Published: Sept. 12, 2018

scratchworks logoIn 2016, faculty at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business and industry partners noticed an underserved vertical in the world of accelerators—financial services. More specifically, technology and its impact in the industry.

ScratchWorks, born from this recognition, is now entering its second year of transforming and advancing innovative tech companies through investment, mentorship, and coaching. “Season 2” of this leading FinTech accelerator, will be held at the Barron’s Top Independent Advisors Conference March 20-22, 2019 in Salt Lake City, UT, where finalists will pitch their concepts live to investors who manage assets in excess of $60 billion. Emerging and startup FinTech companies are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity by submitting applications online.

“The team at Leeds serves as a bridge for ScratchWorks into the academic community,” says Erick Mueller, Leeds faculty member and Executive Director of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. “Our rich entrepreneurial community and collaborative campus ecosystem allow us to engage students in this exciting accelerator. We are providing access to students around the world and leading the charge to get students inside access to the investing side of entrepreneurship.”

The Deming Center Venture Fund, along with Leeds School of Business faculty members, help evaluate over 100 applicants and identify the most innovative and impactful business ideas. With expertise in the evaluation of ventures and their potential, the team executes thorough due diligence narrowing the field to ten finalists. Three ventures are then selected to present to the barracudas—the original five founders of ScratchWorks.

These founders include: Marty Bicknell, CEO of Mariner Wealth Advisors, Dick Burridge, CEO of RMB Capital, Jon Eadie, Managing Director of Covenant, Jon Jones, CEO of Brighton Jones, and Michael Nathanson, CEO of The Colony Group. Collectively, these five leading RIAs manage over $60 billion in AUM for high net worth clients. It was recently announced that Shannon Eusey, CEO of Beacon Pointe Advisors, a multi-billion dollar independent RIA, is joining ScratchWorks as a core member of the investor team.

“We continuously push our students to look to the future,” says Roberto Caccia, Leeds faculty member and Executive Director of the Burridge Center for Finance. “We challenge them to think critically to identify solutions that will address the challenges of tomorrow's business-world.”

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