The past three years have been an exciting. I’ve witnessed the rise of the alternative lender, also known as the marketplace lender. In any industry where there is a void, there is an entrepreneur with an idea to fill it. This happened in the last eight years in small business lending. As traditional banks contracted their offerings to small businesses for various reasons, the marketplace lender stepped into this opportunity.
After a short flight to Silicon Valley, we donned our bright orange vests and joined the greatest minds in financial technology. We saw everything from eye-scanning identity verification to instant approval for car loans to making payments with Google glass. All of these companies were creating phenomenal disruptions, but from our experience, launching a successful innovation is so much more than a great idea – it takes drive, focus, creativity and commitment. After 67 seven-minute presentations over the span of two days, here are the top presenters that had all of these characteristics.