As a finance student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, most of Rachel Carpenter‘s learning came in the form of textbooks. At that time (not long ago for this young start-up CEO), there was no access to the real data used by finance professionals in the university environment. The barrier? Expensive, siloed data. But in a constantly evolving, highly competitive industry, lack of experience with data can be a costly disadvantage to finding a job post graduation or powering your own entrepreneurial venture. Carpenter’s business, Intrinio, is working to change that.
Earlier this month, USF Kate Tiedemann College of Business unveiled their new Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Center funded by a $500,000 investment from Bank of America. The center will radically change the way finance students experience data, featuring a full lab trading room equipped with split-screen displays running LED tickers, all powered by Intrinio’s financial data. While their data will be used specifically in four major curriculums, including finance, accounting, computer science, and data analytics, their partnership with the university extends beyond these fields. In fact, their data is now available to all USF students and faculty – from anywhere. And they’re not stopping there. Intrinio is also powering big name universities like CalTech and Harvard Business School. They’re seeking to partner with universities nationwide to change finance curriculum for all. Their newly-minted mission? “To power a new age of universal financial technology by democratizing data.”
So what does the democratization of data really mean? At the most basic level, it means breaking down traditional silos and providing access to financial data when and where it is needed. Universities are the perfect grounds for putting this mission to work, as students can analyze, experiment, and build apps and platforms using the data for free while they are in school. Even after graduation, Intrinio gives developers the opportunity to keep building on their business ideas, allowing them to use Intrinio data free for 6 months, through their developer program. Intrinio currently has 130 applications and start-ups in their developers program, and they’ve seen promising results. Two of their fostered start-ups were so promising, they were acquired upon exit of the program.
Carpenter is excited to see what young entrepreneurs are building on Intrinio’s data. Projects in the works include an Alexa app for financial data and a promising portfolio risk software. Intrinio continues to build out their services to provide better tools to developers, including updated infrastructure and building a new, more user-friendly API for developers to access and utilize their data instantly.
The future of tech start-ups and fintech in St. Petersburg is looking strong, thanks to the “rising tide lifts all boats” mission of Intrinio.