In one week, there were two fintech meetups. One was a virtual network-o-thon, a chat roulette-like elevator pitching practice extravaganza put on by Money 2020 founder Anil Aggarwal. The other event was a Twitter meetup happy hour with an open bar on the roof of a building on Madison Ave, hosted by “This week in fintech” newsletter writer and Google Pay developer Nik Milanovic.
A greater contrast of the old and the new could not have been achieved by surrounding dinosaur bones with NYC pigeons. Aggarwal’s Fintech Meetup Event was entirely online and attended primarily by professionals looking to sell their financial platforms, services, and network. It was seemingly the last virtual event of the pandemic era. Calling in from living rooms across the world, attendees paid hundreds of dollars for the opportunity to be guided by an automatic 15 minute conversation time limit.
Meanwhile, Milanovic’s meetup on the roof was attended by younger community members looking to hang out with friends and meet industry peers for a free drink after work. The tech people outnumbered the ‘fin’ representatives three to one, deBanked assessed.
The bar was packed and stocked with wine, Montauk IPAs, and Fat Tire beer. Standing room only and hard to move from one side of the roof to the other, the young networking crowd pushed elbows in.
Milanovic was the topic of conversation in many of the cliques forming that night. Most of the guests were readers of his newsletter and followed his work in the fintech space. After it was over, it was revealed that New York was just the first of many in-person locales Milanovic planned to host similar events, like Chicago July 15th, and LA Aug 5th.
Similarly, Aggarwal is also thinking big. His eyes are currently set on Las Vegas.
“We launched Fintech Meetup as a meetings-centric virtual event because the pandemic made it impossible to hold a comprehensive and inclusive in-person event this Spring,” Aggarwal said in a statement. “Going forward, however, our primary focus is on end-to-end tech-enabled in-person events that also include all of the traditional aspects of events–from sessions and speakers to sponsors and exhibitors.”
That next in-person event will take place in Las Vegas in March 2022.
1,000 people registered at the Southeast Acquirers Association 20th-anniversary conference Bonita Springs Florida: a smash hit in part due to the hybrid presentation model and deBanked’s video coverage, the executive board members of SEAA said. Treasurer John McCormick said next year in Atlanta would be even bigger, following a hybrid in-person venue with recordings and live streams that would pack over 1,000 participants in the show.
“To have our biggest show on the West Coast of Florida was really gratifying,” he said. “We registered over 1,000 and were just shy of that number with check-ins. I think we’ll [surpass that] next year in Atlanta, which will be a great celebration for our board and advisory committee.”
McCormick helped co-found the organization along with Audrey Blackmon and Judy Foster in 2001. In March, he talked with deBanked, describing the difficult choice to go back in person full capacity, a decision that turned into a major win. Derek Vowels, director of partner solutions at Aliaswire and SEAA board member, thanked Cypress Planning Group for the venue support and deBanked for helping produce the in-person and online hybrid model.
Everyone rose to the occasion, Vowels told Green Sheet, thanking Sean Murray, deBanked chief editor, publisher, and deBanked reporter Johny Fernandez, who conducted live interviews at the conference. “Attendees can view every breakout session, presentation, and popular CBD panel on the app and web portal for the rest of the calendar year,” he said. “Going forward, hybrid events that combine face-to-face meetings with recordings will be the norm.”
Alongside live streaming from the show floor on May 25th from 9 am to after 6 pm, Sean and Johny pored through interviews with industry experts.
Shawn Smith, the CEO of Dedicated Commercial Recovery, met with Sean to talk about the new post-covid environment in the B2B space and Florida golf.
Aviv Baron, the founder of Direct Payment Group, talked with Sean about changes in merchant spending, payment processing, cannabis, and drop shipping trends in the past year.
And automated accounts receivable fintech CEO Garima Shah talked with Johny about her firm Biller Genie, and the world opening for business after a year of covid.
deBanked is looking forward to the new year as covid restrictions lift and events come back in person.
More than a thousand people are attending the 20th annual SEAA conference in Bonita Springs, FL that started on Monday. The show is a staple of the payments industry.
“It’s a changing game every minute,” said SEAA board member Derek Vowels about what’s going on in payments .
The packed event has more than 90 companies exhibiting. The “Flamingo” level sponsors include American Express, IRIS CRM, Worldpay, Cardconnect, and Electronic Merchant Systems.
deBanked has been streaming live at debanked.com/tv/. Attendees are saying that it’s great to be back in person.
The May 25th Live Stream schedule is as follows:
9:00 – 10:45am,
3:00 – 4:00pm
5:00 – 6:30pm
Opening 9 minutes from May 24th:
Last week’s Broker Fair Virtual was the first of its kind for the industry. The day-long event offered talks and networking, just like the in-person event, albeit without the catering service and open bar. Offering a digital space that included a virtual auditorium, networking lounge, expo hall, and individual company booths, the event attempted to recreate the experience of connecting and mingling with the rest of the industry, as much as was possible.
Kicking off with a Matrix-inspired introduction to the virtual space led by alternative finance’s version of Neo’s mentor, Mur-pheus (Murray as Morpheus), the show then went in numerous directions, with panels and talks covering a variety of topics and sectors.
Funding Metrics’ David Frascella took to the virtual stage to talk about how his company and the industry at large have been getting through the pandemic; what’s to come for America was up for discussion with Scott Rasmussen, the veteran pollster, who elaborated on how business could be effected by the upcoming presidential election; the future of combining people with data was debated by figures from Become, Elevate Funding, and Ocrolus; Canada’s lending situation and prospects were talked through in Covid and Canadian Credit;The new normal was discussed by NYC’s Fintech Women; and John Henry, an entrepreneur and star of VICELAND’s ‘Hustle,’ spoke of his experience running businesses and what made his story a success.
As well as this selection of talks, another standout was the cannabis panel. Led by a number of industry veterans, which broke down the difference in funding marijuana-based companies compared to other deals, and what could be down the road for the industry as more states consider legalization.
National Funding’s CRO, Justin Thompson, held an extended Q&A session, fielding queries about how National has been faring through these times and what its approaches are as the economy begins to open back up.
How long-term is long-term for the coronavirus’s impact? Are SBA deals the way to go? Does the industry need to go further with its adaption to this new normal? All these questions were asked and answered in The Great Debate, a panel made up of industry figures from various backgrounds.
And brokers’ futures were considered by Lendio’s Brock Blake, United Capital Source’s Jared Weitz, National Business Capital & Service’s James Webster, and The Watson Group’s Gerald Watson. Here, the idea of a recovery, how each struggled through March and April, and PPP were all debated by the panelists, with perspectives of what’s to come leaning both ways.
There’ll be an evolution of new industries and how we do business,” Gerald Watson noted in his closing words, “just look at this conference for example.”
There was no lobby to find brokers and funders hashing out deals in relative privacy away from the expo hall, instead this was replaced by private messages exchanged. Rather than line up for some chicken wings, people chowed down to whatever was in their home on that day. And instead of gathering around a bar and finishing the day after the final talk, attendees cracked something at their desk and chatted it up in the networking lounge, recalling previous events and what was once taken for granted: the ability to connect effortlessly.
The coronavirus continues to physically keep people apart, but for one day last week the industry was able to come together and network, make deals, and gain insight; albeit in a different way, internet connections providing.
Two blocks back from where the waves were washing up on Miami Beach, attendees flocked into the halls of the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. A mix of brokers, funders, lawyers, and anyone else attracted to alternative finance made up the crowd of the 2020 outing of deBanked Connect Miami.
They had come for the speakers and talks, the networking opportunities, and, of course, the weather; the first of these being a mix of topics and characters from across the industry. But before the talks could properly kick off, deBanked’s President and Founder Sean Murray took to the stage to welcome attendees and announced the publication’s latest news: the utility of www.seekingfin.com and the administration of two large social media groups, Merchant Cash Advance on Facebook and Merchant Cash Advance Resource on LinkedIn.
Following on from Murray’s introduction, Brian Holloway, former Patriots Offensive Lineman, opened the show with an impassioned speech alongside his son on how to translate your passions and determination into sales maximization, citing the mantra of “Let’s move as the champions move.” A collection of industry figures including United Capital Source’s Jared Weitz, Elevate’s Heather Francis, and alternative finance veteran David Goldin discussed the challenges and changes that businesses are likely to face when making money in 2020 – including what to be aware of when considering syndication and how to build a book. And closing the show were Gunes Kulaligil from Methodical Management alongside Hans Thomas of 10X Capital, who broke down how to accurately value yourself and your company’s worth.
Running throughout these talks, just off from the general session room, the sponsors hall was abuzz with deals and networking. With business cards exchanged, rumors swapped, and trends discussed, the hall served for the day as a focal point for the industry.
And as the sun set on South Beach, the speakers wrapped up and the sponsors wound down their tables. The audience billowed out into the courtyard, where the lasting Miami heat accompanied food, cocktails, and conversation, as deBanked Connect Miami closed for another year.
deBanked’s annual South Florida event, deBanked CONNECT MIAMI, begins today at 1:30pm at The Loews Hotel in Miami Beach. Check-in will take place at the Rotunda on the 2nd level.
This event is SOLD OUT. More than 500 people are registered to attend this year.
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deBanked estimated that approximately $524 million worth of merchant cash advances had been funded in 2010.
In 2019, merchant cash advances and daily payment small business loan products exceed more than $20 billion a year in originations.
Merchant Cash and Capital
Business Financial Services
Greystone Business Resources
Strategic Funding Source
Funding Circle USA
Entrust Cash Advance
Merchants Capital Access
Merchant Resources International
American Finance Solutions
Rapid Capital Funding
Paramount Merchant Funding