Lending Club Blog

Finance and Innovation: Not To Miss at SXSW Interactive

This is your guide to SXSW Interactive’s financial innovation sessions.

SXSW has become the annual gathering of geeks, thought leaders, VCs, distruptors and counter-thinkers.  Innovation in financial services has slowly made its way into this world famous conference with Mint.com, Kiva, Kickstarter, Lending Club, Credit Karma, Smarty Pig, Citi and others showing up last year to represent.

The timid but solid representation of financial innovation made a clear point last year: the transformative force of financial entrepreneuship is taking shape.  I predict this year will be a celebration of milestones in the disruption of the centuries old banking and financial services industry, but we’ll also see an honest assessment by thought leaders of what the future holds.  No, banks will not go away, and yes financial innovation is here to stay: mix these two facts and let’s see what results.

If you are in this space, or are intrigued by the changes in the banking industry, here are the panels and presentations you should not miss:

App, Shmapp, Tell Me What Works Across Platforms!
Friday March 11 at 3:30pm in Hilton H
with Aaron Forth (Mint.com / Intuit)

Aaron will challenge those thinking of creating your company mobile app, to think outside of the “just port it to mobile” box.  Companies should analyze customer usage patterns to develop the best possible mobile application and mold the app to harness the advantages of each platform.

The Future of Innovation in Banking
Saturday March 12 at 9:30am in Grand Ballroom
with Antonio Benjamin (CITI)

In his short time at CITI, Antonio has managed to instill hope in the banking industry’s technology and innovative future. In an era of rapid internet developments and innovations, banks have no choice but to stop being laggards to stay competitive. Antonio will discuss the current landscape and share his vision for where the banking and payments industry is going.

Dawn of the Data: Future of Consumer Lending
Saturday March 12 at 9:30am in Hilton F/G
with Douglas Merrill (ZestCash), Paul Leonard (Center for Responsible Lending), Ryan Gilbert (BillFloat), Dana Mauriello (ProFounder)

Technology and mathematics are transforming consumer lending. Historically, it has been nearly impossible for people with bad credit to get loans.  With crowdfunding platforms, the tables are turned.  Now the “crowd” has the power to determine whether a person gets or not a loan…  is credit history failing to capture the essence of a person’s creditworthiness.

Banks: Innovate or Die!
Saturday March 12 at 11:00am in Hilton F/G
with Brett King (Bank 2.0), Bob Weinschenk (SmartyPig), Joshua Reich (BankSimple), Anna O’Brien (CITI) and Rob Garcia (Lending Club)

This panel will take a close look at why banks seem to have lost their innovative edge. Have they gotten to big to… innovate?
Panelist will debate why big banks are failing with today’s Web 2.0 consumers, and will examine the new players in the space who are stealing customers away from banks.

Crowdsourcing: Innovation and/or Exploitation?
Sunday March 13 at 5:00pm
with Fred Benenson (Kickstarter), Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard Law School), Lada Adamic (University of Michigan) and Lukas Biewald (CrowdFlower)

If your heard of or used crowdsourcing platforms like Amazon’s mechanical turk or CrowdFlower, or crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Kiva, IndieGoGo or Lending Club, you don’t want to miss this session.  These sites use “the crowd” to source and fund projects and ideas. Are they leveraging the power of the crowd, or taking advantage of it?

David vs. Goliath: Internet Startups Battle Money Giants
Tuesday March 15 at 11:00am in Hilton
with Felix Salmon (Reuters), Michael JAcobs (OnDeck Capital), Sean Harper (FeeFighters), Shamir Karkal (Simple Finance TEchnology) and Suchitra Padmanabhan (CBW Bank)

This panel will explore how Internet and technology startups are transforming the financial services industry in a radical and permanent way.  I trust Felix will ask the tough questions and add a bit of his trade mark genious and humor.

There you have it.  These sessions you shall not miss.  Any others finance fanatics should check out?


Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Comments (2)

  1. Thanks! This is a great list, but there are definitely some more
    financial panels I’m looking forward to attending!! – Dawn of the
    data: Future of Consumer Lending, Hilton Salon – Socially
    Regulated: social media in regulated industries, Hyatt Big Bend
    plus others like “thin is in: future of the digital wallet” now, if
    i can just make it to all of them!!! 🙂 Enjoy SXSWi y’all!

    March 11th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

  2. Charlie:

    With you on this. Attended some awesome workshops and panels this
    year. Crazy event. Love what you do, so keep up the good work.

    March 16th, 2011 at 4:57 am


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