Currently ranked: 13
Previously ranked: 12
When KKR & Co. co-founder Henry Kravis started the Partnership Fund for New York City in 1996, the effort to support local business ventures was bound to make waves. But it wasn’t until 2010 that a picture of how big its impact would be began to emerge.
That was the year the Partnership Fund’s president and chief executive officer, Maria Gotsch, co-founded the FinTech Innovation Lab with Robert Gach, a senior capital markets consultant with Accenture. The lab connected venture capitalists and start-ups, creating an ecosystem for mentoring and financing that has been replicated internationally.
The lab showcases New York’s competitive edge in “fostering fintech growth,” says Gotsch, who joined the Partnership Fund in 1999. She had previously advised on mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy at BT Wolfensohn, a unit of Bankers Trust Corp. that was acquired by Deutsche Bank that year. The FinTech Innovation Lab, co-sponsored by the Partnership Fund and Accenture, is attracting world-class firms in New York that are open to the new ideas being developed by the city’s high-tech talent. This collaboration is lowering the bureaucratic hurdles that start-ups face in selling to established companies.
Gotsch says she tells aspiring entrepreneurs that “New York is a good place for your business,” nearly on a par with Silicon Valley in terms of fintech venture financing. “We are seeing more participation in the lab from outside New York because we are seen as a center of innovation.”
Companies that were started through the FinTech Innovation Lab include cybersecurity services provider Centripetal Networks; intelligent-analytics firm Digital Reasoning; big data provider Enigma Technologies; and Kasisto, whose artificial intelligence platform powers bots that assist companies’ customers with mobile banking.
Apart from the lab, the Partnership Fund has invested in about 30 companies, including T-REX Group, a provider of software for valuation and risk analysis, and trueEX Group, an electronic exchange for interest rate swaps.