions for classic FinTech issues, such as spending and budgeting. In 2020, FinTech is making its mark across many different industries
For example, PayActiv is helping human resource teams by providing a payments solution aimed at giving employees access to their paychecks before payday.
Not all realtors are alike. Homelight uses FinTech solutions to connect home sellers with the right real estate agent, based on a variety of benchmarks.
Breaking down barriers for investing is Wealthfront’s mission. They use FinTech to automate investing based on an end user’s preferences, leading to effortless investments by those who may not have the wherewithal to obsess over charts and graphs.
FinTech’s legacy may have been born in managing dollars and cents on a daily basis, but it’s rapidly expanding to many different facets of empowering individuals’ financial wellness and beyond.
3. Women in FinTech are Making Their Mark
It’s not only great to see an increasing number of women in the FinTech ecosystem, but also watching the expansion of groups and infrastructure focusing on women’s issues in FinTech. Grassroots organizations like Women in FinTech and #HowSheWorks are driving growth.
I talked to Asya Bradley, Founder of #HowSheWorks, about the week and the growing number of women in FinTech:
“I’m proud of the concerted effort we put in to ensure diverse representation across all SF FinTech Week activities this year,” she said. “Envestnet |Yodlee and #HowSheWorks proved that with just a little bit of effort and genuine self-awareness, we’re able to acknowledge and confront our own personal biases and produce highly diverse events. With incredible content and industry-leading speakers, participants spent the week enjoying meaningful interactions and fresh perspectives every day! When you truly want to see change you can make it happen.”
SF Bay Area FinTechWeek2020 may be in the books for this year, but we’re already looking forward to next year and the platform it provides for up and coming FinTechs in the Bay Area and beyond. For more information on how Envestnet | Yodlee is helping make cutting-edge FinTech solutions possible, please visit yodlee.com.