University News

College of Business Announces Inaugural FinTech + AI 413 Startup Pitch Winners

Published: May 08, 2024 | Categories: Business, All News
Winning teams of the inaugural FinTech + AI 413 Startup Pitch competition.

Winning teams of the inaugural FinTech + AI 413 Startup Pitch competition on April 25, 2024.

Western New England University's College of Business is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the inaugural Pitch Competition, held on Thursday, April 25, as part of the FinTech + AI 413 Startup Launch Series, hosted by the Western New England University FinTech Incubator. The event took place on the University's Springfield campus, bringing together innovative teams from Springfield College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Western New England University (WNE).

The competition showcased the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity of the participating teams, presenting cutting-edge startup ideas aimed at revolutionizing the FinTech landscape. After a rigorous evaluation process by a distinguished panel of judges, the winners were selected.

First place was awarded to Bidhyaram Gupta, Camilly Shrestha, and Meraj Husen from Springfield College for their groundbreaking startup idea, Smart Credit. Their innovative concept focuses on developing an AI-driven app to assist users in selecting the optimal credit card for maximizing rewards at the point of purchase.

Second place was secured by Samuel Yusuf, Samuel Uche, and Samuel Afolabi from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for their visionary startup, FinSafe AI. Their initiative aims to deliver comprehensive AI-driven cybersecurity solutions tailored for FinTech startups, with an initial emphasis on account takeover prevention, payment fraud detection, and synthetic identity fraud detection.

Third place honors went to Manshika Chakravarthy Nalla and Srivastava Reddy Banda from Western New England University (WNE) for their innovative venture, EZReceipts. Their pioneering platform intends to provide users with a digital wallet for managing shopping receipts seamlessly, coupled with a sophisticated budgeting tool for automated shopping planning and tracking. The team also plans to collaborate with retailers to promote e-Receipts adoption.

These winning teams have earned coveted placements in the incubator's 6-week residential Summer Innovation Fellowship program. Throughout the fellowship, they will refine their startup ideas and transform them into viable companies. Each team member will receive a $2,500 stipend, along with a micro-grant of up to $1,000 to assist with company setup expenses.

The distinguished panel of judges for the event included: Sharron Wall, Portfolio Director, Research and Development Fund, Innovation Institute at Massachusetts Tech Collaborative; Claire Verville, Head of Ventures & Strategic Partnerships, M&T Bank; and Linghang Zeng, Assistant Professor of Finance, Babson College.

The success of the Pitch Competition would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the organizing faculty team from Western New England University, including Bryan Schmutz, Charles Mutigwe, Ethan Jiang, Mary Schoonmaker, Sanjeev Jha, and Yamini Jha.

For more information about the Western New England University FinTech Incubator and its initiatives, please visit WNE FinTech Incubator.