DriveWealth Funding, Princeton NSF I-Corps Hub, Demo Days And More

DriveWealth

  • Yet another N.J. tech company has reached “unicorn” status with a new funding round.
  • Fintech startup DriveWealth (Chatham) Raised a $450 million Series D round, valuing the company at $2.8 billion.
  • The round was co-led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital investors Insight Partners and Accel.
  • Said Bob Cortright, founder and CEO of DriveWealth, “Our goal is for DriveWealth to be the partner of choice to deliver the embedded investing experience of the future.”
  • We covered DriveWealth in an article in December of last year.

Princeton NSF I-Corps Regional Hub

Rodney Priestly (Princeton), Christina Pellicane (University of Delaware), and Julius Korley (University of Delaware) will lead the I-Corps effort | Courtesy Princeton University
  • Princeton University will lead one of five new NSF-funded Innovation Corps (I-Corps) hubs together with partner institutions Rutgers and the University of Delaware.
  • Affiliated universities include NJIT, Rowan University, Temple University, Lehigh University and Delaware State University.
  • The I-Corps program’s aim is to build skills and opportunities among researchers from all backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in entrepreneurship.

Princeton Keller Summer Demo Day


Brick Bank presentation | Screenshot by Esther Surden

  • Princeton’s Keller Center held its Summer Demo Day online recently.
  • The student teams in order of their presentation:
    • Kotami: Fashion-forward, ethically produced clothes at an accessible price point.
    • YetoBread: Creating affordable keto-friendly bakery products.
    • Office Party: Event production group focused on unique sustainable deployments.
    • RoundTable: Blockchain-based decision-making software aimed first at angel groups.
    • Brick Bank: Rental service providing affordable access to Lego sets.
    • Berry: Software to efficiently compare nutrition labels on grocery products.
    • Adventurelist: Connecting outdoor adventure-seekers with targeted expeditions.

Highlander Foundry Demo Day

Lyra pitch at Highlander Foundry virtual demo day | Screenshot by Esther Surden
  • NJIT held its Highlander Foundry virtual demo day showcasing the entrepreneurial skills of its student and alumni teams in its VentureLink program.
  • The teams were:
    • Hovar: A mobile platform that allows artists to bring their art to life by leveraging augmented reality to add 3D and 2D assets to their work.
    • Float: A global consumer credit report aimed to disrupt a process that leaves international students and immigrants with good credit histories unable to prove it.
    • Lyra: Provides programs in underserved communities to help students prepare for STEM careers through workshops focusing on unconventional STEM topics.
    • Well Heard: A web app and Chrome extension powered by an AI server chatbot that will be used to provide cognitive behavioral therapy,
    • Peek: An augmented reality app that people can use to point their phones and get curated information about their current surroundings.
    • Leagalese: A quick and efficient way for people to upload contracts to a platform and be advised of “red flag” issues.
  • A video of the demo day can be found here.

Leir Research Institute Virtual Conference 2021

  • NJIT held its Leir Research Institute Virtual Conference Friday.
  • The conference presented an in-depth look at research into the underpinnings of fintech, as well as practical advice for students and startups.
  • Some of takeways:
    • Learn Python, not C++, to set yourself up for a fintech career.
    • Startups entering the fintech world face risks, especially in regulatory compliance.
    • Fintech startups can even have problems discovering what federal agencies actually regulate them.
    • Increased digitization means that more startups can enter banking with lower startup costs.
    • This will lead to more competition between fintech startups for a huge but finite market.

Blockchain Employ Job Fair

  • A virtual Blockchain Employ Job Fair last week was hosted by the Princeton Blockchain and AI group and sponsored by the Linux Foundation.
  • The meeting featured information about available blockchain-related jobs from companies like ConsenSys, Hyperledger, Accenture, and more.
  • Attendees were then allowed to schedule time with any companies they were interested in.
  • Kudos to the meetup group and organizer Bobbi Muscara for attempting to make direct connections with employers for the members of the group.

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