There’s a lot going on with the development of the #PAY Symposium so I thought I should write a blog post before the Easter business break to catch everyone up on the latest news.
First I’d like to introduce two new #PAY Team Members, Ashok Venkatraman & Bethany Frank, both New York residents. They both recently joined the #PAY movement and even though I have spent a lot of time with them both virtually this meetup gave me a great opportunity to finally meet them in person.
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Ashok is a MasterCard veteran and has formed NuStart Advisors, to help startups gain market visibility and financial growth. Ashok is heading up our Fintech Startup Showcase and is currently beating the bushes to find the most promising new entrants innovating in the banking, fintech and payments space.
Bethany, formerly a Senior Marketing Associate with Alacrity is now working with myself and our advisory board Chairman Wayne Brown in Marketing, Communications & Business Development.
Bethany is also helping technology startups and financial services firms execute customized inbound and outbound marketing strategies through her company b Media. Ms. Frank is a strong advocate of women in Fintech and is encouraging more women to get involved in the #PAY movement and our upcoming August event in Las Vegas.
Wayne, who is Managing Partner of The Walker Group was instrumental in bringing all these people together, he organized this #PAY NYC meetup with his longtime associate Chris Skinner at Nino’s on 46th. This modern Italian cuisine hideaway was the perfect atmosphere for the event. The staff was super friendly and helpful and everyone enjoyed a late afternoon cocktail and a variety of offerings. Chris was as amiable and insightful as I had imagined he was. He is a true gentleman, bon vivant and raconteur par excellence.
A great group of people joined us for this meetup including Peter Gordon, Founder & CEO of PRM Payments, David Gerbino of Beyond The Arc, Rick Fiorito, Chief Revenue Officer at Transactis, Dominic Ward, Managing Director, as well as Matthew Nacier, US Investment Director of Iconic Lab & Holdings, George Ravich, Chief Marketing Officer with Earnix and Steven Wasserman, CEO, Founder & Architect at Vments. Nino’s was filled with chatter as everyone met, discussed current news and talked about the next decade of payments.
Chris shared new insights on what the big banks are doing right, to move the needle for both fintech companies and for bank’s customers, in the age of everything as a service. Everyone had enough time to meet one another and get connected and hear a few well-chosen words from Chris.
Ashok commented that Wayne has found the right recipe for networking that works. He is genuinely excited about the #PAY event we are launching where hipsters, hustlers, and hackers will collaborate and challenge the status quo in Banking, Fintech, and Payments.
It was a beautiful, clear day in New York and the cities energy added excitement to the meetup for me. As I spend most of my days working from a quiet little island community in Florida where I live, it was fun to feel the pulse of a metropolitan alive with commerce and activity.
After the meetup, the #PAY Team walked around the corner to a coffee shop and made plans for the future. Although we have never met each other in person, we naturally fell together and clicked with each other. This is an important factor because you have to understand that we are looking at building out the #PAY brand way beyond this first Las Vegas event.
We have a vision of building out the #PAY brand so as to provide the payments industry with research, reports, curated news, information, and webinars as well as local meetup groups and International events.
We’re focused on the high level, all the while spotlighting the hottest new fintech startups. Over coffee, we all agreed on our posture, goals and goodwill efforts we are bringing to our gatherings.
Future plans include an association committed to bringing the industry new ways to interact and do good business while supporting and promoting companies that are changing the face of finance.
After coffee Ashok & I caught a train back to his residence where I had the opportunity to meet his lovely wife and family and enjoy a late night snack while discussing more ideas and making additional plans for the Fintech Startup Showcase.
If your company is focused on innovation in finance and would like to participate in this pitch competition please get in touch with Ashok by submitting your pitch deck at paysymposium.com/showcase.
I would like to take this time to thank Wayne, Bethany, and Ashok for the interest and passion they have exhibited in working with me to help bring #PAY into fruition. And finally thank you to everyone for coming out for the meetup, we look forward to your participation.
For more information about #PAY Symposium & Exposition including our startup showcase, board of advisors and our first round speaker announcement visit www.paysymposium.com