Global fintech and funding innovation ecosystem

FINTECH FRIDAYS Podcast: Season 4


Welcome to Season 4 of NCFA Canada's Fintech Fridays podcast, your comprehensive guide to the ever-evolving landscape of fintech and funding. This season, we continue our storytelling journey, delving into a wide array of topics that are shaping the future of finance.  Interested in participating?  Contact us:

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EP62 Sherwood Neiss Banner - FINTECH FRIDAYS Podcast:  Season 4

EP62: The Future of Investment Crowdfunding: Innovations, Data, and Opportunities


Featured Guest

SHERWOOD 'WOODIE' NEISS, Principal, Crowdfund Capital Advisors


Mr. Neiss, based in the US, is at the forefront of the investment crowdfunding industry, from issuance to data analysis, to secondary trading and liquidity.  He co-authored the "Crowdfunding Exemption Framework," which became the basis of Title III of the U.S. JOBS Act to legalize equity and lending-based crowdfunding.  He co-founded Crowdfund Capital Advisors ("CCA"), a consulting firm serving certain governments and multi-lateral organizations, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, governments of Chile, Malaysia, Israel, and the UAE.  He is also a co-founder of GUARDD, the EDGAR of financial disclosures for private companies, and is a General Partner of D3VC; a Venture firm focused on diversified investing among investment crowdfunding issuers.  He is the chief architect of the CCLEAR Regulation Crowdfunding Database, which tracks and monitors online security transactions for investors, regulators, platforms, and the media.  Before crowdfunding, Mr. Neiss co-founded FLAVORx, Inc., acted as its chief financial officer, and won Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award, as well as the Inc. 500 award three years in a row.

About Crowdfund Capital Advisors

Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) is a crowdfunding advisory, implementation and education firm founded by Jason Best and Sherwood Neiss, the leaders of the securities-based crowdfunding movement. CCA provides comprehensive advisory solutions to both public and private institutions.

About this episode

In this enlightening episode of Fintech Fridays, Season 4, Episode 62, host Craig Asano, founder and CEO of NCFA Canada, sits down with the distinguished Sherwood 'Woodie' Neiss, a pioneer in the investment crowdfunding industry and an advisor to NCFA. Together, they delve into the evolution of investment crowdfunding, its impact on startups and investors alike, and the potential for future growth. Woodie shares his journey, from the inception of crowdfunding regulations to leading the charge with data-driven insights and AI technology in investment strategies. Listeners will gain an insider's perspective on the latest developments, the significance of data in shaping the industry, and the role of technology in advancing investment opportunities. Whether you're an investor, entrepreneur, or fintech enthusiast, this episode offers a comprehensive look into the dynamic world of investment crowdfunding, revealing how it's reshaping the landscape of finance and opening new doors for innovation and growth. Enjoy!!  (Full Transcript and Video)

Duration:  45 mins

EP56: How We Raised $426 million Using Rewards Crowdfunding

Today's Featured Guest: 

ZACH SMITH, CEO and Co-Founder, Funded Today (LinkedIn)

About this Episode

Checkout this not to be missed episode with NCFA Founder Craig Asano and Zach Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Funded Today.  In 2017, Zach delivered a keynote at NCFA's Canadian Crowdfinance Summit in Toronto after raising $150 million dollars.   Fast forward to today, and the Funded Today machine has raised north of $426 million USD and counting.  In this episode, learn what it takes to be a serial entrepreneur -- "It's not really about how much money you raise on the platform, it's about what you learn from the money that you've raised."  They discuss the story of Funded Today, pivoting, diversifying investments, being strategic, doing what you love, and of course how to raise millions of dollars with rewards-based crowdfunding including a couple of real life examples.  If you have an innovative project, gadget or piece of hardware, or have an app or board game and want to know if you can crowdfund dollars for it in 2022, tune in now....grab a cup of your favourite and dig in.  Enjoy!  (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

EP55: Global Hiring Trends: How Gen Z Talent Thrives

Guest:  ANNE-MARIE FANNON, Director, Work-Learn Institute, University of Waterloo (LinkedIn)

About this Episode

On this Season 4 kickoff episode, NCFA Founder Craig Asano sits down with the incredible Anne-Marie Fannon, Director, Work-Learn Institute at the University of Waterloo, to better understand the motivations and needs of the next major human capital resource - Gen Z.  If you're a start-up, scale-up or HR professional seeking intel on an emerging tech savvy, innovative, and talent asset class then this podcast is for you.  Tune in now and learn not just the how but also the why you should be building relationships with Gen Z today.  Enjoy!  (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

About this episode:

10 years ago in 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law in the U.S. (and eventually a similar exemption was approved in Canada) to encourage more capital to flow to startups, support innovation, and, create jobs. It's significance cannot be understated as the rule change allowed private companies to raise capital by selling securities digitally for the first time via registered online platforms and dealer-brokers.  Regulation crowdfunding also democratized previously excluded retail investors (non-accredited) by allowing them to invest directly in startup ventures empowering a new era of digital finance.

A tremendous amount of advocacy and regulatory change efforts took place to make this happen, and since then, the original JOBS Act rules were improved for investment crowdfunding in the U.S., such as increasing the fundraising cap from US$1 million to US$5 million (not in Canada though, we've asked for years ahem).  But there are still many challenges and myths to be debunked. While venture financings are at an all time high in sectors like fintech, it does not mean that startups are awash with capital.  While there is growing interest among retail investors to participate directly in these offerings, and take control of their investment future, education and awareness still remains a top priority if industry is to grow in the right ways.  Having said that, in the United States, RegCF recently surpassed $1billion raised.  Canadian figures are more modest with at least CA$100 million in equity financings raised on a leading platform.

Today there's also a JOBS Act 2022 proposal on the table but will these changes be sufficient to support evolving technologies and their capabilities while also protecting investors?  Regulatory change is slow and regulators should support innovation and competition.  All stakeholders need to continue to support efforts to make capital markets whole, so EVERYONE can benefit from the advancements in technology or the wealth gap will continue to widen.

This is a not to be missed episode for anyone interested in the past or future of digital finance and capital markets.  Join investment crowdfunding pioneers in both Canada and the U.S. who discuss the 10 year journey from a wide variety of perspectives including the evolution of first generation marketing platforms to the arrival of second generation decentralized finance models powered by blockchain technologies.

Duration:  92mins


EP58: Using Risk Management to Improve Your Business and Life

Featured Guest:

ALEX SIDORENKO, CEO and Chief Risk Officer / Founder, Risk Academy / Risk Awareness Week (LinkedIn)


About this episode:

For anyone who needs to make complex decisions or wants to add more clarity into their lives by applying modern risk management techniques, then this one is for you. Join NCFA Founder, Craig Asano, who sits down with Alex Sidorenko, the CEO and Chief Risk Officer of the Risk Academy and Founder of Risk Awareness Week, one of the largest risk management conference programs in the world.  They discuss the commoditization of science, horoscope fairy tales, beating the bear and how intuition may not always be your best friend (in some scenarios).  Understand the difference between risk management for ‘box tickers’ vs modern techniques, generators vs users, virtual data, and how to think about risk management to electrify decision-support for any problem in your business or life.  Enjoy!

Duration:  69mins

EP59: Master Entrepreneurship with YEDI!

Featured Guest: MARIA KONIKOV, Director of Operations at the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) (LinkedIn)

About this episode:

On this week's episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Maria Konikov, Director of Operations at York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI). They talk about why education is crucial for entrepreneurs, how YETI offers tuition-free programs for Canadians, and what makes their diploma so special? Could it be because they have diploma program allows entrepreneurs to apply their learnings directly to their business and is taught by experienced professors who are also successful entrepreneurs? Enjoy!!  (Full Transcript)

Duration:  25mins

EP60: Revolutionizing Small Business Lending and Empowering Entrepreneurs


Featured Guest

DAVID SOUAID, Chief Revenue Officer at OnDeck Canada (LinkedIn)

About this episode

In this insightful episode of "Fintech Fridays," we dive into the evolving landscape of small business financing with David Souaid, the Chief Revenue Officer of OnDeck Canada. David brings over two decades of experience in the fintech industry and shares his journey from co-founding Evolocity Financial Group to its merger with OnDeck Canada, illustrating his role in transforming small business lending. The discussion delves into the challenges and innovations in the industry, highlighting OnDeck's customer-centric approach, technological advancements, and future trends. David's insights reveal how OnDeck Canada is not just financing businesses but also empowering them to thrive in a dynamic economic environment.  This episode provides a valuable perspective on the transformative world of fintech, especially in the realm of small business lending, and is a must-listen for entrepreneurs and industry enthusiasts seeking to understand the future of financial services. Enjoy!!  (Full Transcript and Video)

Duration:  45mins

EP61: Making Markets and Investing in Crypto with the Phoenix App

Featured Guest

KAY KHEMANI, Co-Founder and Advisor, Phoenix App and Managing Director, Hatchworks


About this episode

In this enlightening episode 61 of Fintech Fridays, NCFA Founder, Craig Asano, sits down with Kay Khemani, an investment professional based in London, UK, the Co-Founder of the Phoenix App, and Managing Director of Hatchworks.  Kay shares his journey from high finance at Goldman Sachs to the forefront of fintech innovation.  Explore the revolutionary Phoenix app, a platform that simplifies market making in the crypto world, allowing users to become liquidity providers and earn from transaction fees, all simplified through smart contract technology. Learn about the risks and rewards of DeFi, the impact of ETFs on crypto markets, and gather essential insights for both new and seasoned investors.  Enjoy!!  (Full Transcript and Video)

Duration:  62mins


EP1-Jul 20:  Global Crypto Payments and the Future of Digital Assets (CoinPayments)

EP2-Jul 27:  Canada's Role in the Global Fintech Ecosystem (Fintech Growth Syndicate)

EP3-Aug 3:  Doubling Down on Female Founders (Roar Ventures)

EP4-Aug 10:  Importance of a Smart Contract Safety Net (Sagewise)

EP5-Aug 17:  First Coin's M&A Story - Wall street meets Crypto (Galaxy Digital Canada)

EP6-Aug 24:  Asian Crypto Markets meet Canadian talent (Fintech Association of Hong Kong)

EP7-Aug 31:  Structuring an ICO and the Mind of a Fintech-preneur (Pegasus Fintech)

EP8-Sep 7:  Institutionalization of Crypto, China’s Ban and the Potential of Blockchain Decentralization (NexChange)

EP9-Sep 14:  New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments (Curexe)

EP10-Sep21: A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody (Commercial Passport)

EP11-Sep 28:  How Amazon Bank is Dominating and Risks of a Digital Bifurcated World (Schulte Research)

EP12-Oct 5:  Building Blockchain Products & Decentralizd Solutions for Enterprise and Start-ups (Northern Block)

EP13-Oct 12:  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First (Progressa)

Ep14-Oct 19:  The Convergence of Data Intelligence and Money Algorithms (

Ep15-Oct 26:  Gearing up Hyperion Exchange, Hybrid Models and Security Tokens (Hyperion Technologies)

EP16-Nov 2:  Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses (Lending Loop)

Ep17-Nov 9:  How Artificial Intelligence is Optimizing Sales and the Future of Business AI (

Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy (Coinsquare)

Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization and How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money (TokenFunder)


Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work (Mauricio Di Bartolomeo)

Ep21-Jan 18:  Meritocracy, Decentralized Innovation and the Power of Collaboration (Hussein Hallak)

Ep22-Jan 25:  Reducing Regulatory Burden by 25% in Ontario (Amar Nijjar)

Ep23-Feb 1:  Getting Smart About Crypto and Insurtech Snapchat Models (Justin Hartzman)

Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy (Daryl Hatton)

Ep25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World (Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski)

Ep26-Feb 22:  Investing in Private Canadian Companies (Peter-Paul Van Hoeken)

Ep27-Mar 1:  Blockchain Gaming and esports (Shidan Gouran)

Ep28-Mar 8:  Rethinking Brokers (Muhammad Rashid)

Ep29-Mar 22:  The Future of Securities (Richard Carleton)

Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto (Andrei Poliakov)

Ep31-May 14:  Blockchain Law (Jason Saltzman)

Ep32-May 24:  Rallying behind Bitcoin (Frederick T. Pye)

Ep33-May 31:  Indexing Consumer Loans and Financial Literacy (Phillip Postrehovsky)

Ep34-Jul 6:  Accelerating Fintech Growth (Brendan Holt Dunn)

Ep35-Aug 9:  Autonomous Alternative Lending (Vit Arnautov)

Ep36-Aug 22:  Techfins (Michael King)

Ep37-Sep13:  Funding is Female (Jill Earthy)

Ep38-Mar25: Why Identity Matters in an Evolving Online Environment (David Lucatch)

Ep39-Apr23: The Power of Digitization and How to Get Exponential (James Wallace)

Ep40-May22:  Why Bitcoin Exists and Education for the Masses (Austin Hubbell)


EP41:  40% pandemic growth, taking risks and innovating Insurtech in Canada (Danish Yusuf, Zensurance)

EP42:  Insights into the Teen Banking Sector and Improving the Financial Well-being of Families (Rim Charkani, WALO)

EP43:  Taking the Mortgage Process From 40 Days to Minutes (Chris Gries,

EP44:  The Vanguard of Digital Innovation and Ecosystems in Canada (Various NCFA Advisors)

EP45: Mission-driven and Consumer-centric Financial Services (Keith Taylor, DUCA Impact Lab)

EP46: Making Business Borderless: International Payments and Partnerships (Alastair Thompson, TransferWise)

EP47: How to Change the World: Risk Culture and Work-life Balance (Michelle Beyo, Finavator)

EP48:  How to Connect and Resonate with Customers Through Podcasting (Fatima Zaidi, Quill Inc.)

EP49: Managing Private Placements Has Never Been Easier (Brock Murray and Karan Khiani, Katipult)

EP50:  Compliance to the moon (Mark Binns, Digital Assets Inc.)

EP51:  Bacon and Eggs (Julien Brault, Hard Bacon)

EP52:  Technology Due Diligence Process and Cyber Security Risks (Forward Security, CIBC, RiskAware Group)

EP53:  Staying True to Bitcoin (Chris Naprawa, TAAL)

EP54:  How Digital Identity will Transform Human Potential (David Lucatch, Liquid Avatar Technologies)



EP55: Global hiring trends: How Gen Z Talent Thrives (Anne-Marie Fannon, Work-Learn Institute, University of Waterloo)

EP56: How We Raised $426 million Using Rewards Crowdfunding (Zach Smith, Funded Today)

EP57: 10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding: Past, Present, and Future Since the Act (Expert Advisors)

EP58: Using Risk Management to Improve Your Business and Life (Alex Sidorenko)



Interested in getting involved in FINTECH FRIDAYS?

FINTECH FRIDAY$ is a weekly podcast brought to you by NCFA and partners, where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech and Funding community and talk about trends, product innovations, developments and challenges!

Fintech Fridays is an evolving and innovative educational platform focused on delivering authentic personalities, content and story telling on the journey of mainstream adoption of new financial technologies and their impact on the future of finance.

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers.  Want to get involved?  Contact us about partnerships opportunities, hosting and more:

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FINTECH FRIDAYS Podcast:  Season 4 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:

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