An AI-infused startup led by Kansas City serial founder Jannae Gammage is poised to compete against seven other finalists in this fall’s NXTSTAGE innovation showcase in Wichita.
Foresight — a fintech platform that aims to open funding opportunities for underserved borrowers by assessing credit risk, fraud and biases — was selected as finalist for the NXTSTAGE Financial Technology Pilot Competition from among 111 potential competitors hailing from 22 states and 11 countries.
Led by Pipeline entrepreneur Gammage, alongside Alaia Martin, CFO, and Austin-based Joel Ward, CTO, the startup already has backing from Techstars, raised a $500,000 friends and family round, and is positioned to target the CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions) lending market.
NXTUS works — through programs like the NXTSTAGE Financial Technology Pilot Competition and its 2023 Innovation Showcase event — to advance its vision to help promising startups grow, enhance Kansas’ innovation culture and foster inclusive prosperity in the region.
Foresight’s fellow competitors — which include Columbia, Missouri-based PitaTech, founded by Caleb Heinzman with support from Willy and Jabbok Schlacks, two of the co-founders of EquipmentShare — offer next-generation solutions to help regional banks, credit unions and financial services businesses improve identity verification, offer new digital tools to customers, link in with their small-business clients’ financial information, and expand lending and services to rural and urban underserved community segments.
Finalists will visit Kansas in October to meet with banks and speak at NXTSTAGE’s Oct. 11 Innovation Showcase. Similar to ABC’s Shark Tank, the event will include three-minute product pitches from each finalist, with in-person attendees gathering at the WSU Tech Auditorium in northeast Wichita and other participants watching via live-stream.
Click here to register for the Oct. 11 NXTSTAGE event, which is presented by premiere sponsors Emprise Bank, INTRUST Bank and Kansas Bankers Association, as well as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Fidelity Bank.
Finalist companies include:
- Archway Software, Redmond, Washington — Delivers banking innovation as a service to regional and community financial institutions so they can empower their customers.
- ASA Financial, Provo, Utah — Embedded fintech platform that connects financial institutions with customer-facing fintechs in a secure, compliant and easy to implement marketplace.
- Foresight, Kansas City, Missouri — Offers a patented machine learning platform to enable financial institutions to instantly assess credit risk, fraud, and bias, allowing traditional banking services to safely open doors for underserved consumers and drive impact at scale.
- Otomo, Austin, Texas — Provides AI-powered recommendations for your institution’s financial products and resources, and if desired discounts from popular consumer brands.
- Pebble Plan, Amarillo, Texas — reduces small business failures by giving entrepreneurs a collaborative and educational workspace to plan their growth and/or recovery.
- PitaTech, Columbia, Missouri — Modernizes equipment lending by delivering efficient data integration, making collateral validation and UCC filing fast, seamless, and secure for lenders.
- Railz, Toronto, Canada — Offers an API to connect to major accounting, banking, and eCommerce platforms to provide financial institutions quick access to normalized and analyzed financial data on small and medium-sized customers.
- V2verify, Omaha, Nebraska — “Simplifies Life” by replacing MFA, Passwords, and PINs with a simple-to-use voice authentication solution.
This marks the fourth year of regional banks getting an early look at promising technology solutions through this program, which reaches global startups looking to gain market feedback and access to customer prospects in Kansas. The 2023 program attracted diverse startups; 89 percent of initial competitors had either ethnic minority or female founders and 75 percent of the finalists are led by minority or female entrepreneurs.
“Emprise Bank is proud to support and foster the next generation of financial innovators through the NXTSTAGE accelerator program right here in Wichita,” said Matt Michaelis, chairman, president and CEO of Emprise Bank, which has awarded four pilot projects through NXTSTAGE to date. “We are excited to embark on this transformative journey together with this year’s cohort and look forward to the groundbreaking solutions these talented companies will bring to market. This innovation is critical to our ability to continue to empower our customers to thrive through personalized and relevant experiences.”