I wasn't at Finovate so I can't be accused of drinking the Kool Aid. But it seems to me that startups targeting the financial industry are not only interesting again, but downright exciting. As the winners were announced, I couldn't help but think that the long-anticipated changes people in the industry (and out) have been waiting for are a lot closer to being reality. Ultimately, this is about the future of investing, startups, and the $11,000,000,000,000 question. Couple of themes are emerging from the winner's circle...
- automation: Firms like BillGuard provide automated, value-added services. I mention this eventuality in my book, Tradestream -- I think I call it "professional-grade automated service". oFlows does this on the professional side.
- data: We see it with SigFig (Wikinvest's new incarnation which didn't win) but also with Personal Capital's free tool set to help investors with portfolio analytics.
- personal finance: FamZoo's suite of services to help parents and children manage (and learn) about money complements LearnVest's platform of empowerment through financial tools and education.