Five Innovative Businesses chosen by BMO for WMNfintech Programme to Support Women-led Startups

By: GWL Team | Thursday, 15 June 2023

The five businesses taking part in the biggest non-profit fintech industry programme for women-founded and women-led startups in North America, the 2023 WMNfintech programme, were announced on 14th June by BMO and 1871.

The programme, which was started to close the gender gap in the startup and tech communities, allows more female entrepreneurs access to a strong ecosystem that supports companies in developing cutting-edge technologies and goods that are advantageous to the American financial industry. More than 15% of all female fintech startups in North America have been led through the programme since 2018 by BMO and 1871.

Through the BMO and 1871 member community of knowledgeable technology advisers, innovation partners, and startup founders, the WMNfintech programme offers women entrepreneurs access, support, and mentorship to accelerate the growth of their businesses while expanding their professional networks. The success of thousands of innovators, from idea incubation to the Fortune 50, is supported by 1871, an independent, international innovation centre.

The 2023 WMNfintech cohort consists of the following women-led firms:

Los Angeles' Finli - A public benefit organisation led by Lori Shao, Finli is committed to closing the access gap between small and medium-sized enterprises and financial technology. It acts as the digital back office for thousands of company owners through a secure platform, allowing them to effectively handle invoicing, inventory, payments, CRM, and communications.

Los Angeles' Liquid - For the world's small enterprises, Saujin Yi, CEO and Founder of Liquid, creates straightforward, secure international payment options. In the majority of commercial transactions, one party bears a greater risk: either buyers pay and hope that the goods or services are delivered as promised, or sellers provide first and await payment. Businesses can use Liquid Trust to hold payments in mini escrow accounts held by third parties to guard against fraud, defaults, and delays. The solution lowers risk and equalises business connections so that organisations of all sizes may collaborate and expand with confidence, comfort, and convenience.

Toronto-based Neofin - Svitlanka Neofin, which was founded and is run by Sergiichuk Romaniuk, allows financial institutions to initiate consumer lending without the need for a technical team. Every phase of the loan product lifecycle is covered by this ground-breaking end-to-end platform, including loan origination, decisioning, customer-facing applications, underwriting engines, loan administration, and servicing. Financial institutions may quickly introduce new loan products to the market thanks to the no-code technique.

Boston's Physis - Financial organisations may create a narrative about the effects of their investments on the environment with the aid of Stefania Di Bartolomeo, founder and CEO of Physis. With the use of technologies that enable them to quickly develop model portfolios and assess the impact, institutional investors and advisers may produce portfolio impact reports. Given the growing regulatory emphasis on the creation and reporting of sustainable portfolios, Physis is in a strong position to keep sustainable investors SEC compliant while delivering unmatched transparency into investments.

(San Francisco) Rightfoot Rightfoot's co-founder and CEO, Danielle Pensack, is developing frictionless, consumer-permitted data and payments. The business offers clients, ranging from fintech companies to financial institutions with $10 trillion in assets under control, improved debt management and repayment capabilities. It launches current info on assets and liabilities without requiring a login. Rightfoot can provide real-time bank account and credit card balances and transactions in return for some basic consumer data.

According to Andrew Harrison, Head of U.S. Digital Partners at BMO, "2023’s impressive line-up of women-led startups is already addressing significant financial challenges, and we look forward to providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed over the long term through our robust ecosystem of partners." Women-led fintechs in our programme have received more than $31 million in funding and added over 170 jobs since we started WMNfintech in 2018, which is a resounding tribute to the network's ability to assist entrepreneurs in making significant financial progress. BMO is excited to continue working with 1871 to eliminate the representation and access to finance disparities for female entrepreneurs. We also look forward to helping this year's founders.”

The programme will offer the following to the chosen startups:

  • BMO's media training programme included courses on corporate sales cycles, vendor management, information security, risk management, and regulatory needs.
  • The chance to make a pitch to BMO partners and investors in exchange for financing, mentorship, advice, or other benefits.
  • Access to the 12-week immersive education programme PYROS fintech at 1871.
  • A six-month membership to 1871 that gives you access to its facilities, services, and resources.

"Women-founded and -led fintech startups are a catalyst for innovation, growth and economic empowerment - not a symbol of diversity," asserted Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. "These women are dismantling stereotypes and contributing their own viewpoints to the discussion, altering the financial landscape and developing solutions that speak to the needs of everyone. By providing these five women with essential tools and coaching as they expand their companies, we are happy to continue our cooperation with BMO. Their success lays the path for a future that is more inclusive and equitable.

WMNfintech shares BMO's dedication to removing all barriers to inclusion and its organisational philosophy of putting the internet first. The programme for 2023 expands on BMO's dedication to developing strong ecosystems for female innovators. BMO gave WMNfintech in 2023 graduates further support by:

  • Working with or making an investment in SpringFour, Plinqit, ArenaPay, Sign-Speak, and Grounded Technologies, five WMNfintech alumni organisations.
  • WMNfintech will be presented at the 2023 Fintech Meetup, one of the biggest American fintech events.
  • Anthemis, the biggest early-stage fintech fund devoted to female founders, has announced the involvement of past cohorts in the Female Innovators Lab.
  • supporting the establishment of NYC Women Fintech - Chicago Chapter, the largest women's fintech social group in the Chicago region.