Can anything stop Blooom?
Continuing its streak of wins and successes, the financial tech firm on Wednesday morning won a national pitch contest at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Leawood-based Blooom beat out four other finalists in the inaugural One in a Million pitch contest, which initially drew more than 350 applicants. Blooom survived several rounds of cuts to win $10,000, adding to its impressive resume of wins that includes the Finnovate Conference’s Best in Show, a $50,000 Launch KC grant and many others.
“We’re very grateful to win this award,” Blooom president Greg Smith said. “We’re trying to solve a problem that affects millions of middle-class Americans that have never gotten help before. I think that mission resonates with people. We like to get validation, but really what drives us is the ability to help people with arguably their biggest financial worry.”
Blooom created an online 401(k) management tool that helps users grow their account through professional management. The tool uses a flower in various growth stages to symbolize the health of one’s 401(k) and offers professional advice on how to allocate funds.
Blooom CEO Chris Costello said during his pitch Wednesday that his company has clients in all 50 states and manages more than $150 million. The company in October raised $4 million in a Series A round that will expand its staff and marketing.
As judges of the One in a Million contest deliberated, audience members issued Blooom CEO Chris Costello a barrage of questions, hinting that a win may be imminent. Costello also faced a judging panel full of esteemed businesspeople, including Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, Techstars partner Nicole Glaros and Miriam Rivera, Google deputy general counsel.
San Antonio-based Drybox won the second-place of $5,000, while SwineTech of New Sharon, Iowa took the third-place prize of $1,000. The One in a Million competition, held during Global Entrepreneurship Week, allowed firms around the nation that participated in the foundation’s 1 Million Cups program to compete for the funds.