Six months in, FinTech Sandbox shows off progress for finance startups
Entrepreneurs trying to shake up the financial sector converged on State Street Corp. headquarters Thursday to show off a new startup-boosting effort backed by prominent names in finance and technology.
The program, FinTech Sandbox, is a Boston-based nonprofit organization intended to help finance startups get a head start on launching their companies. Its sponsors include Fidelity Investments, Silicon Valley Bank, and Amazon Web Services.
Unlike many other startup accelerator and incubator programs, FinTech Sandbox doesn’t require the companies to fork over a share of their stock for participating in the program.
FinTech Sandbox has accepted 30 startups from more than 100 applicants since it launched six months ago, said David Jegen, the program’s co-founder and a managing director at Devonshire Investors, the private investment arm of the Johnson family, which controls Fidelity.
Zac Sheffer is not the kind to wait around. The 25-year-old founded Elsen, the Boston startup that provides data-processing platforms to financial services firms, after graduating from Northeastern in 2013. The outfit completed its first round of funding in January of this year. “Elsen is a six-person team, but we’re going to do things that these large firms with 7,000 people can’t do,” he said.
FinTech Sandbox Advances Its Mission With New Quandl Data Partnership
Today, FinTech Sandbox announced a data partnership with Quandl, a web-based platform for financial and economic data. Quandl will offer startups participating in the Sandbox program access to both free and premium data from hundreds of publishers, via its simple and flexible platform. FinTech Sandbox residents may use this data up to six months for development, testing, and customer demonstrations purposes.
Seven promising Boston fintech startups to keep an eye on
Boston is home to dozens of startups in the field of financial services technology, or fintech.
As my cover story this week illustrates, the newcomers are quickly becoming an essential part of one of the city's oldest and most well-established industries. Boston's status as a finance hub may ride on the degree to which the State Streets and Fidelitys of the world embrace the city's fintech startup scene and help it thrive.
FinTech Sandbox Adds StockTwits To Fast Growing Portfolio of Data Providers
FinTech Sandbox announced another strategic data partnership today with StockTwits, a leading provider of market data and information. StockTwits will provide the Sandbox’s FinTech startups with access to the largest real-time social network for investors and traders to contribute ideas on trading, sentiment, and breaking news, in real-time. With over 70 thousand messages a day, StockTwits offers a global perspective to local trends in the market.
Barchart Joins FinTech Sandbox as a Market Data Provider
Barchart.com, Inc., a leading provider of market data and information, today announced a partnership with FinTech Sandbox. Barchart joins FinTech Sandbox as an official market data partner offering a variety of robust data feeds, software and APIs to FinTech startups looking for reliable market data and tools. FinTech Sandbox is a nonprofit that supports FinTech startups by providing tools and resources including free access to a robust set of data feeds and APIs, cloud hosting, and opportunities to collaborate within a vibrant FinTech community.
FinTech Sandbox Partners with TradeBlock to Promote Digital Currency Innovation
FinTech Sandbox and TradeBlock announced today that TradeBlock will provide free access to digital currency and block chain data to startups participating in the innovative Sandbox program. FinTech Sandbox residents may use this data up to six months for development, testing and customer demonstrations purposes. The free data TradeBlock is making available includes:
Trading & index data
Economy / block chain data
Computational / mining network data
FinTech Sandbox Accelerates Pace, Admitting Eleven More Innovative Startups to the Program
FinTech Sandbox is pleased to announce that eleven more startups are joining the program, bringing the total to seventeen. Residents in this cohort represent London, Boston, New York, and the San Francisco Bay area. Some of these innovators are targeting financial institutions with their products, while others are serving retail investors.
The big players in financial services have long struggled to keep pace with technology. They’ve been slow to deploy the latest in computers and software to analyze data, pick investments, and engage customers.
That has created big opportunities for a slew of local entrepreneurs.
“The industry is just crying out for new ways of doing things,” said Adam Broun, chief operating officer of Kensho Technologies Inc., a Cambridge software company launched two years ago to speed the process of modeling the effect of world events on the prices of stocks, bonds, and other assets.
FinTech Gets Traction: Five Questions For The Industry's Leaders
I’ve been working in this sleepy little backwater of the financial industry, called FinTech, for longer than I would care to admit. For the majority of that time, I’ve had to endure awkward cocktail parties as I told people that I worked in finance or public relations or technology. Quite often I’d say “it’s complicated” and leave it at that.
FinTech Sandbox Makes AlphaPack Sixth Startup in the Program
FinTech Sandbox, a nonprofit offering FinTech startups around the world free access to data, infrastructure, and community, announced today that AlphaPack has been admitted to the program. AlphaPack is the sixth and youngest FinTech startup accepted, joining Volos, Prophis Technologies, Kensho, Elsen, and Quantopian.
FinTech Sandbox, a nonprofit offering FinTech startups around the world free access to data, infrastructure, and community, announced today that Volos Portfolio Solutions has been admitted to the program. Volos will use capital markets data available through the Sandbox to complete products that analyze both over-the-counter exotic and exchange-traded, vanilla derivatives. They are the fifth FinTech startup accepted, joining Kensho, Elsen, Prophis Technologies, and Quantopian.
Prophis Technology is First European Startup Accepted by FinTech Sandbox
FinTech Sandbox announced today that risk management startup Prophis Technology has been admitted to its program. Prophis is the first startup to join the Sandbox since the program’s official launch earlier in March.
Non-Profit FinTech Sandbox to Launch at Event in Boston’s Innovation District
FinTech Sandbox, created to foster innovation in financial services by streamlining access to data for financial technology startups around the globe, is coming out of beta and launching on March 26th at an event being held at the District Hall in Boston’s Innovation District. The launch will be attended by the FinTech Sandbox team; sponsors, advisors, and partners who made the Sandbox happen; and industry thought leaders who are dedicated to FinTech innovation.
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."
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.
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.
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.