Straight to the punchline-if you’re interested in fintech, you need to go to the monthly Boston Fintech Meetups, taking place the first Tuesday of each month.
Boston is the third largest city for asset management behind NY and London. Heavyweights like State Street Global Advisors, Fidelity, BNY Mellon Investment Management (yes, it’s headquartered in Boston,) 3 of the largest 5 asset managers in the world. And I didn’t even mention Wellington, MFS, Columbia—all solidly in the top 50.
So it’s not surprising that Boston has been the home to multiple fintech companies–it’s just that the names, outside of State Street Bank, may not be familiar: Charles River Development, Progress Software (IPO’d) Eze Castle, (acquired by TPG), Long View (acquired by Linedata), my old company eSecLending (acquired by TA Associates), and so on. How come you don’t know these names? Because they are all financial plumbing companies, to one extent or another. And there’s another crop of VC-backed startups behind them, with names like Kensho Finance and Quantopian. Those last two are less plumbing, more predictive engine, but still firmly in fintech.
And increasingly, startup fintech professionals are making this a monthly event. While it’s only a year old, the Meetup now boasts 677 members, with 100+ members showing up at each of the last 4 meetings, which have varied from Bitcoin debate to DemoNight.
Who goes to these meetings? Mostly entrepreneurs. One, George Popescu, bootstrapped his company Boston Technologies onto the Inc. 500 and recently sold it to Forexware. Also investors—from Fidelity, State Street Advisors, GMO, Wellington, BNY Mellon, as well as angel investors and VCs from Flybridge, Spark Capital, Devonshire Investors, and technologists from IBM, Brown Brothers Harriman, bankers and attorneys from…well, you get the idea.
A regular attendee is the new executive director of the Fintech Sandbox, Rocky Weitz, formerly of Cargometrics, a cool fintech company if there ever was one. Half of the meeting is dedicated to schmoozing, generally with beer, and half to the content.
The schedule coming up:
November: coming in from London is fintech superstar Mark Beeston, an expert in Wall Street post-trade systems. Location: BBH.
December: co-organizer Doug Nelson of Fidelity leads a session on Open Data.
January: co-organizer Ty Danco (me) moderates a fireside chat discussion with fintech VCs and PE professionals
February: co-organizer Sarah Biller of Capital Market Exchange leads a session on APIs.
Register, get off your tush, and get smarter and more connected!