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Fintech startups pitch at USF St. Pete

Veronica Brezina



Tampa Bay Wave's 2023 FinTech|X Accelerator members. Photo by Veronica Brezina.

Financial tech companies from Latin America and the Tampa Bay area are on a mission to educate the public about investing in assets and boosting revenue through new innovative toolsets.

More than a dozen startup founders shared this vision, and competing offerings, during the FinTech|X Accelerator program’s Oct. 19 demo day at the University of South Florida’s St. Pete campus. 

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen startups, investors and talent move to the region and now Tampa Bay is one of the hottest tech hubs in the country,” Tampa Bay Wave CEO Linda Olson said to the room full of cohort members and community stakeholders. 

The Tampa Bay Wave nonprofit has supported 500 startups that have raised over $800 million in capital, and has helped create more than 4,500 jobs. The Wave partnered with USF’s Muma College of Business to select 15 high-growth international fintech startups to participate in the third FinTech|X Accelerator. 

“Honestly, it was their [USF’s] vision for the fintech program that brought this together,” Olson said. 

Throughout the 90-day program, based at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance on the campus, participants received resources, mentorship, connections and guidance from industry veterans.

As part of the program, the Wave doesn’t take equity from the participating companies. 

Local private boutique banking intuition Encore Bank and Tampa financial services company Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) are the key corporate sponsors of the cohort. 

The partners also received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to continue the FinTech cohort programming. 

Next month, the Wave and Tampa Bay Latin Chamber of Commerce will launch the region’s first LatinTech Accelerator. 

Meet the 2023 fintech cohort startups: 

Jisell: The Tampa-based company addresses the challenge of unused gift cards by teaming up with retailers using a subscription model, boosting redemption rates. Alexandra Cusell is the founder. 

Tech and Flow: The St. Petersburg-based company has built an interactive app fusing financial education and digital tools to help guide the younger generation into financial literacy. Xaviar Gray is the founder. 

Andeno: The San Juan, Puerto Rico-based company focuses on enhancing the relationship between Latin American companies and banking intuitions by providing access to credit assessments and collections. The company is building a $100 million loan facility. Andeno plans to initially launch in Colombia. The team will be in Miami next week to meet with potential investors and clients. Brothers Javier Hernandez Muñoz and Julián Hernández Muñoz are the founders. 

Ascent: The New York-based data firm has digitalized the underwriting process. Arjun Sahgal and Allan Boyd are the founders. 

Bringo Net: The New York-based startup claims it provides the fastest wireless intercontinental links by harnessing Skywave Technology, which merges low-latency, high-frequency radio signals. The team says the technology is 150% faster than traditional fiber optics. Alexander Suvorov and Vadim Limar are the founders. 

Fitbux: The Texas-based company automates personal financial services via artificial intelligence and data analytics. It claims to have developed the first product in the market that reduces the time financial planners work with clients. The company execs are striving to reach 10,000 users on the platform. The team is seeking to partner with universities that offer financial literacy programs and advice to students wanting to invest. Joseph Reinke is the founder. 

Hadley: The California-based fintech links 529 education savings plans, allowing friends, family and employers to seamlessly transfer money. Hadley also matches users to 529 plans. The company earns revenue through a nominal processing fee and from employers. Yosh Miller, a Florida native, is the founder. 

KashIO: The Miami-based fintech offers a platform for companies in Latin America with at least 500 business-to-business customers to automate their payment needs and more than $400 million in processed transactions. The startup is on track to earn $3.5 million in revenue this year and the team projects it will reach $7.25 million in revenue next year. Antonio Rolando, Marco Cacic and Gary Urteaga are the founders. 

Kiddie Kredit: The Miami-based startup helps parents with younger kids learn and experiment with credit through an artificial intelligence platform. The users earn rewards while learning about credit. The company has a partnership with Discover Financial Services. Evan Leaphart, Mike Gross and Vic Moreno are the founders. 

Monark Markets: The New York-based company has a NASDAQ-style infrastructure for liquid trading of private market securities, claiming it is building the first ever platform trading infrastructure in private markets. The startup raised $750,000 in a pre-seed round. Caleb Benedict, Ben Haber, Paul Davis and John Husband are the founders. 

OUTFYT: The Los Angeles-based company has created an immersive livestream shopping platform dedicated to offering shopping brands an experience that is more visual, conversational and hyper-

personalized for its potential customers. The company claims it can help users reach 30% conversation rates, or sales. Daman Baath is the founder. 

Propaga: The Miami-based firm is building a business-to-business “buy now, pay later” model focused on retailers in Latin America. The company execs said they have digitalized millions of cash transactions between corner stores and vendors. Michael Seidl and Santiago Creixell are the founders. 

REITIUM: The Canadian-based company has created a platform to revolutionize real estate investing with blockchain, enabling entry from $100, where fractional ownership offers rental income and appreciation, backed by compliance assurance and enhanced liquidity through a dedicated exchange. The company has processed $18 million in real estate transactions. Thomas Park and Laura Fortey are the founders. Although the company is based in Canada, Park said he may relocate or expand the startup to St. Pete or Tampa. 

Saturation: The California-based startup is geared towards the film production industry, solving financial management problems. The startup has over 1,500 users and may expand into the nonprofit and construction sectors. Jens Jacob and Simon Tam are the founders. 

Visbanking: The Oklahoma-based company provides real-time visualization of comprehensive bank data across the U.S., which enables banks and bank stakeholders to improve performance, increase efficiency and manage risk. The team is seeking connections to fintech organizations and innovative banks. Brian Pillmore is the founder. 

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