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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

Leading Financial Technology Startups Headed to Kansas for NXTSTAGE Culmination

Kansas growing as proving ground for innovative digital banking tools

Wichita, Kan. –Along with Premiere Sponsors Emprise Bank, INTRUST Bank and Kansas Bankers Association, as well as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, NXTUS today announced eight finalists for the NXTSTAGE Financial Technology Pilot Competition and its 2023 Innovation Showcase event.

The finalists were chosen by NXTUS staff and teams from the Premiere Sponsors from among 111 competitors hailing from 22 states and 11 countries. They offer nextgeneration solutions to help regional banks, credit unions and financial services businesses improve identity verification, offer new digital tools to customers, link in with their small-business clients’ financial information, and expand lending and services to rural and urban underserved community segments.

Finalists will visit Kansas in October to meet with banks and speak at the Innovation Showcase. Similar to ABC’s Shark Tank, the event will include three-minute product pitches from each finalist. It is Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 3:30 p.m., with in-person attendees gathering at the WSU Tech Auditorium in northeast Wichita and other participants watching via live-stream. Registration is open via EventBrite.

“Emprise Bank is proud to support and foster the next generation of financial innovators through the NXTSTAGE accelerator program right here in Wichita,” said Matt Michaelis, Chairman, President and CEO of Emprise Bank, which has awarded four pilot projects through NXTSTAGE to date. “We are excited to embark on this transformative journey together with this year's cohort and look forward to the groundbreaking solutions these talented companies will bring to market. This innovation is critical to our ability to continue to empower our customers to thrive through personalized and relevant experiences."

“It’s critical that we stimulate and facilitate innovation,” said Charlie Chandler, INTRUST Bank Chairman and CEO. “Banking is constantly changing, and we have more competition than we’ve ever had. Innovation is part of our history as a community. We are proud to support that tradition as our region builds upon its reputation as a place where innovators and entrepreneurs can be successful in today’s ever-changing world.”

“Our community bank members are always on the lookout for innovative tools that can help them better serve Kansans and Kansas businesses,” said Doug Wareham, President & CEO of the Kansas Bankers Association. “This finalist group, selected from global competitors, offers highly promising technology solutions, and we’re excited to help connect them to future-minded Kansas banks.” Leaders from these KBA member banks volunteered on the task force that helped choose this year’s finalists: Bank of Commerce, Bank of the Plains, First Heritage Bank, NBKC Bank, and Union State Bank.

These 2023 finalists will travel here in October to present their solutions to Kansas financial institutions:

  • Archway Software (Redmond, Wash.) delivers banking innovation as a service to regional and community financial institutions so they can empower their customers.

  • ASA Financial (Provo, Utah): Embedded fintech platform that connects financial institutions with customer-facing fintechs in a secure, compliant and easy to implement marketplace.

  • Foresight (Kansas City, Mo.) offers a patented machine learning platform to enable financial institutions to instantly assess credit risk, fraud, and bias, allowing traditional banking services to safely open doors for underserved consumers and drive impact at scale.

  • Otomo (Austin, Texas) provides AI-powered recommendations for your institution’s financial products and resources, and if desired discounts from popular consumer brands.

  • Pebble Plan (Amarillo, Texas) reduces small business failures by giving entrepreneurs a collaborative and educational workspace to plan their growth and/or recovery.

  • PitaTech (Jefferson City, Mo.) modernizes equipment lending by delivering efficient data integration, making collateral validation and UCC filing fast, seamless, and secure for lenders.

  • Railz (Toronto, Canada) offers an API to connect to major accounting, banking, and eCommerce platforms to provide financial institutions quick access to normalized and analyzed financial data on small and medium-sized customers.

  • V2verify (Omaha, Neb.) 'Simplifies Life' by replacing MFA, Passwords, and PINs with a simple-to-use voice authentication solution.

This marks the fourth year of regional banks getting an early look at promising technology solutions through this program, which reaches global startups looking to gain market feedback and access to customer prospects in Kansas. The 2023 program attracted diverse startups; 89 percent of initial competitors had either ethnic minority or female founders and 75 percent of the finalists are led by minority or female entrepreneurs.

In addition to the KBA, Emprise Bank and INTRUST Bank, the competition’s third founding pilot partner, Fidelity Bank, remains a NXTSTAGE funder. Thanks to their support, as well as grant funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, NXTUS is advancing its vision to help promising startups grow, enhance Kansas’ innovation culture and foster inclusive prosperity in the region.

For more information on this program, see the competition website; to learn more about NXTUS entrepreneur support programs or about investing in local startups, see the organization’s website or its annual report or contact

NXTUS, Inc helps entrepreneurs grow companies of significance. The organization works to connect startup founders with community resources, capital, and customers. NXTUS manages Accelerate Venture Partners, a fastgrowing regional Angel investor syndicate, as well as the NXTSTAGE programs, which are aimed at connecting startups to enterprises and regional partners looking to become customers for their innovations and to help accelerate the pace of innovation and startup growth in the region.


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