Chicago Startup Weekend FinTech, co-hosted by Startup Weekend Chicago and FinTex Chicago, was a huge success!
Attracting more than 60 entrepreneurs and inspiring collaboration between professionals across industries, the event spawned 7 teams around ideas in diverse areas such as crowd-sourcing, machine learning insurance, financial options trading, and online bill management.
As with previous events, things kicked off Friday afternoon with a round of amazing
pitches from the entrepreneurs, followed by a voting session which determined the official teams for the weekend. On Saturday, the teams worked on getting market feedback for their ideas by leaving the building to conduct in-person interviews and polling social media. As they figured out what worked and what didn’t, they refined their business models and adjusted their marketing strategies. It was a great learning experience which allowed entrepreneurs to get a deeper understanding of their potential customers and the most effective ways to market their products.
On Sunday morning, with their ideas polished and their business models defined, teams worked on their pitches with the help of an amazing roster of mentors which included professionals in the fields of venture capital, intellectual property, social entrepreneurship, marketing, software development, and micro lending. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the teams presented the results of their hard work to a panel of judges that included high-profile members of the startup community – including one of the founders of Hyde Park Angels, a Chicago-based angel investment organization.
While all of the pitches were truly amazing, only 3 could be selected to place.
TaxCut is a simple tax return service platform for college students with part-time jobs. Students can take a photo of their W-2 forms, fill out a quick questionnaire and finish their tax returns!
Crowdsurance offers an innovative way to crowd source insurance premiums. By investing with people you know and trust, versus investing in a larger crowd with risk you may not understand, you have more opportunity to make out on your insurance choices.
And 1st Place Goes To……InVoice!
InVoice is an online platform aimed at streamlining the sales invoicing process. Led by software developer Ellie Day and powered by engineer Bill Finn and finance pro Cristina Vera, InVoice capitalized on the growing need of freelancers and small businesses to keep good accounting and provide their clients with invoices in a seamless, user-friendly way.
Of course, the weekend would not have been possible without our awesome sponsors. For this reason, we are infinitely grateful! Also, big shout out to FinTex (Chicago’s financial technology cluster) for their incredible support.