A trendsetter within the fintech area, nbkc financial institution confirmed Wednesday it was discontinuing its well-liked Fountain Metropolis Fintech accelerator after two cohorts. The information follows the departure of the accelerator’s chief, who has joined a San Francisco startup eying Kansas Metropolis for its subsequent hiring hub.
“That is the primary time in my life that I’ve been operating towards one thing as an alternative of away from one thing,” stated Zach Anderson Pettet, the founding managing director of Fountain Metropolis Fintech — now director of strategic partnerships for Bond.tech, a fintech platform that connects banks, fintech corporations and types.
Pettet’s final day on the group financial institution was Friday, he stated, emphasizing the change was prompted by the skilled alternative with Bond, which is anticipated to see Pettet keep in KC for a keystone function with the startup — constructing relationships within the Midwest and a staff in Kansas Metropolis.
Fountain Metropolis Fintech was closely tied to Pettet, and his departure was a major cause for the financial institution’s choice to discontinue the accelerator, stated Eric Garretson, CFO and fintech technique chief at nbkc.
“We owe a lot of the success of [the accelerator] to Zach and the unbelievable staff he constructed round him, most notably Megan Darnell,” Garretson stated, referencing Fountain Metropolis Fintech’s program supervisor. “They’ve challenged us to assume in another way, sort out issues we in any other case wouldn’t have, and introduced an power and good humanship to nbkc (we additionally picked up a few of his lingo)!”
Darnell is also now not with the financial institution.
“We all know each Megan and Zach will proceed to do nice issues,” Garretson continued. “We are going to at all times be enormous followers of each of them and sincerely admire all of the work, sweat and tears they’ve put into propping up and operating [the accelerator] the previous two years. We merely couldn’t be extra grateful for all they’ve finished for the fintech group nationwide, the startup group in KC, and for nbkc.”
The accelerator had been heralded inside the trade for its novel method to fixing “less-than-sexy” challenges going through group banks whereas additionally serving to fintech startups scale with an actual, lively group banking accomplice. It graduated cohorts in December 2018 and October 2019 that tackled challenges starting from client bank card debt to cell banking for Gen Z and monetary empowerment for ladies.
Future, a member of the inaugural Fountain Metropolis Fintech class, was named of 1 Startland Information’ Kansas Metropolis Startups to Watch in 2020.
This system itself received a Cornerstone Award from the Financial Improvement Company of Kansas Metropolis in 2019 between the 2 cohorts.
All through Fountain Metropolis Fintech’s run, Pettet and Darnell credited this system’s vitality to Garretson and Brian Unruh, the financial institution’s president and CEO.
“There’s a lot that I’ve discovered on the financial institution,” stated Pettet, a lauded UMKC graduate and veteran of a number of startups earlier than his time at nbkc. “They taught me methods to be an operator and a enterprise individual in a manner that I used to be not earlier than. They usually taught me an trade in a deeper manner than I ever thought was doable. They gave me a chance to create one thing. They took an opportunity on me and let me run with it in a manner that I don’t assume most corporations would, a lot much less most banks. Their tradition and the petri dish that I used to be allowed to enter and assist develop was one in every of a form. And I really feel extremely fortunate to have had the chance.”
Garretson famous solely the 75-day accelerator can be discontinued, with the financial institution remaining dedicated “to working with fintechs of all sizes and phases. … Our assist of entrepreneurship will proceed full-force.”
As Pettet transitions to life at Bond, he’ll be centered on opening the startup’s Kansas Metropolis workplace — anticipated to be bodily situated inside the Industrious coworking area on the Nation Membership Plaza, no less than initially, he stated.
“We’re hiring and can be completely distant and distributed, completely open to non-SF engineering hires, open to employees compliance hires, every thing,” Pettet stated. “It’s not tremendous apparent what staff progress goes to seem like but, however there’s a want to construct a staff in Kansas Metropolis and have extra of a footprint right here.”
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Tying Kansas Metropolis’s fortunes to a West Coast startup is a win-win for the businesses, the communities, and Pettet himself, he stated.
“I’m grateful to be working at Bond the place I’ll be capable of have a bigger impression on the monetary know-how trade throughout the nation — but in addition I get to dwell right here and proceed to assist construct fintech in Kansas Metropolis,” he stated.