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Next Money CLT: The Emergence of FinTech Partnerships

September 8, 2016
charlotte city skyline at night

Next Money CLT is hosting its first event, focusing on the emergence of FinTech partnerships at a meetup at Packard Place on Sept. 13. The event will feature Mike Praeger, CEO and co-founder of AvidXchange™; Frank Farro, senior vice president of development and engineering at Bank of America; and Holly Eskridge, with Charlotte’s Neighborhood and Business Services Dept. Sponsored by AvidXchange, this meetup will bing together a FinTech company, a large bank, and the city representative to discuss how startups, corporations, and the cities they operate in can thrive together.

I sat down with Jay Plueger, VP of Strategic Initiatives and Corporate Development at AvidXchange and Next Money CLT member, to find out more about the financial technology industry, Charlotte as a hub for startups, and Next Money CLT’s event on Tuesday.

How is the relationship between startups, corporations, and civic organizations changing?

Jay: “Startups may be disruptive to many businesses, but it also invites the opportunity to work together.  I believe it’s beginning to mesh, as the combination of the three allows for each party to gain something. For the startups, it’s knowledge from a corporation or business through partnership. For a corporation, it could be access to new technology or provide agility to move faster to market with new product offerings. For civic organizations, it helps build the community. Startups tend to create a great vibe in the community, and everyone wants to see them succeed. Who doesn’t want to be part of a success story? Charlotte is becoming a hub for successful startups and entrepreneurs supported by corporations.”

Why is this a pivotal moment for the FinTech industry?

Jay: “We are at a stage were FinTechs are being accepted as viable options for consumers and business of all sizes.  With the playing field leveled to some degree with technology and infrastructure accessibility, FinTechs are able to compete with the larger business and be competitive on multiple fronts by offering alternatives to tradition offerings in banking, personal investment, Person-to-Person (P2P) payments, and what AvidXchange does well, Automated Accounts Payable and Bill Payment for businesses to name a few.”

What is it about Charlotte that makes it an ideal spot for AvidXchange and other start-ups?

Jay: “With the cost of living and office space both reasonable, Charlotte is not only a great place to start a business but also a great place to plant roots or raise a family. The talent pool in Charlotte is diverse, energetic, and technology driven, making it a hotbed for recruiting top talent.”

Why should people attend Next Money CLT’s meetup?

Jay: “It’s going to be an informative conversation on the intersection of banking, design, and technology, in creative spaces with inspiring people. I encourage attendees to step out of their comfort zones and introduce themselves to as many people as possible. You never know who you’ll meet!”

Register for Next Money CLT: The Emergence of FinTech Partnerships

Join us Tuesday, September 13, 2016, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Packard Place (222 S Church St, Charlotte, NC) for this informative event. To RSVP, click or tap the button below:

About Jay Plueger

Jay has over 20 years of sales, product management, project management, and consulting experience in the technology industry. Jay has been a leader at AvidXchange for nearly a decade in a variety of strategic roles across multiple teams, including Professional Services, Product Management, and, most recently, Strategic Initiatives. In the course of his time at AvidXchange, he created the company’s first Product Management Department and is currently spearheading the Strategic Initiatives Team focused on corporate development and high impact projects.

Before joining AvidXchange in 2006, he founded a company that specialized in online channel development for companies adding the web as a sales channel. Jay also delivered software solutions for Market Velocity, a web-based rebate management platform used by major technology companies such as HP. Jay received his B.A. in Business Management from Luther College in Decorah, IA, completed Graduate courses at McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte, NC and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from Project Management Institute.

About Mike Praeger

Michael Praeger is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AvidXchange, Inc., the leading provider of on-demand accounts payables management and automated payment solutions. Since founding AvidXchange in 2000, Michael has been an active participant and speaker on “payables and payment automation” at various industry conferences and considered a thought leader within the industry in developing creative solutions and best practices for payables and payment automation. Michael has spent the last 20 years founding, managing, merging and selling technology and web services-related companies. Prior to establishing AvidXchange, Michael was Co-Founder of PlanetResume.com, a technology career enhancement and recruiting site that successfully completed its merger with CareerShop.com and CareerTV.net in November 1999. Before that, he was Co-Founder and CEO of InfoLink Partners and InfoVentures, LP. Michael also served as an Associate with Summit Partners, a Boston-based Venture Capital and Buyout partnership with more than $1 billion under management. He received a B.S.B.A. in Finance from Georgetown University. Michael is also a graduate of the “Birthing of Giants” executive entrepreneurship program at MIT.

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