Whether you have an MBA or a GED, startup accelerators are often the biggest push that startups need to go from idea, or earliest MVP, to actual startup and company. Startup accelerators come in all sizes and shapes from YCombinator, 500 Startups, and Techstars to The Fort, The Brandery, and Seed Hatchery. In our Accelerating in the Fast Lane stories we’ll feature an interview with a startup currently going through an accelerator.
Nebraska is filled with startups and entrepreneurs. Warren Buffet hails from Nebraska, as does the Silicon Prairie News and their Big Series of award-winning conferences. On a recent trip to Nebraska, we got to hang out with Eric Moyer the co-founder and CMO of a startup that went into Lincoln, Nebraksa’s NMotion accelerator as Fiscal Circles and has since taken on the name, HipPocket.
HipPocket helps connect consumers to loan products in a more efficient and transparent way. Find out how in our interview with Moyer below.
What is the name of your start-up?
The name of our start-up has long been a loaded question. I am however happy to report, Fiscal Circles, Inc. is now doing business as HipPocket.
What problem are you solving?
We provide insight into consumer finance which until now has lacked any form of transparency. Consumers hoping to improve their financial situation have been forced to call around or ‘take a chance’ on a loan offer that may not be in their best interest through websites like lowermybills.com, quickenloans, etc.
Consumer adoption of online banking and more specifically, personal financial management (PFM) sites like Mint.com is trending up. Further, interest rates are poised to increase markedly in the near term. We predict that timing is right for a vast number of consumers who have been on the fence about optimizing their finances will be motivated by a changing rate environment.
Who are your competitors?
The biggest competitor in the PFM space is mint.com, but we’ve also been diligently researching other providers in the space. We’ve seen some companies doing limited comparisons of budget or FICO score but none appear to be leveraging market and peer comparison data in a significant manner. We also have a secret sauce that we’re hoping you ask us about…
What’s your secret sauce?
Our proprietary process for taking users through the comparison process is our secret sauce. We help them build a complete financial picture and provide the clearest possible explanation of where they stand now and an easy-to-understand path to a better future. This process emphasizes simplicity and fairness. Instead of utilizing persistent reminders, info-graphics and a myriad of other tactics to change consumer behavior, we’ve chosen to concentrate on saving people money on the things they already buy.
By concentrating on making refinancing or finding a new mortgage easy and providing unbiased loan recommendations, we give the consumer a fair shot at getting the best deal.
Where are you/were you based before NMotion?
Prior to NMotion, our team split time among coffee shops, Turbine Flats (a co-working space) and of course, the founder’s homes.
We applied to NMotion to gain access to resources and best practices in an effort to improve our chances for success. Plus, NMotion is dedicated to developing the start-up community of Lincoln, Nebraska. We recognize that for our venture to succeed, the area needs to be seen as a viable place for new companies to gain a foothold. Brian Ardinger and his staff at NMotion have given participating teams every opportunity to develop and successfully launch compelling products and services.
What’s one lesson you’ve learned since the NMotion session has started.
One lesson we’ve learned is that the time spent validating assumptions might be worth more than what you’re building.
Where can people find out more?
You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and now, YourHipPocket.com.
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