In many ways, effectively moving money is the foundation of the fintech wave. That’s why Silicon Valley Bank and First Data team up to offer a four-month accelerator program that provides hand-picked participants with operational mentorship and access to our companies’ respective networks. Full program details and an online application are available at www.commerceinnovated.com. The deadline to apply for the next class is Oct. 9.
Here’s a snapshot of how we are working with our current class to improve payments solutions:
Apostrophe: A healthcare savings-as-a-service startup for self-insured employers, Denver
A startup that lowers healthcare costs? The three leading women behind Apostrophe (whose staff is 80% female) are doing just that. Cheryl Kellond, Julia Hutchins and Kathy Keating are all veterans in tech or healthcare. Apostrophe replaces an employer's existing health plan administrator. They obtain lower costs from doctors and hospitals by removing the burden of patient collections. They have been working with 20 Colorado employers and their 2,000 members for the past year and a half and are now expanding regionally across the Midwest. During Commerce.Innovated., the team is developing optimal ways for collecting payments and making payouts while thinking about issues of compliance, scalability and sustainability.
Blueprint Registry: A peer-to-peer gifting and life event fundraising platform, Seattle
Leave it to a hurricane to birth a startup. Co-founders Nevin Shetty and Lizzy Ellingson first met during Hurricane Sandy as Nevin took refuge with 15 others at Lizzy’s apartment. Nevin, a financier, and Lizzy, a UX designer, shared a frustration with the e-commerce experience for home furnishings and decor. As the name suggests, Blueprint Registry allows users to shop using a digital floorplan of the home and works with national retailers to form a curated marketplace. In addition, Blueprint Registry has created a socially acceptable way for users to ask for cash gifts from family and friends. Blueprint Registry sits at a unique intersection of e-commerce and fintech. With the help of Commerce.Innovated., the company is focused on building a robust payments platform that enables Blueprint Registry to operate smoothly for both the gift giver and the gift recipient.
Finix: A payment infrastructure platform San Francisco
Sometimes startups have a great idea, but don’t know where to start. The founders of Finix, Richie Serna and Sean Donovan, and much of their top team have lots of experience in payments, and knew from the start that they wanted to revolutionize push-payments. By leveraging card and debit rails, Finix is building a global disbursements network for “pushing” payments directly to debit, credit and closed-loop gift cards. Richie says, for example, contractors like his mother, a medical interpreter in Los Angeles, can use such a system to get paid daily, instead of waiting until the end of the month. At Commerce.Innovated., Finix is working on business strategy and operational items, including the bank vendor process and working with other types of partners.
Headnote: A transaction network for the legal industry, San Francisco
Sarah Schaaf and her co-founder Thornton Schaaf, know something about the legal biz. Both from families of lawyers -- Sarah is a member of the CA bar and left Google's legal department to become an entrepreneur -- they’ve watched hard-working attorneys in small firms struggle to collect from clients. With co-founder Alex Henry, they've created a platform for attorneys to automate accounts payable and receivable processes and more easily facilitate transactions with their clients and legal vendors. No more printing and mailing invoices, chasing paper checks, waiting months to get paid; Headnote keeps track of everything along the way. It’s not as simple as it may seem, however, since the ABA and State Bars have specific regulations around accounting, collections and transmission of legal fees. During Commerce.Innovated., the company is working on flow of funds options around ACH, credit card and international payments.