One of Kansas City’s prominent fintech and nonprofit leaders has secured partnerships with three of the regions leading banks.
Donald Hawkins, founder and CEO of Griffin Technologies and a co-leader in KC Collective, was awarded pilot projects with Emprise Bank, Fidelity Bank, and Intrust Bank, Thursday — part of the Wichita-based NXSTAGE Pilot Competition, hosted by ecosystem-building engine NXTUS.
Click here to learn more about the ongoing program and its mission to build regional relationships that create entrepreneurial growth.
Hawkins’ smooth pitch successfully secured partnerships with all of the program’s partners, making him the event’s show stopper, NXSTAGE noted.
“My folks grew up at a time where they knew what it was like to have a relationship with a banker. It felt like somebody local having your back,” Hawkins told judges and audience members, detailing the value Griffin aims to bring to the banking world and to its new partners. “My daughter and niece likely won’t grow up in a time where they have that face-to-face interaction. That’s exactly what we’re aiming to fix.”
Hawkins, a Pipeline Entrepreneur, and Griffin previously were cohort members of nbkc bank’s former Fountain City Fintech accelerator.
Eleven fintech finalists pitched their companies as part of the program’s innovation showcase — including Kansas City and Wamego, Kansas-based Bellwethr, which also secured a partnership with Emprise Bank.
Click here to find out why Bellwethr was named one of Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2019.
The event was headlined by speakers Chase Koch, president of Koch Disruptive Technologies, and Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution LLC.
The partnerships are expected to help each bank scale their digital reach and improve overall customer experience, while accelerating growth for winning startups, a NXTSTAGE release said.
“It’s critical that we stimulate and facilitate innovation,” echoed Charlie Chandler, INTRUST Bank Chairman and CEO. “Banking is constantly changing, and we have more competition than we’ve ever had.”
The inaugural contest is expected to continue accelerating early-stage startups through additional verticals industry 4.0 and community health and vibrancy over the coming months, NXSTAGE said.
“The time is now, for both startups and corporations fighting to meet today’s challenges,” said Josh Oeding, President and CEO of NXTUS.
“Collaboration between early-stage and well-established companies has never been more vital,” he said. “The leadership shown by our corporate and community partners shows they see innovation and entrepreneurship as core to leading us all to a bright future.”
Kansas City-based Destiny — a Startland News’ Kansas City Startup to Watch in 2020 — also pitched during the showcase, but did not place.
Click here to connect with NXSTAGE and NXTUS or to view upcoming events and program announcements.
Watch the NXSTAGE Pilot Competition below.