Detroit FinTech Bay announced today that it will welcome the Detroit Blockchain Center as a resident within its space in TechTown Detroit. Additionally, Detroit FinTech Bay’s first board of advisors is announced. Entrepreneurs and leaders from financial institutions, corporations, community groups and academia make up the group’s membership.
Partnership with Detroit Blockchain Center
Co-founded by Nate Talbot and Adam Zientarski, the Detroit Blockchain Center is a registered nonprofit with the state of Michigan focused on coordinating and promoting the education, adoption and growth of the Blockchain ecosystem throughout Metro-Detroit. The Center also provides resources to entrepreneurs and startups through access to education, financial resources, and business development services.
“We are excited to welcome Detroit Blockchain Center into Detroit FinTech Bay,” said Maissan Almaskati, CEO of FinTech Consortium USA. “Together, we are creating an environment of opportunity, growth, learning, and community around blockchain. Brilliant minds are coming together to create the blockchain solutions of tomorrow, and we’re excited that this innovation is happening right here in Detroit.”
“We’ve found a home where we can grow into our potential and truly foster the leaders who will change the face of blockchain while this technology is still being built from the ground up,” said Nate Talbot, executive director and co-founder of Detroit Blockchain Center. “The team is already expanding and big plans are underway, including DACTROIT, plus more exciting announcements to come.”
Detroit FinTech Bay Advisory Board
Mortgage tech, auto tech and blockchain are fintech segments all represented by entrepreneurs and leaders from financial institutions, corporations, community groups and academia in Detroit FinTech Bay’s first Advisory Board.
“These incredible individuals are coming together to help us at Detroit FinTech Bay continue to strategically grow and foster the next generation of fintech startups and innovation,” said Almaskati. “It is an honor to have them on board.”
The board will convene on a quarterly basis and advise as needed on the initiatives, programs and startups at Detroit Fintech Bay.
1. Jennifer Charters, CIO, Flagstar Bank – As Chair of the Detroit Fintech Bay Advisory Board Jennifer will work closely with the other advisory board members to drive the development of Detroit Fintech Bay in partnership with the Fintech Consortium. Jennifer Charters is EVP and CIO of Flagstar Bank responsible for leading the IT organization and technology strategy for the bank. She was previously the CIO of Corporate Technology at Ally Financial, where she was responsible for technology across Ally's enterprise functions. Prior to Ally, she consulted at Accenture, where she led strategic projects in support of Fortune 500 companies in the telecommunications and financial services industries.
2. Peter Adriaens, PhD, PE, BCEEM, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – Dr. Adriaens is Professor of Environmental Engineering, Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan. He directs the Center and Master of Engineering program in Smart Infrastructure Finance, focused on data platforms and efficient financing mechanisms for public and private infrastructure and asset management. The Center is a cofounder of the University’s FinTech Collaboratory with the Ross School of Business FinTech Initiative and the Center on Finance, Law and Policy in the Ford School for Public Policy.
3. Paul Riser, Jr. – Paul serves as the inaugural Director of Detroit Urban Solutions at TechTown Detroit, leading a technology innovation consortium dedicated to advancing the growth of Detroit’s technology ecosystem and supporting the development of solutions to challenges that face Detroit and other urban areas.
4. Sterling Pratz, Founder and CEO of Car IQ – Sterling founded Car IQ after recognizing the lack of innovation and consistency within the connected car space, specifically around automotive payment solutions, and has more than 25 years of automotive experience in both racing and technology.
5. Pari Lingampally, co-founder of Merkle Data – Pari has been involved in blockchain since 2014 when he developed a novel bitcoin mining chip from scratch. That development led AI/ML/Deep Learning and Blockchain initiatives at Intuit's innovation lab, including creation of a unique enterprise-grade blockchain for Intuit that resulted in multiple patents. His quantitative algorithms were embedded within TurboTax and utilized by over 30 million active users. Pari also co-founded Merkle Data, which to date has partnered with top cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as the largest crypto hedge fund.
6. Antoine Dubeauclard, President of Media Genesis – Antoine is an expert on internet and application development strategy. Antoine frequently writes and speaks about technology and the future of the web.
7. Steve Lokam, President and CEO of Openlogix - Steve is a technology geek at heart, an integration evangelist and always tinkering with latest in enterprise technology and architecture. His company, Openlogix, is a technology services company that specializes in enterprise middleware and digital transformation.
8. Thomas Pacchia, Founder and CIO of HODL Capital - Thomas is a bitcoin and decentralized internet technology specialist focused on direct investments into cryptocurrencies and angel/seed stage infrastructure development projects. Prior to HODL, Thomas was a Director of Fidelity Investment's Blockchain Incubator and founding member of Fidelity Digital Assets.