Category Archives: Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

SkipTheDishes co-founders look to shake up banking as Neo Financial hits the market

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Betakit | | Sep 23, 2020

NEO - SkipTheDishes co-founders look to shake up banking as Neo Financial hits the marketNeo Financial, the new Canadian FinTech startup focused on challenging the status quo in banking, has begun rolling out its services in Western Canada.

Neo Financial is a Prairies-based startup created by SkipTheDishes founders Andrew Chau and Jeff Adamson, alongside Kris Read. It is the newest challenger bank entrant into the Canadian financial market and is on a mission to re-imagine everyday banking.

After spending the first year and a half of its existence building out its tech and banking infrastructure, Neo has officially brought its financial services offering to market.

Over the last couple of weeks, Neo began offering its savings account, Mastercard, and merchant rewards program to a select number of individuals on its 30,000-plus waitlist. With a current focus on Western Canada, Neo hopes to have its products available across Canada later this year.

See: 

Open banking would help the recovery

Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve

C.D. Howe Institute Report: Open Banking Holds Promise, Risks for Consumers

Rebank Podcast: How to Build a Profitable Digital Bank with Tinkoff

Chau, Neo’s CEO, recently spoke to BetaKit about the startup’s go-to-market strategy and its goal of shaking up the Canadian financial services market.

“What made us successful as SkipTheDishes was focusing on Canada, and really focusing on adding value back to the consumers, but also back to businesses too,” said Chau regarding the rewards program. “So, with Neo what we wanted to do was create a consumer experience that leveraged not only technology to help drive that, but also leveraged partners too.”

“When we think about other challengers in FinTech, it’s a good thing that we all are driving towards acclamation into the Candian ecosystem,” Chau stated. “One of key pieces [Neo] has is not just building a fancy app, [but] what we’re building is a foundation for a bank that can compete with the Big Five.”

“Through our strategic partnerships with financial institutions, we’re building a platform that challenges Canada’s traditional banking system,” he added. “Because of our unique partnerships and how we’ve built our technology from the ground up, we’re able to grow faster and innovate without the same limitations others face in the industry.”

While Neo is currently partnering with financial institutions, the CEO pointed to his startup’s openness to potentially obtaining its own banking license – a process that is difficult to navigate within Canada.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - SkipTheDishes co-founders look to shake up banking as Neo Financial hits the market The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Ontario’s Capital Markets Modernization Task force report draws criticism

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Investment Executive | James Langton | Sep 21, 2020

Ontario government building 1 - Ontario's Capital Markets Modernization Task force report draws criticismSweeping recommendations to reform Ontario’s securities laws are facing a barrage of criticism from certain corners of Bay Street.

The Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce, which began its review of the province’s securities laws in February, published its draft recommendations in July. The task force aims to deliver its final recommendations to the government by the end of the year, despite conducting most of its consultations amid a global pandemic.

The task force’s work has been remarkable for both its speed and its ambition, but critics say the group’s recommendations are ill-conceived, threaten investor protection and could undermine the province’s efforts for more vibrant capital markets.

The task force’s July report proposes a series of reforms largely designed to stoke growth in the capital markets. In addition to the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) traditional priorities of investor protection and ensuring fair and efficient markets, the task force proposes expanding the regulator’s mandate to include an obligation to foster capital formation and competition.

The task force also recommends overhauling Ontario’s existing regulatory structure, easing a variety of constraints on raising capital, remodelling proxy voting and corporate governance, and revisiting enforcement and investor restitution mechanisms.

See: 

CSA Provide Comments on the Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce Consultation Report

NCFA Response to the Modernizing Ontario’s Capital Markets Consultation Taskforce

Ontario capital markets task force proposes big changes

 

Many proposals set off alarm bells and, given the speed of the consultation process and the number of bold ideas in the report, perhaps that isn’t surprising.

First of all, revising the OSC’s marching orders to include a mandate to foster market growth is sparking concern. The submission from the OSC’s independent Investor Advisory Panel (IAP) warns that expanding the OSC’s mandate could undermine the regulator’s raison d’être, leaving the OSC “in the awkward and unenviable position of being seen as a cheerleader for Ontario’s capital markets when the OSC should more appropriately be positioned as a fair and objective regulator of those markets.”

Even if the government’s top priority is driving market growth, strong investor protection is a prerequisite for attracting capital, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) cautions in its submission to the task force:

“Reforms that risk eroding investor protection or increasing regulatory burden for investors, risk losing the patient global capital that fuels capital formation over the long term.”

The CCGG, which represents institutional investors that collectively manage $4.5 trillion in assets, states in its submission that a number of the task force’s recommendations — including measures to regulate proxy advisory firms, to give issuers more information on shareholders and to involve the OSC in the handling of shareholder proposals — are “antithetical” to the OSC’s investor protection mandate.

Various submissions propose that several of the task force’s recommendations threaten to diminish investor protection.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Ontario's Capital Markets Modernization Task force report draws criticism The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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NEW REPORT: Small Business SOS – It’s Time to Supercharge Local Crowdfunding to Unlock Needed Capital

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SBE Council | Sep 16, 2020

Fund small business recovery - NEW REPORT: Small Business SOS – It’s Time to Supercharge Local Crowdfunding to Unlock Needed Capital

New Report Highlights Investment Crowdfunding’s Success, and COVID-19 Policy Opportunities for Recovery

Today, Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released a new report detailing the growing power and prevalence of investment crowdfunding and the need for a “Main Street Recovery Co-Investment Fund.”

“We need to act quickly to stop the bleeding on Main Street,” says Sherwood Neiss, Principal at Crowdfund Capital Advisors.

“Short term band aids might slow the trauma, but we need a program that can quickly get capital to local businesses in a way that is supported by local investors. This will create a long-term win that will rebuild and sustain local economies, provide dividends to investors and achieve what Congress is trying to accomplish at the local level,” adds Neiss.

In the report, Regulation Crowdfunding by Congressional District: A Report Card, CCA and SBE Council review the progress of investment crowdfunding since 2016.  The Jumpstart Our Businesses Startup Act (JOBS Act) of 2012 enacted changes that ushered in investment crowdfunding, which officially launched following the finalization of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules in 2016.

Currently, the SEC is in the process of advancing regulatory proposals that would enable issuers to raise more capital than what is allowed by current caps, and provide for other changes to make Regulation Crowdfunding more accessible and effective for small businesses and startups. In addition, in response to COVID-19, the SEC recently extended temporary rules intended to expedite the offering process for small businesses by providing conditional relief from certain requirements of Regulation Crowdfunding.

See: 

NCFA Response to CSA on NI 45-110 Harmonized Securities Crowdfunding Rules

NCFA Open Letter: Government should collaborate with Fintechs

NCFA Response to the Modernizing Ontario’s Capital Markets Consultation Taskforce

FFCON20 Video:  State of Equity Crowdfunding in 2020

 

As noted in the report, there have been no cases of fraud with investment crowdfunding.

SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan asserts that innovative solutions like a “Main Street Recovery Co-Investment Fund” are desperately needed to help the nation’s economy dig out of its deep hole, and allow local communities to survive by supporting their businesses and new startups.

A comprehensive approach needs to include a co-investment fund to help local economies recover, rebuild and reinvent themselves. This includes urban and rural areas alike, along with enabling new business creation given the massive volume of business closures that will profoundly affect local communities.

The good news is that this type of fund has been successful in the UK through its Future Fund, which means our government will not be testing a new concept. The co-investment fund injects federal dollars into businesses that have been validated by local investors on regulated platforms, and accountable under an existing federal framework. There has been no fraud since inception,” said Kerrigan.

Under the co-investment funding model, the federal government would match 100% of funds raised from communities via a securities-based crowdfunding platform (not to exceed $250,000 per business). The federal money that is received by small businesses would be paid back. CCA and SBE Council are recommending that $20 billion be allocated to the fund.

U.S. JOBS Act Equity and Debt Crowdfunding Results Since 2016:

● 3,100 stock offerings have been listed by 2600-plus companies.

●  These offerings occurred in 90% of U.S. Congressional Districts (393 districts):

-95% of women-led districts had JOBS Act stock offerings

-93% of minority-led districts had JOBS Act stock offerings

-77% of districts had multiple offerings

-Nearly 50% of districts had campaigns that raised from $250,000 to $5 million

● $500,000,000 has been committed to these offerings.

● 700,000 retail investors participated in diverse offerings across the United States.

● Capital has been delivered to companies in 450-plus industries and across 850 cities.

● This capital has supported over 100,000 JOBS.

● Average amount raised per offering:  $342,000.

● Since inception, the SEC and Crowdfund Capital Advisors have each concluded that there has been NO SECURITIES FRAUD in these offerings.

● Pre-Covid-19: The monthly volume of capital raised in February 2020 was $9 million. During the Covid-19 crisis, the monthly amount raised has increased dramatically.

-In August 2020, the amount of capital raised was $25 million, which represents an INCREASE of 2.8x in just 6 months. Community-focused investing is delivering significant capital to local businesses.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - NEW REPORT: Small Business SOS – It’s Time to Supercharge Local Crowdfunding to Unlock Needed Capital The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Detour: An altered path to profit for European fintechs

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McKinsey & Company | Chandana Asif, Max Flötotto, Tunde Olanrewaju, and Giuseppe Sofo | Sep 9, 2020

Alternative path to profit - Detour: An altered path to profit for European fintechsTo navigate the economic fall-out from COVID-19, Europe’s fintechs will need to adjust their playbook.

Fintechs have been on a roll. Fueled by generous amounts of venture capital funding, last year 24 financial services startups hit a valuation of more than $1 billion, bringing the global total of such highly valued “unicorns” to 58. Together, these and other fintechs have ushered in a revolution in customer experience: Consumers can now open an account or get a loan in a matter of minutes (instead of weeks or months), exchange and send money internationally at low or no fees, and buy products with instantly created no-interest installment plans. Fintechs have also upped the ante for speed and agility, launching new features and initiatives in weeks instead of the six- to twelve-month timeframes more typical of banks.

See:  Setting up small and medium-size enterprises for restart and recovery

The emergence and spread of COVID-19—in the first place a world health crisis—is also causing unprecedented economic damage across the globe. Most McKinsey COVID-19 scenarios show European economies contracting by 11 percent in 2020 and not returning to pre-crisis levels until 2023. Fintechs are already feeling the squeeze. Venture capital funding has slowed, business model vulnerabilities are being exposed, and competitive dynamics are shifting. This has brought the sector’s underlying profitability and long-term business model sustainability into sharp focus—to a point where we believe the path to profitable scale for many fintechs has been structurally altered.

This is not at all to write off the sector. Fintechs have several long-term advantages—they are native to the digital arena, with more efficient cost structures, organizational agility, and, most importantly, higher customer loyalty. Consumers are now accustomed to quick, easy, low-cost financial transactions, and we believe there is no going back. In this article, we explore how the dynamics for fintechs have changed (particularly in Europe), the opportunities and implications for financial services incumbents, and how fintechs can weather the storm.

Fintech funding has slowed, and scarcity may be with us for a while

In a matter of weeks, venture capital funding for fintech companies went from surplus to scarcity. After growing more than 25 percent a year since 2014, investment into the sector dropped by 11 percent globally and 30 percent in Europe in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. 1 In July 2020, after months of COVID-19-related lockdowns in most European countries, the drop was even steeper—18 percent globally and 44 percent in Europe, versus the previous year (Exhibit 1).

fintech funding has declined 2020 - Detour: An altered path to profit for European fintechs

It is only when the tide goes out that you discover who’s been swimming naked.  Warren Buffet

See:  Fintech Acquisitions Show Sector Strength Despite Covid-19

This constitutes a significant challenge for fintechs, many of which are still not profitable and have a continuous need for capital as they complete their innovation cycle: attracting new customers, refining propositions and ultimately monetizing their scale to turn a profit. The COVID-19 crisis has in effect shortened the runway for many fintechs, posing an existential threat to the sector.

Adjusting the playbook: Four actions to consider

1. Targeted retrenchment combined with big bets

With core economics challenged and capital sparse, it is obvious that many fintechs will have to retrench thoughtfully if they want to avoid burning money unsustainably and spending themselves out of business. This will mean trimming international expansion plans, business lines, products, and initiatives. Fintechs have to focus their energies and capital on areas where they can truly make a difference—and do so quickly. Importantly, this entails not just cutting back, but also placing bigger bets and directing leadership attention to areas with long-term potential. London-based Revolut, for example, in addition to taking steps to adjust its cost base has also indicated it is looking at inorganic options in the travel space.

See:  Rebank Podcast: How to Build a Profitable Digital Bank with Tinkoff

2. Leaning into next-normal behaviors

B2B fintechs also have an opportunity to meet new needs. OakNorth, a lender for small and medium-sized companies, sold its platform to two large US banks to help them analyze and monitor the impact COVID-19 is having on individual loans and to automate the customer journey for small businesses applying for and receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans.

There is also an opportunity for B2C companies to expand into B2B markets.

3. Business model course corrections

The potent combination of changing customer buying and consumption patterns, a weaker economy, lower interest rates, and reduced creditworthiness represents a fundamental challenge to many fintechs’ business models. Company leaders need to take a hard look at their economic model and make adjustments, while preserving the best aspects.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Detour: An altered path to profit for European fintechs The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Entrepreneurial Mindset: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur

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Founderjar | Martin Luenendonk  | Sep 9, 2020

Entrepreneurial attributes - Entrepreneurial Mindset: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur

Do you know having an entrepreneurial mindset is the key to starting and running a successful business?

In today’s time, starting a company or having a side business to earn some extra income has become even more important. Not only because people are less satisfied with their jobs, but also to create a safety net in case things don’t go as planned.

See:  The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship

The irony is that, while many people are attracted to entrepreneurship and starting a company, it is only the select few who succeed.

According to a research,

  • 20% of small businesses fail in the first year
  • 30% of businesses fail in their second year
  • 50% of businesses do not get past half a decade
  • 70% fail after their 10th year

The question is, what is special about the mindset of people who run successful businesses and how to become like them?

So, if you want to be an entrepreneur and want to learn these traits to succeed, this is the right article for you.

What is an Entrepreneurial Mindset?

Entrepreneurial mindset is the combination of beliefs, focus and attitude that collectively constitute a way of thinking, reacting and feeling in an entrepreneurial way.

Let us take a look at each of these traits individually.

See:  Expanding the definition of entrepreneur

Vision and Focus

In order to achieve something big, you need to set your eyes on a particular goal and then put all your energy into achieving it.

An entrepreneur is focused on achieving his vision and does not easily get distracted along the way.

This has two parts.

  1. Focus on the Key Problem to Solve: Businesses exist to add value to the lives of their customers and the key behind adding value lies in understanding the problems that customers have. 42% of businesses that failed said that their business had no market need. The company, Patient Communicator, realized that doctors simply wanted more patients and not necessarily an efficient CRM system, which the company was marketing. This makes the focus on customer problems one of the most important aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset.
  1. Focus on the Goal: This could be starting a successful blogging business or any other online business..

Belief and Confidence

In an entrepreneur’s mind there is no room for doubt and even if any uncertainty creates some sort of ambiguity it doesn’t affect their belief in their own ability.

They believe in their products and services and that they are on a path to solve a real problem for their target customers.

When Steve Jobs rejoined Apple in 1997, the company was close to bankruptcy. But the belief, confidence and skill of Steve Jobs turned around the fortunes of the firm, launching iPod in 2001 and iPhone in 2007.

See:  Why Older Entrepreneurs Have the Edge

Attitude

Attitude refers to how you mind works and how you handle difficult situations.

  • Accepting Uncertainty: Entrepreneurship involves chartering new territories which essentially brings with it various kinds of uncertainty. An entrepreneur is comfortable dealing with ambiguity on a daily basis and it doesn’t deviate them from their chosen course.
  • Resilience and Persistence: The next logical problem that follows ambiguity is that certain times there will be failures and things will not go according to the business plan. In the light of such situations, the entrepreneur perseveres. They try harder and come back stronger, but they don’t give up.
  • Adaptability: Plans may not be fool proof right from the beginning and a business model may have to go through several iterations before it becomes successful. Adaptability helps the entrepreneur to be nimble enough to adjust with new learnings and changing environments.
  • Curious and Creative: The key to solving the right customer problems begins with asking the right questions. The innate curiosity of the entrepreneur enables them to ask the right kind of questions. This sets their creative minds on the path to solve problems in an innovative fashion.
  • Bias for Action: An entrepreneurial attitude is biased towards taking action and driving results. An entrepreneur doesn’t just ideate, but is ever ready to get hands dirty and implement the business idea to achieve the required goal.
  • Positivity: Optimism is an important trait in any entrepreneur, not just to keep themselves or their team motivated, but to form a great culture to run the company.

It doesn’t mean that you simply ignore any problem that comes your way and declare everything is good.

See:  The Trillion-Dollar Opportunity in Supporting Female Entrepreneurs

It means that you are clearly aware of the risks and problems. But still focus your energies on using them to your advantage or taking the right decisions.

At this stage, you may be wondering whether it is possible for you to learn these entrepreneur traits.

The good news is that you can train yourself and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Let’s dive in.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Entrepreneurial Mindset: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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C.D. Howe Institute Report: Open Banking Holds Promise, Risks for Consumers

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C.D. Howe Institute | Sep 10, 2020

C.D. Howe Institute report on Open Banking Implementation - C.D. Howe Institute Report:  Open Banking Holds Promise, Risks for Consumers

September 10, 2020 – The path towards safe and secure implementation of open banking should be guided by three consumer-focused pillars, says a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute.

Open Banking – North American Style

UK government open banking tender puts focus on payments

In “Open Banking in Canada – The Path to Implementation,” authors Thorsten V. Koeppl and Jeremy Kronick lay out a roadmap to guide Canada’s upcoming open banking consultations, and explore the potential benefits and risks to consumers.

Open banking gives customers of financial institutions control over when and how to share their financial data, putting households and businesses back in charge of deciding when a provider can access their data. “Open banking breaks the monopoly banks and non-bank financial institutions currently have on their customer data,” write the authors.

Koeppl and Kronick propose a gradual, step-by-step implementation approach, introducing open banking to financial services with the least regulatory hurdles first. They also suggest the open banking roadmap be guided by three core objectives: generating value for consumers, building secure infrastructure for data sharing, and improving the regulatory framework to protect consumers.

The authors argue that constrained market experimentation should underpin generating value for consumers. Third-party providers, such as “Fintechs,” should be allowed to start offering their services to consumers in a controlled environment where policymakers take into account potential risks.

“In the long run, for open banking to become an unequivocal success, Canada will require a fundamental and extensive overhaul of its regulatory framework,” conclude Koeppl and Kronick. “Open banking may very well be the catalyst to achieve such change. If not, Canada is unlikely to realize the same benefits from Fintech that other countries like the UK or Australia are likely to enjoy.”

FFCON20 Video: Transformation of Digital Banking to Open Finance

FFCON20 Video: Adam Felesky Fireside keynote with Kevin Carmichael - Can Fintechs Succeed and Open Banking?

Secondly, building secure infrastructure for data sharing would ensure consumers gain control over the data they generate. Technology needs to be standardized and improved so consumers can manage data access everywhere in a secure and easy way. As such, the authors call for clear legislation for data privacy, a digital ID system, and a clear liability framework regarding data sharing and usage.

Lastly, Canada’s regulatory framework needs to be brought into the age of Fintech through a new framework for handling consumer complaints from third-party providers and streamlined financial regulation across jurisdictions.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - C.D. Howe Institute Report:  Open Banking Holds Promise, Risks for Consumers The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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FFCON20 Week 8 Fintech Draft Finals: Congratulations to the Winners! SolidBlock and DivDot

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FFCON20 Week 8 Wrap-Up: Fintech Draft

On August 27, the final week of FFCON20, a total of 8 pitching and demo finalists competed with each other to win the title of 2020 Fintech Draft champion.  Each presenting company delivered a short pitch (max 7mins) followed by answering 5mins of Q&A from prominent investor judges and a crowdvote.  Learn more about the finalists here: https://fintechandfunding.com/fintech-draft-finalists/

Pitching Competition Finalists:             

  • WALO App
  • Trust Anchor Group
  • Sneso.ai
  • SolidBlock
  • FundMore.ai

Demo Competition Finalists:

  • Corl Financial Technologies Inc
  • DivDot
  • CycleBit

 

Congratulations to the Pitching Competition Winner!  SolidBlock

2020 Fintech Draft Pitching Winner SolidBlock wide  - FFCON20 Week 8 Fintech Draft Finals: Congratulations to the Winners!  SolidBlock and DivDot

About SolidBlock

While most other markets have been digitized through modern technological platforms, the real estate market is undergoing a massive transformation. Currently, it lacks the advantage of liquidity and remained tedious, complex, slow-moving and costly. SolidBlock aims to build a new asset class based on real estate, combining the stability of the property market growth and efficiency of blockchain-based financial products.

SolidBlock offers a new platform that allows anybody to invest and benefit in the asset class of real estate and to enable them to protect and grow their wealth. As mentioned in her pitch for SolidBlock, CMO and Co-Founder Yael Tamar believes:

"A big part of why real estate is largely inaccessible to most people is that the field is closed by design.  The nature of the investments are highly illiquid and intensive capital is required that individuals don’t have."

SolidBlock enables investors to buy and sell any property at any time anywhere and aims to function like a NASDAQ for real estate.

SolidBlock 3 - FFCON20 Week 8 Fintech Draft Finals: Congratulations to the Winners!  SolidBlock and DivDot

Their ideal scenario is to transform real estate into a tradeable financial product that gives asset owners and investors opportunities through a securitized token offering platform. The SolidBlock platform is fully operational with deals worth over $100 million and extensive pipeline of over $1 billion worth of projects. By using blockchain technology and global network, they've been able to offer a model that lowers capital requirement, attain global reach, and facilitate tradeability and liquidity.

On taxation from transactions, SolidBlock mentions that it is very similar to that of other financial products in which participating investors should expect a similar amount of taxation as typical financial portfolios in real estate. Taxation through the sale of real estate assets would most likely be categorized as capital gains tax, while receiving a dividend on an asset class would most likely be categorized as income tax.

SolidBlock differentiates themselves from competitors by focusing on providing financial solutions and a bridge into the world of DeFi. SolidBlock believes that now is the time to invest in tokenization with blockchain-based securitization providing infrastructure for trade as well as increased demand for liquid products as a result of COVID-19.

Congratulations to the Demo Competition Winner!  DivDot

2020 Fintech Draft Demo Winner DivDot wide  - FFCON20 Week 8 Fintech Draft Finals: Congratulations to the Winners!  SolidBlock and DivDot

About DivDot

Despite a clear transition in the North American payments environment towards electronic payments in the consumer realm, businesses are still heavily reliant on manual, paper-based processes. DivDot is a payment platform that aims to aid in the transition that enables businesses to send and receive no limit payments for a flat fee. It simplifies and automates businesses’ entire payment cycle from payment initiation to reconciliation.

DivDot CEO and Co-Founder Matthew Smith provided data showing that 668 million cheques were processed in Canada and 14.5 billion were processed in the US for 2018, which he believes is crazy in today’s modern digital age. The aim of DivDot is to help digitize business payments by providing a software to power a business’s payment operations. Users would be able to send payment to suppliers, receive payments from customers, move money between accountants, and set-up recurring payments.

DivDot 3 - FFCON20 Week 8 Fintech Draft Finals: Congratulations to the Winners!  SolidBlock and DivDot

The DivDot product demo showed how a transaction would work, both for walking through how a customer would send their payment to a business on the platform as well as how a business would pay suppliers. Both of these functions take place in a very straightforward and efficient process. The goal is to provide a simple and secure payment network for businesses to exchange funds while integrating with a large array of financial institutions to draw funds from.

DivDot 2 - FFCON20 Week 8 Fintech Draft Finals: Congratulations to the Winners!  SolidBlock and DivDot

Smith mentions that 70% of businesses today still use checks, partly due to a focus on how accounts want to solve problems rather than the businesses themselves.

Taking feedback from business owners, DivDot believes that business owners have different ideas and want to get paid efficiently and as soon as possible. DivDot is the perfect alternative for its target audience’s needs.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 Week 8 Fintech Draft Finals: Congratulations to the Winners!  SolidBlock and DivDot The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2020 FINTECH DRAFT PITCHING AND DEMO COMPANY WINNERS!



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