MIT FinTech Conference 2018

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

Boston Marriott Cambridge

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Join us for the 2018 MIT Fintech Conference on March 10th at the Boston Marriott Cambridge Hotel. The event will bring together Fintech startups, established financial service and technology firms, VCs, investors, and regulators to share their ideas about recent innovations in the Financial Technology space. Hear the best ideas, examine the latest technologies, and ask the big question at the MIT Fintech Club’s biggest event of the year!


A Special Thank You to our Sponsors!

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Keynote Speakers

Gary Gensler, Former Chair OF CFTC

Ashley Johnson, WEALTHFRONT

Kevin O'Leary, SHARK TANK

Conference Schedule of Events


8:00 - 8:45am:

Breakfast & Registration

8:45 - 9:00am:

Welcome Remarks

9:00 - 9:35am: Panel

Investing in Fintech: Perspectives from Around the World (Ken Schiciano, Vishal Harnal, Marcelo Lima, Matt Rhodes-Kropf)

9:35 - 10:10am: Panel

Closing the Gap: Fintech for Financial Inclusion (Momina Aijazuddin, Jared Miller, John Beatty)

10:10 - 10:25am: Break

10:25 - 10:55am: KEYNOTE

Entrepreneurship in Fintech: a VC Perspective (Kevin O'Leary)

10:55 - 11:30am: Panel

Blockchain: Perspectives from a Technologist, a VC, and a World Banker (Shaul Kfir, Jalak Jobanputra, Rachel Halsema, Mark Weber)

11:30am - 12:00pm: Lunch


12:00 - 1:15pm: 

Startup Pitch Competition

1:15 - 1:45pm: KEYNOTE

The Growth of Roboadvisors (Ashley Johnson, moderated by Niki Edmonds)

1:45 - 2:00pm:

Winners of Startup Pitch Competition Announced

2:00 - 2:35pm: Panel

Insurtech: Perspectives from Incumbents and Startups (Rodolfo Gonzalez, Oleg Ilichev, Rashmi Melgiri, Chris Moss)

2:35 - 2:50pm: Break

2:50 - 3:25pm: Panel

The Future of Payments (Terry Angelos, Anders Brownworth, Sandeep Malhotra, Mona Vernon)

3:25 - 3:55pm: KEYNOTE

Impact of Regulation on Fintech (Gary Gensler)

3:55 - 4:30pm: Panel

Innovations in Financial Services Institutions (Cynthia Doe, Stephane Dubois, Jonathan Hakim, Vijay Sankaran)

4:30 - 4:45pm

Closing Remarks

4:45 - 6:00pm

Networking Session




Keynote Speakers

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Gary Gensler, Former Chair of CFTC

Gary Gensler served as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (2009 – 2014) leading the Obama Administration’s post crisis reform efforts of the $400 trillion over-the-counter derivatives, or swaps, market.  He currently is Chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission.

He previously had been Senior Advisor to US Senator Paul Sarbanes in writing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002), was Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, (1999-2001) and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1997-1999).  He co-authored ‘The Great Mutual Fund Trap’ a book on personal finance (2002 by Random House).  Gensler has worked on various political campaigns, most recently as CFO for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Prior to his public service career, Gensler worked at Goldman Sachs (1979-1997), having become a partner in the Mergers & Acquisition department, headed up fixed income & currency trading in Asia and lastly was Co-head of Finance worldwide.  Gensler earned his undergraduate degree in economics, summa cum laude, and his MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  He is a recipient of the 2014 Tamar Frankel Fiduciary Prize.


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Ashley Fieglein Johnson, Wealthfront CFO and COO

Ashley Johnson serves as Wealthfront's Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Wealthfront, Ashley held a range of senior leadership positions within ServiceSource that included Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, Interim CEO and Chief Financial Officer. Additionally, Ashley has held roles at General Atlantic and Morgan Stanley. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Masters in International Policy from Stanford University.


Moderated by: niki edmonds

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Niki Edmonds graduated from MIT in 2015 with degrees in Computer Science and Management Science. After graduating, she worked as a Software Engineer at Wealthfront, mostly in the Investment Services area. Niki has also worked as a Research Assistant at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab with the economics department at MIT. She is currently a student at Harvard Law School.




Kevin O'Leary, Shark Tank Co-host

Kevin O’Leary is the co-host of Shark Tank and a serial entrepreneur and investor. In 1986, O'Leary founded SoftKey Software Products (later called The Learning Company), the first software company to apply the principles of consumer goods marketing to the software industry. SoftKey grew quickly, raising over $1 billion in financing and completing a series of aggressive acquisitions. By 1998 O'Leary's company was the world's second-largest consumer software company and it was acquired by Mattel. In 2003, O'Leary co-founded Storage Now, a leading developer of climate controlled storage facilities, later acquired by In Storage REIT. Today, O'Leary leads the O'Leary Financial Group – a group of companies that includes O'Shares ETFs, O'Leary Publishing and a growing roster of other businesses. He is also the founder and Chief Sommelier of O'Leary Fine Wines, an award-winning wine label, as well as a member of Boston's 107-year old Hamilton Trust.



+ Investing in Fintech: Perspectives from Around the World

+ Matthew Rhodes-Kropf (Moderator)

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Matthew Rhodes-Kropf is a Visiting Associate Professor in the Finance department at MIT Sloan where he teaches entrepreneurship. He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Rhodes-Kropf’s research on venture capital and exits has been published in many leading finance and economic journals, including The Journal of Finance, Journal ofV Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, The RAND Journal of Economics, and The Journal of Business.

Matt is also a managing partner at Tectonic Ventures. Previously he founded RK Ventures, the predecessor to Tectonic, where he managed two successful funds. Matt invested in companies such as Rackspace, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Xenex, Axioma, Bidshift, Respicardia, and Edusoft among others. Matt was formerly the CFO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, where he worked with the founder to launch the firm and the world’s first Alzheimer’s imaging agent. Matt also helped launch a hedge fund as the COO, and has advised many financial firms including Correlation Ventures and 55 Capital Partners. Matt is presently a director at Xenex and at Neighborhood Trust and an advisor to Kymeta and Humatics.

A graduate of Duke University, Rhodes-Kropf holds a BA in computer science and economics and an MA and PhD in economics. Matt is currently cochairman of the advisory board for Duke University’s Graduate School.

+ Vishal Harnal

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Vishal is a General Partner at 500 Startups, the most active venture capital firm in the world. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, 500 has invested in over 2200 companies across 70 countries from a family of 16 funds (AUM ~$500M). Vishal is based in Singapore from where he leads and scales 500's investments across South-East Asia (with a focus on Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia). He invests in the region’s most talented, passionate founders and promising, high-growth startups. Over the past 3 years, the 500 Durians Funds that he leads have invested in over 160 companies including flagships Grab, Carousell, Bukalapak, Kudo (acq. Grab), Nugit, Fave, Revolution Precrafted and Gilmour Space.

Prior to joining 500, Vishal was a lawyer at Asia-Pacific’s top law firm Drew & Napier where he specialised in resolving legal and commercial disputes relating to investments. In that role, he advised and represented conglomerates and governments on some of the world’s most complex, high-stakes and sensitive commercial and political issues.

Vishal is also no stranger to entrepreneurship, having built a communications training consultancy while in law school that helped students and young professionals learn and hone the skills of persuasive speech, analytical thinking and negotiation.

+ Marcelo Lima

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Marcelo Lima is Venture Partner at Monashees Capital, a technology Venture Capital firm founded in 2005 and based in São Paulo, Brazil. Marcelo serves on the boards of Kitado, Oppa, VivaReal, BizCapital and Bidu, among other portfolio companies.

Prior to founding Monashees Capital, Marcelo spent four years as a Strategic Consultant at Roland Berger and worked with leading companies in the financial services and energy sector. Marcelo graduated from ITA with a BS in Computer Engineering, and completed an extension in Corporate Finance at the University of Berkeley.

+ Ken Schiciano

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Ken is co-head of TA Associates North America Technology Group and focuses on investments in software, infrastructure and financial technology companies. He serves on the Board of Directors of Arxan Technologies, Insurity, and TierPoint. Ken formerly served on the Boards of Cosentry, CyOptics, Datek Online Holdings, Fractal Analytics, FTP Software, ION Investment Group, MetroPCS Communications, NetScout Systems and The Island ECN. Ken is also an active angel investor in the financial technology sector. His angel investments include trueEX, Digital Asset Holdings, Noble Bank International,, Finix, Clearmatics and firstAI. Prior to joining TA in 1988, he was a member of the technical staff of AT&T Bell Laboratories, as a Systems Engineer in the switching systems area. Ken received a BS degree, summa cum laude, in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Duke University, an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an SM degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

+ Closing the Gap: Fintech for Financial Inclusion

+ John Beatty (Moderator)

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John Beatty is a second-year MBA candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. John leads the MIT-Deutsche Bank Community Finance Challenge, which challenges students across the country to design new organizations capable of using finance to romote local economic growth, address income inequality, and catalyze a more prosperous future for cities and towns. Prior to Sloan, John worked as an analayst at New Island Capital Management before moving into Product Development at CDC Small Business Finance, the nation's largest SBA lender. John graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Economics in 2011.

+ Momina Aijazuddin

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Momina Aijazuddin is IFC’s Global Head of Microfinance/Financial Inclusion and also works as the Principal Investment Officer in the IFC's Financial Institution Group (FIG).

She covers IFC’s global microfinance investment and advisory activities, with cumulative investments over US$3.7 billion worldwide and over 300 MFIs, in addition to advisory services worth $63.7 million in 68 projects across 30 countries. This includes oversight of the work in Responsible Forum (which IFC manages for the GPFI/ G20), institutional transformation, risk management and product development – to better enable financial sector providers to provide diverse and reliable products to suit their clients’ needs. She is leading IFC’s efforts to scale up private sector commitments with strategic partners in the digital finance, microfinance and fintech space committed to achieving the World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access by 2020. She was also a core member of the drafting team for the G20 Digital Financial Inclusion Principles. She is a Faculty member of Boulder Institute of Microfinance and hosts the Boulder IFC Strategic Leadership program in Financial Inclusion for senior professionals in that space.

Momina brings over two decades of investment transaction experience in the financial services, microfinance and manufacturing sectors from over 60 countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Her technical expertise includes setting up greenfield MFIs in MENA and Asia, transforming institutions to become regulated banks and engaging with policymakers and industry players. She has spent the last two years heavily engaged with IFC’s financial inclusion efforts in China, including partnering with fintech players, regulators and various high-profile banks, including the Postal Savings Bank of China, with over 500 million clients. Momina currently serves on the Supervisory Board of the Microfinance Initiative for Asia (MIFA), a US$175 million debt fund, launched by IFC and KFW and managed by Blue Orchard. Her experience prior to joining IFC includes work in the banking sector. Momina holds a Master’s degree in Economics with Distinction from the London School of Economics.

+ Kelly Peeler

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Kelly Peeler is the Founder & CEO of, which helps Gen Z navigate student loans over text message using deep learning. Last year, NextGenVest helped students access $39MM in financial aid.

She was named to Forbes 30 Under 30, Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business, Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, and a named a White House #StartTheSpark Ambassador.

Her TED Talk is entitled "How to Change the World as a Millennial - Don't be Stupid With Your Money." She has written for the Forbes, CNN Money, Business Insider, and the Huffington Post on Student Loan trends. Follow her @kellypeeler @nextgenvest.

+ Jared Miller

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Jared Miller is CEO of LenddoEFL Capital. Previously he was Managing Director for Latin America, then COO and CEO of Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL). Before EFL, Jared served as a Vice-President at Citi where he held positions in Digital Analytics/Decision Management and on the Global Mobile Solutions team. Jared also worked for 5 years in microfinance, primarily in Latin America. Jared has an MBA from Harvard Business School and is based in Lima, Peru.

+ Blockchain: Perspectives from a Technologist, a VC, and a World Banker

+ Mark Weber (Moderator)

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Mark Weber (@markrweber) is a graduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative and a fellow at the Legatum Center for Development &Entrepreneurship. He specializes in connecting dots across disciplines and leading diverse teams to bridge emergent technologies with real world applications informed by economics, systems thinking, and behavioral science.

Passionate about financial inclusion, Mark has spent two years researching and prototyping alternative credit systems for small-medium enterprises in emerging markets. Through a knowledge-sharing partnership with the Mexican Government and the Inter-American Development Bank, Mark envisioned and led the development of the “b_verify” prototype for blockchain verifiable claims for agricultural financing (academic papers and open-source code forthcoming).

Mark also initiated and manages the Digital Currency Initiative’s student working groups, interdisciplinary teams hacking on a range of pressing issues in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Learn more at

+ Shaul Kfir

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Shaul Kfri is the Chief Technology Officer at Digital Asset, a software company that builds a Distributed Ledger platform and SDK which improve efficiency, security, compliance and settlement speed in financial markets. Shaul is a software engineer with a background in research cryptography at SCIPR cryptography lab, where he was one of the original authors of libsnark, a Zero Knowledge Proof cryptography library underlying the Zcash cryptocurrency and the Quorum distributed ledger. Shaul was a visiting scientist at MIT CSAIL. He served as CTO for two previous startups in Tel Aviv. Prior to his involvement in distributed ledgers, Shaul served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Israeli Navy, where he led diverse teams across challenging environments.

+ Rachel Alexandra Halsema

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Rachel Alexandra Halsema is an IT Officer at the World Bank Group (WBG) and member of the Information and Technology Solutions (ITS) Technology & Innovation team. As part of the WBG Blockchain Lab, she focuses on blockchain as applied to cross-border payments, healthcare and agriculture. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in Russian Language and Literature and a Master’s degree in Information Systems Technology from the George Washington University. In 2009, she rode her bicycle 3,800+ miles across the United States and Canada to raise money and awareness for the cause of affordable housing.

+ Jalak Jobanputra

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Jalak Jobanputra is Founding Partner of Future\Perfect Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund in NYC focused on next generation technology such as blockchain and machine learning. FPV’s portfolio includes Abra, Open Garden, Blockstream, Bitpesa, FuseMachines, Everledger and Blockchain. Jalak was awarded Institutional Investor’s Top 35 Fintech Dealmakers of 2016 and was also listed as a 100 Most Influential Fintech Leader of 2016 and 2017 based on her investment strategy at FPV. In 2017, she was cited as a “Top 5 Investor Powering the Blockchain Boom” and Crunchbase noted FPV as one of the top VC funds in blockchain “before it was cool”. Since founding the firm, she has spoken on blockchain technology at many global conferences, including the Milken Global Institute, Dutch Development Bank/FMO annual meeting, and The Economist Buttonwood Gathering.

Before founding Future\Perfect Ventures, Jobanputra was the Director of Mobile Investments at Omidyar Network, a philanthrocapitalist fund started by Pierre Omidyar, co-founder of eBay. While there, she created a mobile investment strategy, invested in an East African mobile tech incubator, invested in the fastest growing Indian mobile classified ad site, and closed Omidyar’s largest for profit investment ($5M) to date in Latin America, a wireless company that created credit profiles on unbanked middle income consumers using mobile data.

Jobanputra was previously Senior Vice President at the New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF), a private economic development fund, where she managed the fund’s technology and digital media venture investments. Prior to NYCIF, she was a Principal at New Venture Partners, a $300 million early stage venture fund that commercialized technology out of corporate labs. She began her career in media, telecom and tech investment banking at Lehman Brothers and Broadview in NYC and London.

+ Insurtech: Perspectives from Incumbents and Startups

+ Oleg Ilichev

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Oleg Ilichev is Head of Investments at Argo Digital, a tech product development and early stage investing arm of Argo Group, an international specialty P&C insurance and reinsurance carrier. The fintech focused division is responsible for building software products internally and investing in venture and growth equity businesses externally. Previously, Oleg held a variety of positions at Argo Group, including SVP & CFO of Argo’s US Operations ($1.5B in Gross Written Premiums), CFO of Argo’s Excess & Surplus Lines segment, and Director of Corporate Finance. Prior to joining Argo Group, Oleg was at Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, a middle-market private equity firm, where he worked on growth capital investment opportunities and before that at Bear Stearns’ Financial Institutions Investment Banking group where he assisted with coverage of Argo Group. Oleg received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University, an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, and has attended numerous executive education sessions at Harvard Business School.

+ Rodolfo Gonzalez

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Rodolfo Gonzalez is a Partner at Foundation Capital who invests in innovative financial services platforms and consumer technology entrepreneurs. Rodolfo is fascinated with financial technology, disintermediation, and bringing transparency and simplicity to the consumer experience. He was 17 when he co-founded his first startup, Mexplosion, to host the Mexican qualifiers for the World Cyber Games e-gaming competition in 2001. His second and more recent entrepreneurial venture was a crowdfunding platform for social enterprises called YouVest. Rodolfo hails from Mexico, has lived and worked in over six countries and across four continents, and is an MIT Sloan and McKinsey alum. Rodolfo hails from Mexico, has lived and worked in over six countries and across four continents, and is an MIT Sloan and McKinsey alum.

+ Rashmi Melgiri

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Rashmi Melgiri is co-founder of CoverWallet, a tech startup reinventing insurance for small businesses.

Rashmi has over ten years of experience in the technology and media sector. Before founding CoverWallet, Rashmi was a strategy consultant at the largest North American TMT consulting group, Altman and Vilandrie & Co. A frequent speaker at insurtech conferences and outspoken champion for women’s leadership, she was the first licensed insurance advisor at CoverWallet.

Rashmi holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an MBA from MIT Sloan.

+ Chris Moss

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Chris Moss leads Solaria Labs, an innovation center and incubator for Liberty Mutual. Solaria Labs tests new ideas and builds breakthrough products for the insurance industry and beyond. The Labs partner and co-develop with startups, several universities like MIT, and government initiatives like Singapore’s Smart Nation. Prior to Liberty, Chris was a Director at BAE Systems, where he led a team of research engineers developing sensor processing, machine learning, and autonomous vehicle technologies for DARPA. Chris has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

+ The Future of Payments

+ Mona Vernon (Moderator)

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Mona M. Vernon is the Chief Technology Officer, Thomson Reuters Labs. She leads Thomson Reuters' network of global innovation labs, its research & development function, the Center for Cognitive Computing, blockchain engineering, and the design resources for the customer digital experience transformation. She also manages the start-up investment fund.

Previously, Mona was Vice President, Thomson Reuters Labs where she founded and scaled up the global innovation labs network to partner with customers and start-ups and academic partner. Prior to leading the labs, Mona owned the Emerging Technology and Innovation Strategy for the Global CTO and successfully deployed an Open Innovation Challenge program across the company. Before joining Thomson Reuters, she managed product and technology development in technology start-ups.

Mona holds a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a S.M. in Engineering and Management from MIT/MIT Sloan, where her research focused on the role of customer experience in digital business strategy. She is an Executive Board Member of the FinTech Sandbox, an external advisor to the MIT Institute for Data Systems and Society, a Corporate Council Member at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, a member of the Boston Financial Services Leadership Council, and a winner of Boston 50 on Fire.

+ Sandeep Malhotra

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Sandeep Malhotra is senior vice president, ACH Payments for Mastercard. In this role, he is responsible for defining and executing the ACH strategy and new business models with a focus on both card and interbank payment network infrastructures, schemes and applications that provide consumers a choice of payments. He also served as the business lead for the acquisition of a UK-based ACH infrastructure provider.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Malhotra was responsible for global commercialization, growth, operations, integration and expansion of M/Chip, Contactless, In Control and other innovative products at Mastercard. In addition, he was the global lead for the Emerging Payments Product Architecture, Strategy and Pricing groups. As an avid inventor, he has contributed to many enhancements to Mastercard's core systems and network.

Mr. Malhotra earned a Bachelor of Science from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Master of Science from University of Missouri-Rolla, Masters of Science from University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

+ Anders Brownworth

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Anders Brownworth is Chief Evangelist at Circle where he champions Circle’s technologies. He taught the first blockchain class at MIT and previously helped create and launch Republic Wireless, a WiFi / cellular hybrid smartphone service. Mr. Brownworth holds a number of patents in the telecom space and played a key role in's evolution from startup to public company.

Circle is a peer-to-peer payments technology company founded by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville in October 2013. Circle is backed by $136 million in venture capital from investors including Goldman Sachs, IDG Capital Partners, Breyer Capital, Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners, Baidu, CICC Alpha, EverBright, WanXiang and CreditEase. Circle’s mobile payment platform, Circle Pay, allows users to hold, send, and receive traditional fiat currencies without fees. Circle operates one of the largest OTC crypto asset trading desks in the world.

+ Terry Angelos

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Terry Angelos is the Global Head of Visa's Commerce Solutions team and is CEO of TrialPay Inc. He is responsible for Visa's industry leading Advertising Solutions business, the Visa Commerce Network and Visa's Loyalty and Offers platform. Collectively these products and programs promote incremental commerce for Visa's global merchants, issuers, and acquirers. Terry is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully founded and sold three venture backed companies and is an angel investor and advisor to startups focused in Advertising and Fintech markets. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from WITS University, an SM in Engineering Science from Harvard University, and an MBA from MIT Sloan.

+ Innovations in Financial Services Institutions

+ Cindy Doe (Moderator)

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Cindy Doe is a Boston-based Principal and leader of Ernst & Young’s Integrated Cyber Risk practice in the Financial Services Office (FSO). Cindy is also the FSO New England Market Advisory leader. She brings over 25 years of experience working in the financial services industry, specifically in investment management, banking and capital markets, and insurance. Cindy has significant experience working with global financial services clients on technology and cyber risk management frameworks, vendor risk management frameworks, internal and external audits, and third party control reporting exams.

Prior to joining Ernst & Young’ Financial Services Office, Cindy worked for Zurich Financial Services as Director of IT Audit for Zurich Global Assets, including Centre Re & Zurich Capital Markets, and Director of Internal Audit for Zurich Scudder Investments in North America. In these roles, she was responsible for the development and execution of the annual risk-based audit plan for IT and as well as business operational audit work in the US and international locations as well as co-led the Business & Technology Recovery cross functional working group at Zurich Scudder Investments.

+ Vijay Sankaran

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As Chief Information Officer of TD Ameritrade, Vijay Sankaran is responsible for incubating, introducing and managing new capabilities, as well as implementing the company’s data and analytics ecosystem. He also serves as a member of the Company’s senior operating committee, which shapes the strategic focus of the organization. Prior to TD Ameritrade, Sankaran held several senior leadership roles at Ford Motor company, including IT Chief Technology Officer, Director of Application Development, and Director of Infrastructure Operations. Before joining Ford, he served in consultancy roles with Ernst & Young LLP and Headstrong, where he focused heavily on analytical systems. Sankaran holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Master’s of Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Sankaran can be followed on Twitter at @VijayS_TDA.

+ Jonathan Hakim

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Jonathan Hakim is President and CEO of Cignifi Inc. ( a fintech company whose digital scoring and marketing platform enables banks, insurers and mobile operators to provide financial products to emerging consumers. Mr. Hakim is an experienced CEO and technology entrepreneur; his previous ventures include Azima DLI, an information services company providing web-based monitoring and pre-failure diagnostics for industrial equipment. Mr. Hakim spent eight years as Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, holding senior positions in London and then in New York, where he was responsible for the Firm’s leveraged finance business with international telecom companies. Mr. Hakim also served as a Director of the International Finance Corporation in Washington DC. Prior to his career in investment banking, Mr. Hakim spent four years as Banking Correspondent with The Economist magazine. He was educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics.

+ Stephane Dubois

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Nominated for FTF News Fintech Person of the Year and named for the second year to Institutional Investor’s Tech 50 list of financial visionaries and innovators, Stephane Dubois is a recognized financial data industry executive who founded Xignite to pioneer market data in the cloud. Stephane Dubois is a well-known fintech thought leader and is frequently quoted in publications, including Forbes, MarketsMedia, WallStreet & Technology, Financial News, Bob’s Guide, Inside Reference Data, and Venture Capital Journal. He has spoken at numerous fintech events around the world, including Finovate, FinDEVr, Bank Innovation, Next Money, World Exchange Conf., World Finance Information Conf. and The Money Conference. Prior to founding Xignite, Stephane was Vice President of Product Management at Advent Software, the leading provider of software solutions for the investment management industry. Prior to Advent, Stephane held senior product and marketing management positions at Walker Interactive Systems and Oracle Corporation. Stephane holds an MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and MS and BS degrees in international management from the MBA Institute in Paris.

+ Kelly Fryer

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Kelly Fryer is the Program Manager for Techstars' Barclays Accelerator in NYC. Alongside the Managing Director, she recruits & selects top companies, oversees all activities in the accelerator program, and engages with founders to drive them toward success. She loves working with entrepreneurs to better understand their customers, develop an ideal business model, and find the talent to make the company a success. Kelly is especially interested in helping diverse founders to get access to the resources they need.

Prior to Techstars, Kelly received her MBA from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, where she focused on Corporate Innovation strategies and Venture Development. She ran the university's Hoosier Hatchery and incubated a new line of business for Direct Supply Company. Kelly also spent several years running the custom index business for Bloomberg LP and building out their professional development strategy.

Services Leadership Council, and a winner of Boston 50 on Fire.

Startup Showcase

STOP by the sHOWCASE area throughout the day to connect with some of the hottest new STARTUPS in fintecH. FROM EARLY-stage concepts to more established VENTURES, all of these startups will compete for the GRAND PRIZE IN THE CONFERENCE'S PITCH COMPETITION. 



ALL PPL is a trust based peer-to-peer blockchain-enabled platform allowing unbanked members to access small loans and bridge temporary cashflow gaps.

+ Bitbridge

Bitbridge is a cryptocurrency high frequency trading firm with our own proprietary trading system and quantitative strategies.

+ Context Insights

Context is a crowdsourced Bloomberg for high-growth countries with low-grade data.

+ DeepBench

DeepBench is democratizing access to expert knowledge by building an automated, open knowledge community that allows for private, paid 1-on-1 consultations.

+ Gataca

Gataca is your trusted digital ID.


HOMESLICE uses housing to bring wall street wealth management to main street America.

+ iComply Investor Services Inc.

iComplyICO atuomates compliance proceduers for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

+ Smart Halal Finance

Smart Halal Finance plans to tackle traditional student loan market by launching the first online Sharia-compliant student financing, a more socially just and fair model.

+ Sigma Ratings

Sigma Ratings is the world’s first non-credit rating agency focusing on financial crime and governance risk.

+ UniCoin

UniCoin utilizes blockchain technology to alleviate inefficiencies in banking systems by introducing a secured, trusted, and transparent mechanism for reconciling debt transactions.

+ Zippi

Zippi uses alternative data to verify creditworthiness and provide loans to individual entrepreneurs without traditional credit scores in Brazil.




Vasilios Roussos

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Jeff is a Partner/Principal at EY and specializes in the Banking & Capital Markets sectors assisting his clients in achieving measurable and sustainable transformational change. Having been based in London, Singapore, and New York-Jeff has over 25 years of experience in providing Financial Advisory Services for his global clients. Prior to joining EY, he worked at IBM and maintained responsibility for the North American Operation of Platform Computing. In that role Jeff was responsible for all revenue, service quality, and delivery. Clients included several industry leading Banks and Asset Management Firms.

David is a partner at F-Prime Capital and invests AN early-stage tech fund focused on Enterprise IT and FinTech.  He has led investments in Cloudant (acquired by IBM), Kensho, FutureAdvisor (acquired by BlackRock), Flywire (formerly peerTransfer), EVEN Financial, Quovo, Toast, Axoni, Tradeblock, and Eris Exchange.  David was a co-founder of Sensoria, Inc. and VP of Services at Into Networks, a Fidelity Ventures and Venrock-backed company acquired by Softricity, now part of Microsoft. Most recently, David was a senior executive at Cisco Systems.  He held early positions with J.P. Morgan & Co. and The Boston Consulting Group. David is, however, insanely passionate about FinTech Sandbox, a nonprofit he co-founded to serve FinTech entrepreneurs by aggregating data and infrastructure for free during a startup’s development phase.

Vasilios focuses on the nexus point of innovation, partnerships, and entrepreneurship. He is the Managing Director of the DCU FinTech Innovation Center, which houses the largest community of FinTech startups in New England. Through the Center, Vasilios is advancing the Boston FinTech ecosystem and the development of seed-stage startups. Previously, Vasilios founded and sold an omnichannel tech company and worked in venture capital, digital product development, and investment research at Village Ventures, Dell EMC, and Cambridge Associates. He graduated with Honors from Brandeis University and has an MBA from Cornell University with a concentration in venture capital and operations.


The Conference will take place in the Kendall Square Marriott, located only a few short steps from MIT's campus and the MBTA Red Line.

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Meet Our Team


The Executive Committee 


Devin Walsh, Co-Managing Director

Devin is one of the Co-MDs of the 2018 MIT Fintech Conference. She is also currently interning for uPort, a self-sovereign identity platform, which is housed within Consensys, the Ethereum venture production studio. She is in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track, and in addition to her work in the Fintech Club has spent time working with the Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) within the MIT Media Lab. Prior to Sloan, she worked as an internal strategist and project manager at BlackRock. She is from New Jersey. 

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Marisa DeAngelis, co-Managing Director

Marisa is a second year MBA candidate in the Finance Track. She is also co-directing the MIT Bitcoin Expo and leads the Emerging Technology and Government Club. This past summer, she worked for a venture capital fund investing in hi-tech startups. From 2014-2016, Marisa was based in Myanmar with the International Finance Corporation investing in financial institutions. Prior to that, she was in Washington, DC with Albright Stonebridge Group. Marisa earned her Bachelor degree at Georgetown University and is passionate about using technology to increase access to finance in emerging markets.

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Taylor is a second year MBA candidate at MIT Sloan and Co-President of the MIT FinTech Club. Prior to MIT, he worked as a product manager at Credit Suisse, where he helped design new client solutions in the firm’s private banking division. This past summer, he worked as an investment associate at Riot Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund focused on emerging technology. At Sloan, Taylor is primarily focused on FinTech and its applications in asset management and capital markets.


Kashif Qadeer, Content CHAIR

Kashif is a Sloan Fellow at MIT. Prior to MIT, he was heading financial planning & analysis for Alghanim Industries, Kuwait, where he helped streamline the annual planning process as well as drive innovation efforts across the finance function. Prior to Alghanim, he worked as a corporate finance advisor with EY Canada for 8 years.

A native of Toronto, Kashif is focusing at MIT on innovation in finance and its repercussions for the CFOs of the future.


Andrew Geraghty, Startups and Partnerships CHAIR

Andrew is a second year MBA candidate. This past summer, he worked for Stash Invest, a FinTech startup in New York City focused on making investing more accessible to Millennials. Prior to starting at Sloan, he was a risk analyst for Eaton Vance Management in Boston where he focused on modeling risk for investment teams and implementing new processes for investment teams, compliance, and corporate reporting requirements. Andrew earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is interested in investing and the impact of technology on investment management.

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Emily is a first-year MBA student at MIT Sloan. Prior to coming to Sloan, Emily worked at The Vanguard Group in Malvern, PA. While at Vanguard, Emily was a Corporate Strategy analyst and worked on a number of initiatives focused on expanding Vanguard’s global presence and deepening relationships with Vanguard’s retail clients. After Corporate Strategy, Emily led a team of program managers in Vanguard’s high-net-worth retail business and was responsible for setting and executing against the strategic agenda for the division. Emily attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, where she received a B.A. in Political Science and American Studies. While not in class, Emily enjoys exploring her new city of Boston and meeting up with her new classmates for coffee.


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Pete Salas, Marketing Chair

Pete is a first year MBA student at MIT Sloan. Prior to Sloan, he worked for five years at PriceStats, a Fintech startup in Cambridge which collects billions of price records from retailer websites to measure online price inflation in real-time. Here he was responsible for developing new inflation models and developing new processes to ensure the highest standard of data quality. Pete earned his Bachelor’s in Economics at MIT and wants to continue working on innovative products in the Financial Technology sector.



Sam Barnsley

Sam is currently at MIT as part of the Sloan Fellows program. Prior to his time here, he spent 10 years working for Citi in their European Healthcare Investment Banking team, focused on M&A advisory services for clients in the Pharmaceutical sector. He has held a long interest in FinTech, both from an investing and an entrepreneurial perspective, and is currently spending time in the Insurance market.


Daniel Covre

Daniel’s worked in several areas at Itau Unibanco for the last 20 years, mostly functioning as a Corporate Entrepreneur. In 2011, he was responsible for creating the Financial Sponsor coverage effort for Commercial Banking. In 2004, he moved to Shanghai to establish and run the Bank’s operation in China. In 1999 he was part of the small team that established the Project Finance division. In parallel, in 2013, he co-found Jack the Barber, a menswear brand start-up based on an online platform, after raising $1M in funding. He's also mentored some projects and seed-invested in others. He is currently engaged at MIT Sloan Fellows Program, where is part of the leadership of MIT FinTech Club.


Neel Ganu

Neel is a second year MBA candidate at MIT Sloan and a VP of the MIT FinTech Club.  With undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Finance, he also is a CFA charter holder.  Prior to MIT, he worked leading a strategy team at one of Australia’s largest banks after a seven-year stint as a consultant focussing on financial services across Asia Pacific and Europe.  Over summer, he worked at N26, a European mobile bank backed by Valar ventures and New Horizons.  Neel is passionate about improving financial services and is focussed on exploring entrepreneurial pursuits within a corporation after he completes his MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Peter Lu

Peter is a first-year MBA student at MIT Sloan in the Finance Track. He works on the sponsorship team for the 2018 MIT Fintech Conference. Prior to MIT Sloan, he was a Vice President in the Equity Derivatives Group at J.P. Morgan where he worked on options market making. In his job, he designed strategies and systems to provide liquidity profitably on U.S. options exchanges. Peter has always been fascinated by FinTech innovations and their implications on capital markets. He hopes to spend his time at MIT to explore the fintech landscape. Outside school, he is an avid world traveler and he enjoys long distance cycling. 


Aline Oliveira Pezente

Aline is a MBA candidate at Sloan Fellows Program, member of MIT FinTech Club. Before MIT, Aline was Head of Business Development and M&A for Latin America for Louis Dreyfus Company. At MIT she is part of the Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) within MIT Media Lab, leading a working group focused on the application of Blockchain and Smart Contracts to improve efficiency in the financing of commodities supply chain. She is also working on an interesting Startup Fintech project that utilizes technology to improve the financial services in Agriculture market.


Fabricio Pezente

Fabricio is an MBA candidate in the MIT Sloan Fellows Program and member of the MIT FinTech Club. Prior to MIT, he worked for 13 years in Credit Suisse Brazil where he led the mathematical modeling group, traded fixed income derivatives, structured hedges for corporate and financial institutions, and distributed credit assets worldwide. In the MIT, he founded and is developing a Fintech startup, which aims to unlock credit to small and medium farmers by connecting them directly to lenders. Besides, he is working for the Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) in the Media Lab.

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Rajeet Sampat

Rajeet is a Sloan Fellow at MIT Sloan. Prior to joining MIT, Rajeet worked in Corporate Banking at HSBC Bank Middle East covering the MENA region and working mainly on cross-border project finance for large corporations. He also spent three years as a Director within his family business based out of the Sultanate of Oman, managing the Chemicals Sales division and working closely with multinational oil and gas producers as well as government entities. At MIT, Rajeet is currently engaged in a FinTech startup and is working on a blockchain project under MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. 

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Jasmine Shah

Jasmine is a first-year MBA student at MIT Sloan. Prior to business school, Jasmine worked at a number of software companies in the software-as-a-service and e-commerce spaces. Her latest project was at IBM, using Watson to help innovate the shopping experience for clients like The North Face and While at Sloan, she is interested in learning more about FinTech, cybersecurity, and entrepreneurship. Jasmine attended the University of California, Los Angeles where she received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a minor in English language. Outside of school, Jasmine enjoys salsa dancing, finding new dessert places, and exploring Boston with friends.

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Carson is a first-year MBA student at MIT Sloan. Prior to Sloan, Carson served five years in the Air Force as an Acquisitions officer, specializing in the rapid acquisition and deployment of cutting-edge cybersecurity systems. Carson will be spending his summer internship in Technology investment banking in New York. He graduated with a BS in Economics from the United States Air Force Academy.


Jaida Yang

Jaida Yang is a second year MBA at MIT Sloan with a focus on venture capital, entrepreneurship and innovation. At MIT, Jaida has been actively involved in the FinTech entrepreneurial landscape, serving as Co-President of the MIT FinTech Club and FinTech Sector Practice Leader at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. This past summer, she worked at Solvay Ventures looking at early-stage ventures and IDG Capital investing in growth-stage FinTech companies. Prior to MIT, Jaida worked at Marathon Venture Partners in China covering FinTech and at J.P. Morgan with its derivatives business.


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