Startup Special! Wharton’s Top Fintech Startups with Gaby Campoverde, John Garner, and Nate Soffio
In today’s special episode, I’m joined by three of my classmates, Gaby Campoverde, John Garner, and Nate Soffio. Along with getting their MBA, Gaby, John, and Nate are also founders of amazing fintech companies.
We cover a range of topics, including:
Gaby Campoverde and Miren:
Gaby and Miren are on a mission to expand access to financing capital for small business owners across the U.S. They do this by empowering financial institutions with data and software to optimize the loan intake processes. Gaby grew up in Queens, New York, and felt the lack of financial services products within her community. After spending time as a product manager in financial services before her MBA, Gaby decided to launch Miren while in school. The team is currently working on its MVP launch.
John Garner and Card Curator:
In 2017, John planned a trip to Korea and Japan with a few of his friends. After planning the trip, he applied for the credit cards he needed to fund the trip, spent 5 months earning points, and eventually managed to fund the trip on points and miles. The total cash value per person was about $26K. On returning, John and his father (and current co-founder) thought through the success of this process and decided to make a business out of this model. Card Curator recently released the new, free version of its app which serves primarily as a card recommendation tool. Moving forward, John aims to license this feature out to other fintech companies. The company also has an additional product that allows users to set their travel goals, and learn how to achieve those goals.
Nate Soffio and Portabl:
When moving from New York to Pennsylvania, and updating each of his financial services applications along the way, Nate felt the pain point that many consumers have when it comes to financial identity. During this time, Nate also pondered a rise in fragmentation of financial services applications for U.S. consumers, the rise of fraud, changing financial services regulations, and an increasingly messy relationship between identity data disclosure and financial identity. Noticing these trends in late 2020, he decided the time was ripe for Portabl. Nate and Portabl believe that users should be able to own a version of their financial identity and take it with them anywhere they go. The company has recently announced the closure of its $2.5M pre-seed round.
For those interested in getting their MBA, the three also talk about their ability to balance completing the MBA program and building a company at the same time.
Gabriela Ariana Campoverde is CEO and Founder of Miren. She is currently an MBA candidate at The Wharton School and Masters in Computer and Information Technology at Penn Engineering. Prior to her graduate studies she worked at a WPP agency, American Express and Goldman Sachs. She is passionate about building products for working-class, immigrant communities across the US and is a proud New Yorker. She studied Art History and Linguistics at Swarthmore College.
John Garner is the CEO and co-founder of Card Curator, a credit card rewards optimization app. Prior to starting Card Curator, John spent 5+ years as a volatility trader for Merrill Lynch, and left his Wall Street job to follow his real passion: credit card rewards and travel. John went on to invent the Card Curator algorithm called CardArb, which nets its users 5–10% or more in rewards on their daily card spending. He’s an expert in all things related to credit cards and free travel, and loves helping others crack the code in the points and miles game with the Card Curator app. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology from Dartmouth College, and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Nate is in the home stretch of his MBA at Wharton, where he serves as Co-President of Wharton Fintech. He spent 10 years building and launching identity-focused products at startups in the US and in the UK/ EU, specializing in the know-your-customer (KYC) landscape and privacy-preserving adtech. Right before Wharton, he lead KYC at Arachnys, a QED portfolio company, through its acquisition in 2020. In his spare time, he’s a long-distance cyclist and budding rock climber.
About the Author:
Anirudh Singh is a second-year MBA Candidate at The Wharton School, where he is part of the Wharton FinTech Podcast team. He has a passion for economic development, venture capital, financial services, and all things FinTech. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments, feedback, and opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you like this episode, you may also enjoy:
- Brad Bernstein, Managing Partner at FTV Capital — Private Equity in Fintech
- Gaurav Sharma, CEO & Co-Founder of Capitalize — Simplifying Retirement Savings
- Shimon Kogan, Associate Professor of Finance — Fintech 101
- Sigal Mandelker, General Partner at Ribbit Capital — Promoting Public & Private Fintech Partnerships
- Katherine Salisbury, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Qapital — Automating Healthy Saving Habits
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