FitPay Wins 2015 Wearable FinTech Startup Challenge

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
FitPay Wins 2015 Wearable FinTech Startup Challenge
FitPay's CEO & Co-Founder Michael Orlando receives a $50,000 check for winning the Comerica RocketSpace Wearable FinTech Challenge. Photo: Comerica Bank/Twitter

FitPay has been announced a winner of the Wearable FinTech Startup Challenge launched by Comerica Bank and RocketSpace for financial startups developing technology for wearables.

FitPay, a wearabale payment company, has gained victory in the contest for financial solutions for wearable devices organized by RocketSpace and Comerica Bank. The company won $50,000, beating other four finalists, which included Amitee, UpDownLeftRight, Ascenden and Bridgecrest Medical.

Called Wearable FinTech Startup Challenge, the competition was targeted at startups working on the development of financial technology for contactless payment devices.

“We were very impressed with the quality of the presentations at the pitch night event. These entrepreneurs are creating technology that has the potential to add tremendous value to people’s lives,” Greg Belanger, President of Tech and Life Sciences Division at Comerica Bank, said in a press release.

As FitPay’s mission reads, the company is committed to provide payment solutions for wearable devices “by removing all the heavy-lifting for wearable manufacturers, consumers, credit card issuers, and the card networks to enable payments by delivering an “all-in-one” solution.”

The company’s platform simplifies payment process, as it doesn’t require users to give their account data and eliminates the need to use wallets or open an application on mobile phones at the point of sale.  The system conducts transaction by connecting the purchase sum with customers’ payment information. In addition to lower cost, the platform offers advanced security and high speed of payments.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as the winner of the Comerica RocketSpace Wearable FinTech Challenge from among such innovative startups,” said Michael Orlando, the co-founder and CEO of FitPay. “This event demonstrates Comerica’s commitment to innovation and significant support for the startup community. This will be a huge step to bring our payment platform for wearable devices to market.”

The participants were judged based on their scale and disruption potential, innovativeness and income potential. Annie Gaus, San Francisco Business Times’s Tech Reporter, Rose Figliano, Senior Manager at Corporate Innovation Services at RocketSpace and Tina Hui, CEO and Founder of Follow the Coin were the judges. The winner was announced at the RocketSpace’s campus in San Francisco on December 3, 3015.

Comerica Bank and RocketSpace have launched the contest to drive innovation in the fintech industry and urge entrepreneurs to develop their services.

“Startups are the lifeblood of innovation and are bringing new, game-changing products to market at breakneck speed,” said Michele McConomy, RocketSpace’s Vice President and General Manager of Corporate Innovation Services. “This contest was a celebration of entrepreneurship and addressed the critical foundation that any innovation team – whether you’re a startup or global corporation – must have to transform an idea into a reality.”

Since 2011, RocketSpace has been assisting fintech startups to develop their businesses. The firm creates the perfect ecosystem by providing such services as consulting, educational events, office-as-a-service and programming. Among its members are Spotify, Converse, Royal Bank of Scotland, British Airways, Uber and others.

Last month, FitPay teamed up with ConnecteDevice, a connectivity platform for the wearable industry, to commission the new smartstrap, named Pagaré, developed for the Pebble Time smartwatches. The smartstrap will allow Pebble Time users to make payments at different retailers.

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