Last night, we celebrated a milestone in what we call the early dirty phases of starting up!

As many of you know, First National put us on notice to create more fintech companies. They invested $70,000 in The Startup Collaborative preseed funds just to do that. This was the origin of the Fintech Fellows Initiative.

Nine weeks ago, we socialized four market challenges and pain points. More than 150 entrepreneurs dug into those challenges, ultimately leading us to initiate 24 fintech fellows on November 26. These fellows had industry chops, clever initial solutions and a desire to start up.

More impressive than the size of starting class of Fintech Fellows is the caliber of participants.

The class includes a former FNB VP, one of the Prairie Cloudware founders, an ACI expat who has developed clever voice technology, one of the UI/UX lead from Union Pacific, an IT leader from Grant Thornton, the quant and technical cofounder of Prairie Smarts, a web developer from Burlington Capital, a team out of CAN Predictive Analytics, and a technical team that has worked inside Fiserv for decades, among others.

Last night, we toasted to a “wind in their sails” moment for five of these teams. As a reminder, each of the fintech fellows has the opportunity to earn our Murphy Vision Funds preseed equity investments of $50,000. But, as fintech fellows, they have been given a leg up. 

Fintech fellows that are earned this $10,000 of build capital exceeded expectations against Solution and Prototype validation, business, caliber and in-house capacity of the team, and their proposed use of funds.

The recipients of the fintech fellow build capital include: