Amid that welcoming climate, a field of 170 fintech hopefuls applied to the 2021 MIT FinTech Conference startups pitch competition, with eight finalists pitching during the online event last month.
In order to participate, the company’s primary business operations must focus on a fintech product; the company must be at the post-product stage; and teams must not have already accepted dilutive equity funding of $1 million or more at the time of application.
First prize of $40,000 was awarded to Manifest, a digital platform designed to help participants keep retirement accounts consolidated as they switch jobs, working with employers and retirement providers to let users combine old retirement accounts into an active account.
Second prize of $20,000 was awarded to LinqPal, a building materials payment and financing platform that gives builders and contractors quick access to credit for construction materials while helping suppliers to get paid immediately.
The Audience Choice Award of $10,000 went to Kiddie Kredit, a mobile app designed to teach financial literacy by helping children manage their credit score by completing chores to earn rewards.
And the remaining finalists were:
Agroclimatica — an application that aims to help farmers and financial institutions make better agricultural decisions by assigning projects risk scores for climate, soil, crop, livestock, and productivity.
Alinea Invest — a community-based application that provides members with curated stock suggestions and “bite-sized insights” aimed at making investing simpler and more personal.
Home Lending Pal — a personal mortgage advisor, powered by artificial intelligence, that helps first-time homeowners determine how large a mortgage they can afford, what their interest rate will be, how likely they are to be approved by which lenders, and how long the approval process will take.
Leaf Global Fintech — blockchain-enabled integrated financial services that allow unbanked individuals and those crossing borders to store, protect, send, receive, and transport money using a basic feature phone and local infrastructure. Leaf currently operates in Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya.
Troc Circle — an “open netting” payments platform designed to help businesses optimize their cash flow by offsetting accounts receivable and payable. TrocCircle’s algorithm detects common dependencies in a company’s payment chain and identifies opportunities where receivables can net out payables instantly, saving companies from having to move money between accounts.