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Polsky Entrepreneurial Outlook: Fintech 2019 

The Polsky Center’s new breakfast series brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders. In Fintech 2019, we will dive deep with a panel of expert venture capitalists and entrepreneurs as they discuss the changing industry landscape and new era of finance and banking, including changing financial services and regulatory compliance. This event is hosted in partnership with FinTEx.

Polsky Fintech Event

Confirmed speakers include: //

  • Brian Clark, MBA ’17, Ascent Technologies – Brian has a wide breadth of regulatory compliance experience including derivatives exchanges, market investigations, clearinghouse compliance, and registered brokerage businesses. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Illinois, a JD from DePaul University, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2015, he cofounded Ascent RegTech. Ascent’s uses artificial intelligence to help customers build, manage, and automate their compliance programs.
  • Samara Mejia Hernandez, Math Venture Partners – Samara is an early stage investor at MATH Venture Partners, an early-stage venture fund investing in technology start-ups with differentiated approaches to customer acquisition. In this capacity, she leads new investment review, diligence, and execution. Prior to joining MATH, Samara spent eight years at Goldman Sachs, where she was continually ranked top 5 in selling financial products, providing market insights, advising on portfolio construction, and consulting on business practices. Samara is actively involved in the Chicago tech community and passionate about helping underrepresented groups get into STEM education, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. She is on the leadership council for Women Tech Founders, an active mentor at 1871, and involved in the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Samara earned an industrial and operations engineering degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
  • Jake Jeffrey, Victory Park Capital – Tom joined Victory Park Capital Advisors in 2017 and is a Vice President. He is responsible for sourcing, analyzing, executing and managing VPC’s private debt and equity investments across multiple industries, including specialty finance. Previously, Jake was a vice president at WhiteHorse Capital, the credit arm of H.I.G. Capital. His prior experience includes positions as an investment professional at Varde Partners, a senior financial analyst at Groupon and an investment banking analyst at Macquarie Capital. Jake graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame where he received a BBA in finance.
  • Kyle Nakatsuji, Clearcover – Kyle is the cofounder and CEO of Clearcover, the smarter car insurance choice. Kyle leads business strategy, vision and expansion. Under Kyle’s leadership, Clearcover has raised more than $30 million to date and is currently available in California. Before founding Clearcover, Kyle was a founding member of American Family Ventures where he was responsible for sourcing, evaluating and structuring over 50 equity and debt venture capital investments. Prior to this role, Kyle was a corporate attorney focused on emerging company business matters at AlphaTech Counsel. Kyle has a law degree and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin.
  • Cliff Nelson, MBA ’17, DRW Venture Capital – Cliff is an associate at DRW Venture Capital, an arm of principal trading firm DRW that invests in financial and enterprise technology companies. In this role, Cliff focuses on sourcing, due diligence, financial analysis, deal structuring, and portfolio company support. Before DRW, Cliff was a product manager at Avant, a marketplace lending business, where he managed technical roadmap and operations for the firm’s US loan originations. Cliff earned an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS summa cum laude from Tulane University. He is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.
  • Jimmy Odom, ChicagoNEXT/Bit Capital Group (moderator) – Jimmy is cofounder and CEO of Bit Capital Group, a blockchain security mining management service provider. In addition to being a decentralist, Jimmy supports Chicagoland’s entrepreneurship community managing the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge (BX Challenge). The BX Challenge provides $3.4 million in grant capital to local non-profits building programs in the technology sector to support inclusive entrepreneurship throughout Chicago. Prior to leading the BX Challenge and founding Bit Capital Group, Jimmy served as assistant director to the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services focused on Illinois’ procuring policies along with serving as the senior policy adviser to the Illinois Department of Commerce of Economic Opportunity. Jimmy enjoys working with minority communities throughout the state to in order to help create, develop, and grow entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.

Additionally, the event will include the opportunity for networking and time for a limited number of 1-minute pitches from fintech startups before this engaged audience. To apply to pitch, complete an application by February 14 at 12 noon.

Also, there will be an opportunity to quick pitch your fintech idea before an audience of interested attendees.

If you like this event, be sure to check out all the events in our series:

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