Edquity, Hurdlr, Redrock Biometrics and SimSpace explore new approaches to college finances, taxes, biometrics, and cybersecurity
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) announced today four early stage fintech companies – Edquity, Hurdlr, Redrock Biometrics, and SimSpace – are the latest startups to join the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator. Wells Fargo started the non-exclusive, six-month program more than three years ago to join startups in exploring emerging technologies in analytics, cybersecurity, payments, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and other areas in pursuit of breakthroughs for financial services. Companies are eligible to receive funding, along with guidance from Wells Fargo business and technology leaders in refining the launch of their ideas.
“Since the dawn of the internet as a commercial channel, Wells Fargo and fintech firms have been working together to create innovative digital experiences for consumers and businesses,” said Steve Ellis, head of the Wells Fargo Innovation Group. “This program plays an increasingly integral part in helping us explore and implement breakthrough ideas to build a better bank.”
To date, the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator has received nearly 1,600 applications from innovative companies in more than 50 countries. The newest entrants bring the total number to 17 startups that have joined the accelerator, with more to be announced soon. The program is accepting applications from new accelerator candidates through Dec. 6 at www.wellsfargo.com/accelerator. Companies are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in funding.
Latest Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator Companies:
Edquity (Brooklyn, N.Y.) offers the first-of-its-kind college financial planning app for high school and college students, supporting students as a “to-and-through” platform through each and every financial decision on the road to college graduation. The app helps students articulate the short- and long-term financial implications of any college of interest – inclusive of net cost, debt, potential earnings, and cost of living – and map out a financial plan that ensures they will have the means to graduate and achieve financial success thereafter.
“It’s no secret that we as a society need to do more to ensure our college students are set up for financial success not just in navigating college but also beyond,” said David Helene, cofounder and CEO of Edquity. “Problems of this magnitude require equally big solutions, and we’re extremely excited to join the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator to explore ways to scale the impact of our work helping students navigate the numerous financial challenges related to selecting, financing, and surviving college.”
Hurdlr (Washington, D.C.) is a rapidly growing startup whose API and mobile apps provide financial, tax, and performance insights for “The 1099 Economy,” including consumers, freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed small business owners. The company’s API allows businesses, financial institutions, and other organizations to tap into the power of Hurdlr’s modern financial platform to create innovative, tailored solutions that proactively improve their customers’ financial performance.
“By joining the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, we’ll be testing multiple business cases, looking to provide strategic insights via our API,” said Raj Bhaskar, CEO of Hurdlr. “We look forward to further demonstrating how Hurdlr’s Profit & Tax Engine might be leveraged by financial institutions and others for the benefit of their customers.”
Redrock Biometrics (San Francisco) developed the first practical palm-print based authentication software, PalmID™. Made possible through several patented algorithmic breakthroughs, PalmID is more accurate than fingerprint authentication, as palms are more unique. It works on any device with a camera, from phones and laptops to VR/AR headsets to ATMs. Waving your hand at the device makes sign in simple, fast and secure.
“Our PalmID is a perfect fit for user authentication in fintech, and we look forward to applying this to additional use cases,” said Hua Yang, cofounder and CEO of Redrock Biometrics. “The Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator program will provide resources and connections that are critical for us to engage this market.”
SimSpace (Boston) is an innovative cybersecurity software company that leverages decades of experience working for the U.S. Military and DoD Laboratories to provide next-generation cybersecurity testing, training, and risk assessments.
“Our relationship with the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator significantly enhances our efforts to both radically improve the cybersecurity landscape and to become the trusted source for cybersecurity testing and risk assessments,” said William Hutchison, CEO and cofounder of SimSpace. “The program allows us to further refine our state-of-the-art, cyber range capabilities to provide software-based, quantitative insights into how a company can protect its critical assets against an advanced cyber threat.”
The program is one of many facets as the company looks to move its innovation agenda inside and outside of the company. Wells Fargo is interested in big ideas that can make banking faster, easier, smarter, and safer — for our customers and the whole financial services industry.