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FinTech Sandbox eases access to financial data for Elsen

Non-profit Sandbox facilitates free access to financial data and infrastructure for innovative FinTech startups around the world

Boston, MA — FinTech Sandbox, created to streamline access to data for financial technology startups, today announced that Elsen, one of the program’s first companies, is using global securities datasets from FactSet to massively accelerate financial calculations.

Elsen provides financial services firms with the ability to run more complex simulations on more data faster and at lower cost. According to Zac Sheffer, co-founder and CEO of Elsen, “One of the greatest impediments for FinTech startups is the high cost or inaccessibility of financial data. FinTech Sandbox streamlined the entire process, shrinking the time required to secure access to data from months to a week or less. We were using sample data sets from FactSet in a matter of days. They were just incredibly helpful to us.”

FactSet is a leading provider of integrated global financial information and analytical applications for the investment community, and a FinTech Sandbox data partner. Said David Murdock, FactSet’s Vice President of Content & Technology Solutions, “We are excited to be a data partner of the FinTech Sandbox and thrilled to be working with innovative startups like Elsen. It is great to see this community coming together and we look forward to supporting Elsen as a member of the program.”

FinTech Sandbox offers a 6-month program providing:

  • A robust set of data feeds and APIs from a wide array of data partners,
  • Cloud hosting from industry-leading infrastructure partners,
  • Membership in a vibrant, global FinTech community, and
  • Some limited space for co-working and events.

The Sandbox doesn’t require any equity from participating startups – in fact, the program is entirely free. Says Jean Donnelly, Executive Director of the program, "What we ask is that entrepreneurs give back in-kind to the FinTech community.  We ask that they share what they learn with each other, provide product feedback to our data partners, and contribute non-proprietary code or data mapping schemas to the FinTech community.“

Adds Donnelly, “At the Sandbox, we are very excited when we can introduce innovative new companies with an industry leading data provider. Both groups are so enthusiastic in exploring the ways they can work together."

About FactSet

FactSet is a leading provider of financial data and analytic applications for investment professionals around the globe. More than 55,500 users stay ahead of global market trends, access extensive company and industry intelligence, and monitor performance with FactSet's desktop analytics, mobile applications, and comprehensive data feeds. FactSet is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ (NYSE:FDS) (Nasdaq:FDS). Learn more at www.factset.com/ and follow us on Twitter: @factset.

About Elsen

Elsen is a financial technology company offering a high performance computing platform to hedge funds, banks, insurance companies and others who need to run financial models and algorithms faster and more efficiently. Elsen delivers GPU-accelerated processing via secure cloud or your own private infrastructure. Founded in 2013, the company is based in Boston, MA, and has an additional office in Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.elsen.co and @ElsenTrading.

About FinTech Sandbox

FinTech Sandbox is a Boston-based non-profit founded to promote financial technology innovation globally by providing free-access to critical data and resources to FinTech entrepreneurs and start-ups. Sponsors include Fidelity Investments, Devonshire Investors, Thomson Reuters, Silicon Valley Bank, Amazon Web Services, Intel, SIX Financial Information, Goodwin Procter and .406 Ventures. For more information, please visit www.fintechsandbox.org.

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FinTech Sandbox lets startups play with data for free

 A new non-profit programme offering fintech startups free access to data feeds and APIs from providers such as Thomson Reuters and Xignite is gearing up for launch later this month.

The Boston-based FinTech Sandbox aims to solve one of the biggest problems facing young financial technology firms: the cost and difficulty of accessing data to test-drive their applications.

Its six month programme will give participants access to data and APIs from a range of providers, including SIX Financial Information and Tradier, as well as data processing and storage services from Amazon Web Services.

Although applicants are being encouraged from around the world, the programme does also have physical spaces for some firms in Boston. Jean Donnelly, the programme's executive director says that the plan is to have around 20 startups participating at any one time, with 10 spaces available at the physical location at Cambridge Innovation Center.

The programme officially launches on 26 March, but three firms have been testing in private beta since January. One, an outfit called Elsen that aims to help FS firms run more complex simulations on more data faster and at lower costs, is using global securities datasets from FactSet.

FinTech Sandbox also aims to build a community that lets entrepreneurs make connections and learn from each other. As a non-profit, the programme is not asking for cash or equity from participants. Instead, board member David Jegen says, firms are asked to give back to the community by making a "moral commitment" to contribute to a Q&A site that he hopes will develop into a "fintech version of Stack Overflow".

And Jegen says that while the initial focus is on providing access to capital markets data, the sandbox's scope could be increased to cover areas such as insurance data, credit analysis data and mutual fund holding data.

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