By Daniel McAuley WG’16 and Steve Weiner WG’16, Co-founders of Wharton FinTech
When we came to Wharton, we both wanted to immerse ourselves and make an impact in the world of financial technology (FinTech). We recognized this would be an area of growth and that Wharton was uniquely positioned to play a part in this trend, with its deep expertise in finance and campus presence on both coasts. We found that many of our classmates shared this outlook and some had professional experience in FinTech. Many still were interested in working for startups or leveraging prior finance experience to found FinTech companies. We also found there was demand from the industry for a channel to students who care about these issues and want to build careers around them. To our surprise, there were no other MBA FinTech clubs in the US or abroad, and we started what we believe to be the first ever student-led FinTech initiative, here at Wharton.
Our First 100 Days
Here are some of the milestones we are most proud of:
- The club started with an initial Executive Board of eight students and has grown to a membership of over 200 students;
- We have delivered educational sessions on both the peer-to-peer lending and personal financial management markets, and also hosted guest speakers from NewFinance and Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS);
- In November, 20 club members joined a trek to New York to visit with FinTech firms and venture capitalists, including Betterment, SecondMarket, and FinTech Collective;
- The Wharton FinTech blog has also been a huge success, with 16 articles posted in 16 weeks, and nearly 1,000 unique visitors during the last month alone;
- On Twitter, we have attracted over 500 followers and are busy keeping the discussion going!
- We are also proud to have been supported by our founding sponsors: Infrastructure Group, Pave, and WRDS.
The board and the members of the club have accomplished so much this year and we’re looking forward to building upon this momentum.
Next semester, Wharton FinTech is heading to the West Coast to meet with FinTech startups and investors in San Francisco and Palo Alto, including NerdWallet, LendUp, and Wealthfront. We will be offering the opportunity for students to engage with Prosper on an independent study project, and bringing speakers to campus from FinTech firms such as Chain, Aspiration, WeFinance, and Tilt. The club will also be hosting another sponsored social, and we are working on educational content around payments, blockchain economics, and FinTech social impact. We don’t collect dues, so sign up for our newsletter to hear about our exciting programming.
Wharton is an incredible place to practice entrepreneurship because of the support of classmates and the breadth of resources available to take risk and start something unique. We believe that FinTech is an area in which MBA entrepreneurs can have a huge impact, especially in the context of B2B products. Wharton FinTech is committed to enabling student entrepreneurs by connecting them with FinTech companies and investors. In doing so, we hope to build awareness of the industry, foster career and business opportunities for members, and establish Wharton as the knowledge hub for FinTech.
Bio: Daniel McAuley (left) and Steve Weiner (right) are first-year MBA students at The Wharton School and Co-Founders of Wharton FinTech. Prior to Wharton, Daniel was a Financial Engineer and Director at Verus Analytics, and Steve spent six years in the US Navy’s Submarine Force and worked at Goldman Sachs.