Big data and analytics take centre stage at FinTech Innovation Lab

Source: Fintech Innovation Lab

'Big data' and analytics took center stage at the second annual FinTech Innovation Lab Demo Day in New York City today, as a select group of entrepreneurs supported by Wall Street leaders and venture capitalists provided a glimpse into the financial industry's technology innovation and investment priorities.

The graduates from this year's FinTech Innovation Lab who presented included BillGuard, Centrifuge Systems, Digital Reasoning, EidoSearch, True Office and Visible Market.

The six entrepreneurs demonstrated their solutions to dozens of financial industry, venture capital and technology executives, following a 12-week mentorship program with executives from the world's leading banks and venture firms. The Lab was created by the New York City Investment Fund, the economic development arm of the Partnership for New York City, and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to help sustain and grow New York City's role as the global leader in financial services and to support job creation in its technology sector. This year's Demo Day was held at the Credit Suisse headquarters in Manhattan.

"New York City has continued to expand its role as the center for financial technology innovation, and the second year of our program has attracted companies from all over the country to our city," said Maria Gotsch, President & CEO of the New York City Investment Fund. "This year's class is on the pathway to becoming the next generation of successful financial technology entrepreneurs in New York City. Each has been mentored by top executives in financial services as well as successful financial technology entrepreneurs. The result has been the creation of in-demand commercial products that will have significant impact in the marketplace."

"American Express is pleased to support the FinTech Innovation Lab, which has proven to be an effective vehicle to connect large financial services firms with entrepreneurial technology companies." said Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express Company and Co-Chairman, Partnership for New York City. "We are able to support the growth of the next generation of fintech entrepreneurs in New York City, while getting an inside look at cutting edge technology."

The 2012 FinTech Innovation Lab class was selected in March from a large field of early an of early and growth stage companies that applied to participate. The firms were evaluated and advised by chief technology officers from the world's leading financial services firms, including American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street and UBS. This year's Lab provided workshops and panels led by top financial and technology industry executives, including American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault, CA Technologies CEO William E. McCracken and Infor CEO Charles E. Phillips. Participating venture firms included Contour Venture Partners, New York City Investment Fund, Rho Ventures, RRE Ventures, Village Ventures and Warburg Pincus.

The Digital Frontier at Center Stage

Today's demos in New York reflect the financial industry's growing emphasis on 'big data' solutions - managing and deriving value from the terabytes and petabytes of raw, unstructured data that proliferates on social and mobile networks and the vast IT infrastructures of financial institutions.

Innovations developed by this year's class include advanced analytic technologies designed to help banks identify risks and fight financial fraud. Lab participants also developed analytic search tools and mobile applications designed to reduce market 'information overload' and help investors better visualize market trends. One participant developed mobile gaming tools for regulatory compliance training to better address the modern needs of the workforce.

"The world's leading financial institutions understand that mastering 'big data' is critical to their success," said Bob Gach, global managing director of Capital Markets at Accenture. "Information is the lifeblood of financial services. As we enter a new age of big data and the proliferation of social and mobile networks, banks will need to leverage emerging analytical technologies and learn from the critical lessons of other industries, such as intelligence and defense. Big data and analytics will play a central role in helping institutions reduce risk, identify growth opportunities and rebuild profits. We're proud to be part of this knowledge-transfer occurring at the Lab."

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the market for big data technology and services is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015. The amount of digital information created globally in 2005 was less than two-tenths of a zettabyte; in 2020 the world is expected to produce more than 34 zettabytes of digital information, according to IDC.

2012 FinTech Innovation Lab Participants:

BillGuard is an online bill monitoring and resolution management provider, serving consumers, merchants and the financial services community. Through patent-pending big-data analytics and advanced crowdsourcing techniques, BillGuard alerts debit and credit card holders to deceptive, erroneous and unauthorized charges and facilitates both in-statement P2P knowledge sharing and direct-to-merchant online billing dispute resolution. In 2011, the company was recognized by TechCrunch as the Top New Startup Runner-up worldwide and was most recently inducted into the Online Banking Report Hall of Fame as one of the top online banking innovations of all time.
Centrifuge enables customers across industries to dramatically improve discovery time and significantly reduce the cost and risk of fraud and security threats. Centrifuge's unique approach to big data analytics combines agile data integration, dynamic relationship mapping, and scalable interactive visualizations to reveal hidden patterns and relationships while minimizing the cost of data transformations or expensive data scientists. Centrifuge patent-pending technology was invented in partnership with the US Intelligence agencies and has been deployed to thousands of analysts to help identify and address security and cyber threats.
Digital Reasoning develops and markets solutions that provide 'automated understanding' for big data. Digital Reasoning was founded with the vision that software should be able to 'read' and understand text as humans do - in context. This vision is realized in the flagship solution Synthesys, an application-ready platform for making sense of unstructured data at scale. Digital Reasoning currently serves a number of US Government agencies and is applying its technology in the Financial Services sector to protect banks and their customers.
EidoSearch is a powerful search and discovery tool for financial professionals. In an environment of shifting relationships, it is important to quickly test ideas as they arise. EidoSearch allows financial professionals to generate new trade ideas and discover relationships spontaneously, by using the data itself as the search query. The platform is a SaaS product and integrates with third party software and databases through the EidoSearch API.
True Office creates data-rich, mobile games that help companies reduce risk and save money, transforming mandatory compliance training into a fun, intelligible and quantifiable experience. Squarely in line with key enterprise trends such as tablet and smartphone usage, mobile apps, cloud services and 'decision' analytics, True Office designs and delivers products for a contemporary, mobile workforce.
Visible Market's software products deconstruct the blizzard of daily market data via powerful mobile visualization screens. StockTouch, Visible Market's initial product, is a dynamic, tactile map of the market for iPad, iPhone and Mac. Over 25,000 users spend more than half a million minutes a month on StockTouch. One fluid zoomable interface displays 1,400 companies, enabling users to view markets contextually as they unfold. StockTouch was recognized as the #1 iPad Finance App by Apple's Rewind 2011.

"Barclays is committed to supporting the FinTech Innovation Lab, which is uniquely positioned to foster economic growth and technical innovation for both New York City and financial services," said Joseph Squeri, Chief Information Officer for Barclays Corporate and Investment Banking, Wealth and Investment Management. "Through the Lab's sponsorship, financial service firms are helping develop jobs and opportunities in New York City so that entrepreneurs can to turn their next great idea into business reality. This year's FinTech Lab participants demonstrate how innovation helps drive local employment and economic development."

"The FinTech Innovation Lab is a great opportunity for us to explore new, ground breaking technologies that will help drive our innovation agenda," said Monique Shivanandan, Chief Technology Officer, Capital One. "I look forward to seeing what these entrepreneurs have to offer, and continuing to nurture promising technologies."

"Citi has supported the FinTech Innovation Lab since the program's inception," said Steve Randich, Co-Chief Information Officer, Citi and Co-CIO, Institutional Clients Groups. "A program that connects industry leaders with entrepreneurs who push the boundaries through continued innovation is beneficial not just for Citi, but for the entire financial services community."

"Credit Suisse is pleased to support the FinTech Innovation Lab as part of our ongoing strategy to deliver the most technically innovative solutions to our clients," said Nigel Faulkner, CIO, Investment Banking at Credit Suisse. "We've been very impressed with the products this year's finalists have developed and look forward to working with them further as the program continues to grow. The improved access provided by being local to us here in New York is beneficial and naturally supports New York City's economic development goals."

"Participation on the FinTech Innovation Lab program gives us a unique opportunity to look at promising new technologies and to support its mission of fostering technology innovation in New York City," said Robert Torop, director, Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.

"The results of this year's competition leave no doubt that innovation around big data is a serious focus for the financial services industry," said JPMorgan Chase Chief Information Officer Guy Chiarello. "The ideas presented by this group of participants offer a window into technology innovation for big data and analytics that will help firms find the value in the huge amounts of data they work with on a daily basis."

"Morgan Stanley is proud to participate in the FinTech Innovation Lab and continue our long standing commitment to innovation in financial technologies," said Stephen Sparkes, CIO for Technology and Information Risk at Morgan Stanley. "We have been impressed by the quality of this exciting program and the companies that it attracts, and we appreciate the opportunity to support leading-edge development in New York City."

"Ensuring that data and analytics are accessible across the enterprise has not only permeated many financial services organizations, but is also challenging the industry to think differently about how we approach IT," said Chris Perretta, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at State Street. "We are pleased to continue our support for the FinTech Innovation Lab at an exciting juncture for IT professionals in our industry."

"The scale and scope of the changes that 'big data' brings about have reached an inflection point," said UBS Group CTO Andy Brown. "Financial Services companies capture trillions of bytes of information about markets, clients, trades and operations. Several of the companies in this year's FinTech Innovation Lab class enable analysis of information in real time, which presents an opportunity to create unprecedented business advantage, and enables sophisticated questions to be answered quickly, redefining the art of the possible."

"We are delighted to see that the FinTech Innovation Lab is ramping up in New York City and further contributing to the rise of the entrepreneurship and startup culture already well-established within the new media sector," said Habib Kairouz, managing partner from Rho Capital Partners.

"The FinTech Innovation Lab has been a major contributor to the fast growing entrepreneurial sector in New York," said James Robinson III, Co-Founder & General Partner, RRE Ventures. "One of its most valuable contributions is connecting senior business and IT managers of large financial organizations with entrepreneurs and their companies. This interaction has led to an iterative process between the two as they match priority needs with product design."

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