Georgia Fintech Academy

S2-Episode 5: Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) - Fintech Vertical - Kristin Slink

February 18, 2021 Georgia Fintech Academy
Georgia Fintech Academy
S2-Episode 5: Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) - Fintech Vertical - Kristin Slink
Chapters
Georgia Fintech Academy
S2-Episode 5: Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) - Fintech Vertical - Kristin Slink
Feb 18, 2021
Georgia Fintech Academy

Kristin Slink leads the fintech vertical of the Georgia Tech Advanced Technology Development Center incubator. In this role she helps nurture over 24 fintech early-stage companies. In this episode we learn about Kristin's career in fintech as a founder of Loan Hero and the fintech companies in the ATDC. 

Show Notes Transcript

Kristin Slink leads the fintech vertical of the Georgia Tech Advanced Technology Development Center incubator. In this role she helps nurture over 24 fintech early-stage companies. In this episode we learn about Kristin's career in fintech as a founder of Loan Hero and the fintech companies in the ATDC. 

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Georgia FinTech Academy podcast. The Georgia Vintech Academy is a collaboration between Georgia's FinTech industry and the university system of Georgia. This talent development initiative addresses a massive demand for FinTech professionals and give learners the specialized education experiences needed to enter the FinTech space .

Speaker 2:

Hi everybody. And welcome back. This is Tommy Marshall , the executive director of the Georgia FinTech Academy. And this is season two, episode five, and I'm excited to have with me today, Kristen slink , the lead of the FinTech vertical at the advanced technology development center at Georgia tech. Welcome Kristen . It's great to have you with us.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for having me Tami . Good to be here.

Speaker 2:

I want to get started Kristen , learning more about you, your career and how you come into this area. We call FinTech financial technology. Tell us about that. What's what's that journey been like for you?

Speaker 3:

Awesome. I'll start with school. So I went to college in New Hampshire , uh, for psychology. I at first thought I was going to be a school counselor. Uh , then I did a minor in education thought I was going to be a teacher. Uh, did an internship working with , uh , people diagnosed with schizophrenia and then , uh, just decided to move California afterwards. So when I got to California, I realized pretty quickly, you know, through that experience, I didn't want to pursue the psychology angle and was always interested in business. So my first job that I took was with enterprise Rent-A-Car. Um, and so through that experience, I joined a smaller, you know, intrepreneur type role within enterprise working for a small division that was sort of like a startup, which got me really excited about building things in strategy. And so ultimately through that experience ended up quitting my job, joining a very early stage startup in consumer finance , um, which,

Speaker 2:

Who was in, I know you moved to Atlanta from San Diego, but like when you moved first to California, was it to San Diego? All of this ,

Speaker 3:

He used to San Diego. Yeah. So moved to sunny, California right away, worked with enterprise, ended up quitting. My job got into consumer finance, which I didn't associate with FinTech at the time while I was doing that realized a problem that I wanted to solve. And so that problem was working with businesses on how to offer financing to their customers, where there were a whole suite of different platforms to use, which created a friction point when you're trying to sell a mattress for example, but also trying to get someone into a personal loan to afford that. And so , uh , ended up raising money to build a platform that integrated multiple lending options in there at Tucker to provide a streamlined process for. And so I didn't actually learn what FinTech was until after we raised money and were looking into getting into an accelerator and how it's an industry category , uh , at San Diego FinTech, isn't really a thing it's mostly biotech and a lot of consumer products. So it was this new, new world that I got into, but definitely didn't plan on that.

Speaker 2:

Um, and the, the, you know , San Diego is interesting or I've learned from a consumer finance standpoint, like truest here , uh , you know, one of our big regional banks, they, they bought a company called LightStream out of San Diego, which , um , also kind of plays in or grew out and kind of plays aggressively in that, in that , um , consumer finance spot space. Um, and then remind me the, the, the company that the company is effort involved, it evolved into for you,

Speaker 3:

It was called lone hero. So we founded it in 2014 and then ended up selling it to lending point who's based in Kennesaw in 2018.

Speaker 2:

And so

Speaker 3:

That's ultimately what brought me out to Atlanta , um, to, you know , see through that integration, move out here to be with that team , um, and worked on it that way.

Speaker 2:

Right. And , and, and what I guess is clear there in your comments is that you really were seeing an opportunity around lending dove into that and started to explore it. And then you realized there was this bigger world called FinTech that , that whole , that, that whole business was kind of naturally part of.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it was interesting. I went from white labeling different lending platforms to integrating different lenders, to becoming a lender. Um, so really jumped in head first into compliance regulation, the ins and outs of lending, everything, you know, from origination all the way to servicing. So it was like a crash crash course on both entrepreneurship, FinTech lending, the whole shebang

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] . Uh, and when, and then how, how many employees did you all have as lone hero? Um, by the time that , um, you were acquired 25 in place 25 . Yeah. Great. Um, well , what a great experience. Um, so then you were, you were here in Atlanta , uh, and then kind of new to this region, this town, right? Uh, how did you discover this ATDC organization?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely. So through that whole experience of building my company and being an entrepreneur and really not having any guidance of people around me, I really valued community and also valued through my own experience. Those who shared mistakes with me. And so I want you to give back, right. Um, I felt, I learned a lot. I made a ton of mistakes. I talk about that a lot with the companies that I work with and wanted to give back. And so here I was in Atlanta, super excited that it was a FinTech capital . People actually knew what I meant when I said FinTech or talked about lending. So that was a change, but I really wanted to find out if you're in Atlanta and you have starting a company and you need, you know, mentorship and how we know, where do you really go? And all of a sudden I learned all these acronyms, right. ATD C E I R. Um , and so I started, you know , plugging away at that, learning about ATDC, which is the advanced technology development center for those who don't follow all of the acronyms. So it really serendipitous, you know, I wanted to give back and then found that opportunity within the organization.

Speaker 2:

Uh, and you Beck , you've been the head of the FinTech vertical now. I mean, I think you've been involved with where they DDC for, I don't know, year or two,

Speaker 3:

But

Speaker 2:

Kind of running point on the vertical for it's been at Lee , is it?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I started as an entrepreneur in residence, so it was, part-time helping our signature portfolio companies, mostly FinTech. That was my experience. And , uh , I really wanted to just get a little bit more involved. And so after being there, I think it was about almost a year, maybe like eight months. Um, you know, I, I was thinking about how can I get a little bit more involved? And at the time, the opportunity to lead the FinTech vertical became open. And so I thought that was the perfect transition for myself, went for it and then came into the role in March. So literally I think officially I came into the position March 1st, and then we shut down, you know, like a couple of weeks later. And so, you know , traditionally our program has been mainly in person and it was a quick pivot to do everything virtually. So really since leading the FinTech vertical, it's been on a completely virtual basis. So that was something I had to learn along with everyone else. You know, we're all trying to figure out if we can't do it in person, how to do it. So it was, it was a great , great experience. And I think , um, it's really opened up the availability to entrepreneurs in the greater area of Georgia to participate now at it's virtual.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um, well, it's been wonderful having you in this position and it's a position, I guess I'm personally familiar with. I kind of held your role on an interim basis for a few about two, two and a half years ago. Uh, and then of course have the , um, you know, good fortune to be supporting the ATDC as an advisor to these FinTech companies now , um, along with my responsibilities , um , with the FinTech Academy. So , um, can you talk more about the advanced technology development center and give us a sense of what this thing is about some of its history , uh, and its place, not just in our, our Georgia ecosystem, but really nationally and globally.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely. So ATDC has been around for 40 years. I always say that in paused , a lot of people are like, what, you know , so we're a startup incubator. The whole purpose is to incubate companies through various stages to help them grow. Uh , we're actually state funded and under the umbrella of Georgia tech. So we have, you know, a little state aspect also university, and really our number one mandate is to create more jobs in Georgia. And we do that through supporting tech entrepreneurs. And so really, etc . And it's interesting too, and I'm glad you asked me about history because we celebrated our 40 year anniversary last year. And I actually did a project in learning about the history and I thought it was really interesting, especially for myself being new to Atlanta, you know, not being part of the program , um, you know, initially with my own startup. And so learning that it has been around for 40 years, basically the whole idea came from a group of alumni from Georgia tech who wanted to create more innovation in Atlanta. And so , um, you know, ATDC was one of the first university-based incubators in the country. So first and foremost pioneer there , um, secondarily, you know, Atlanta is known as an innovation hub in specifically , uh , in Midtown, in our location in tech square. And ATDC was a really big part of that. And so the initial group really wanted to support innovation in bringing larger organizations into Georgia, to headquarter here in a way that they did that was talking to these larger corporations about innovation within their own organizations, in Atlanta being the spot to spin that up. And so all of a sudden these larger corporations started spending on innovation centers in Atlanta, and now it's grown to this huge innovation hub. We have tech square and that's where ATDC is today. And so, you know, really spearheading that effort. And now it's led through this community that's really strong and everyone's here to support each other innovation and really growing Atlanta as a big hub. Hmm

Speaker 2:

Hmm . Yeah. And yeah, you , if you just walk over to the building , um, where the ATDC , um, exist , uh , 75 fifth street, and if you just get on the elevator and stop on every floor, you'll see , um , you know, this innovation corporate innovation center, one Garbin innocence center tell you , I mean, every single floor seems to have , um, a meaningful , uh , presence , uh, from an innovation standpoint and then it , and then it's also not just that building anymore. There's also these, you know, all, all the various kind of office spaces around us , um, have that , uh , same, same kind of capability housing, these different, yeah ,

Speaker 3:

It's also fun to note too, that ATDC got its start in an old high school building we're moving. So they moved a couple of different places, ended up in tech square, but I mean, just like a startup itself started very small, no one knew what they were doing, you know, just had this vision and needed to execute on it. And it's here 40 years later, which is pretty incredible.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And , um, and it sits as a kind of critical , um, pillar of a broader Georgia tech initiative called the , um, enterprise innovation Institute E I squared. Uh, and so it's in that kind of remarkable to in its own, right? Because there is a lot of kind of additional connectivity points that ATDC has with the EIS squared team of the AI squared team has with a variety of different innovation efforts going on across the state. And it it's in its own right creates kind of very, a very meaningful , um, kind of , um, environment for supporting businesses and their development at all. In all sizes.

Speaker 3:

I was going to say every stage, there's someone here in Atlanta, that's raising their hand being like, how can I help you?

Speaker 2:

One thing I love too about the ATDC is that, and I think part of this is just because of its history and its legacy here in the town is just the, the just depth of experience that can surround any company that is being nurtured by the ATDC. I mean, I think like , um, Ben dire now is an entrepreneur in residence and at ATDC, and for those of you that don't know , uh, Ben Dyer was a founder of a company called Peachtree software. That is, I think many would regard as one of the first kind of unicorn super success stories , uh , of Atlanta. Um, and it says kind of in the era of the enterprise resource planning, ERP systems of the , uh, of the eighties and is , is really nationally renowned , uh, even to this day is one of the key , um, companies that help automate a lot of important aspects of , um , accounting planning. So we have been right. I mean , every time I get in a staff meeting at ATDC and he pops up, I'm like, Whoa, this is cool.

Speaker 3:

It's awesome that he's still involved. 40 years later, you know, he was there from the beginning. And so it's really cool to see that. And that's, that's a theme too at ATDC is we have a lot of repeats, right? We have staff that comes, you know, works at ATDC starts. Another company comes back to ADC. We had that with entrepreneurs too. We have multiple entrepreneurs who have brought several different companies, successful companies through the program too. And so that tells a lot too about the community, the environment that we foster, that collaborative aspect for companies to come into. And it's a good space to be, if you want to surround yourself with like-minded people and the mentors and support that you need at that growth stage,

Speaker 2:

I want to dig in a bit towards, on FinTech and these FinTech companies that we have in ATDC. But before we do that , um, let's talk a bit more about this , um, set of services that are available to any company that come into ATDC I'm thinking about , um, one thing that's remarkable is the corporate connect program. So we have , um, a member of the team and his full-time efforts are about helping these earlier stage companies get into meaningful dialogues with corporations, larger corporations that we have here in Atlanta to help them explore , um, sales opportunities and also , um, gaining advice. I mean, a variety of different efforts. So that's like corporate connects one important area. Um , an area that I spend time with is around university connections. So we have , uh , joy , Hormel who's part of our team who helps to make sure that any internship or full-time opportunities with any of these early stage companies are being , um , are made available. I think firstly to Georgia tech students , um, and then I'll partner with joy to see where we could get like our , some of our FinTech Academy students involved into , um , any of our FinTech focused. And we've had success with that. In fact , uh , Ayesha Manasseh who's , um, recently graduated from Georgia state and now is doing a master's at Georgia state. Um, she, I was able to connect her in with the layer team and she started as an intern and is now kind of part of their staff on a part-time basis , um , supporting them , um, with their efforts. So that spend like really exciting to see. And then I think too , what comes to mind is the ever important investor relations function that , uh , Brad Schweizer handles. And , um, I know this is such a valuable function that he plays and Brad's a former attorney from , um , I guess he's still an attorney, but he used to work at Mars , Manny Martin , uh, and had a, really a great career there. And it's just an amazing resource for these entrepreneurs because he will sit there. I mean, he works tirelessly with any entrepreneur, that's doing a seed round, raise a, starting to move towards series a he's looking, he looks through the term sheets, he gives them advice. I mean, and this, I mean, it's an amazing, it's just amazing that , um, kind of expertise that's available , um , from a quarter connect standpoint university, the, the investor relations , um, all of that. Um, and, and there's just, and there's more right. I mean, from a PR standpoint, publicity standpoint , um, we have multiple partners of ATDC law firms, accounting firms, different types of services firms that are , um , kind of just ready at any moment to jump in and help these entrepreneurs , um, with their, with their companies. How am I doing? Did I miss any,

Speaker 3:

No, I think one thing to note though, as well, is that anyone could really be a member of ATDC. It just depends on where you are at in the process. So you can be a student, you could be working at a corporate job and just have this idea of, gosh, I really wanted to be an entrepreneur or I'd like to learn more, I've got this idea. I don't know what to do. Um , all the way to a growing scaling company, that's focused on growth, right? And so we've got, you've got something for everyone. So down in the beginning stages, we have a whole education curriculum around customer discovery , uh , building a financial model, understanding that , uh , investor readiness as a course that we do to , um, you know, and then in the mid tier accelerate program and signature really get to utilize those connections. And, you know, for those individuals, that's their full-time job, right? Focus on, on getting corporates, interested in startups and creating dialogue feedback opportunity. Um , Brad sits right in between, you know, the funds and the company . So he understands what the funds are looking for at all times, and also understands how to coach those companies and to have those conversations and then connecting to the campus and being able to pull in really great talent is super important too. And so we offer a whole suite of resources for these companies as they're getting started, including mentorship and coaching as well, which is really important. And I'm glad that you brought up the PR piece too. So I got a couple of different hats that I wear in my position. I would say a majority of my time spent coaching the companies , um, and bringing in those mistakes that I've made and, you know, really providing guidance or connections where it is. But the other big part of my job is just bringing awareness to our program and being, bringing awareness to these amazing companies that we have in our portfolio. Um, you know, showcasing when they raise money, when they hit a big partnership, when they have an exit, you know, it's just really exciting to be there on the sidelines, cheering them on as they go. And we've just, we've got a lot of talented people in Atlanta, and it's really great to see that through the program.

Speaker 2:

And we should mention too, that just yesterday we announced a new , um, vertical , uh , point of engagement around 5g. And this is, we have a lot of things to give to T-Mobile as they come in as a critical sponsor of this , uh, additional effort that's done , um, really led by Georgia tech with meaningful engagement from ATDC. And then , uh, in partnership with curiosity lab , uh, and I'm excited about this , um, this, this new vertical, I mean, 5g obviously is gonna seriously impact what you and I work on around FinTech in a lot of interesting ways. So I'm looking forward to exploring that in greater depth. Um, and then, you know, of course, is this is this kind of bandwidth functionality begins to roll out to all of us is just gonna be transformative. I mean, in really multiple ways. So I can't wait to see , uh, the types of innovations and companies that engage with us in this new , um, vertical.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I feel like I'm going to be doing a lot of nerding out on some of this new technology coming about, you know, instead of just like a new, a new wave of possibility now. So it's great that that's the focus of ours, that we have a great partnership with T-Mobile to push that forward. So I'm excited to see what people create or being able to support those who are already creating in this space. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Um, so let's, let's talk a bit more about a few, a handful of the companies in the, in the FinTech vertical right now. And , um , as you all have been listening, hopefully it's , it's been clear. We have kind of multiple stages , uh , companies we work with and in an ATDC par Lance , we always talk about kind of three different levels. One level is educate, and that's just anybody that wants to engage with a DDC and they just want to start learning. That's the K level. Then we have the , um, what we call the accelerate level. And this is where Kristin and I will start getting more involved because the company is starting to form. It's got a couple of employees they're starting to get serious about raising some money. They're getting a product together. They may have a product ready and going to market that's accelerate. And then our top tier , um , is called signature. And these of course are the most mature companies we have in the, in the , uh, in the incubator. And these companies are moving ever more closely towards a series a round. And , um, they're, you know, getting into 10, to even 25 employees, maybe they've , um, maybe they've done raised why even where from one to 7 million in seed rounds, and now they're starting to really scale, get a lot of clients and move forward. So, so when these companies that, that Chris, I wanted to talk about RN, they're either sitting in what we call that accelerate tier or that top signature here . Um, so what , what are, and I think what in of right now we've got around maybe 24, so companies between those top two tiers, does that sound about right? Yeah , that sounds about right. Um, any , what, who would you like to just highlight in terms of , um, maybe companies in the , um, in the, in the signal at the signature level currently?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So one would be liar , which you just mentioned and you had them on your podcast recently. So there ,

Speaker 2:

I like layer a lot, the, you know , layers on InsureTech play and it's really about , um, providing a digital , uh, brokerage platform for , um, for businesses for small business up through middle market , um, around insurance, around workers' compensation, cybersecurity , and they're adding other kind of , um, in insurance coverage packages and they've just done great. I mean, they've been growing , uh , they've been, I think they've been with us at ATDC now. I want to say for almost four years, I think we admitted them up to the signature level two years ago. Um , and they've continued to just grow and expand , um, which has been wonderful , um, who else had that signature level

Speaker 3:

A mile auto is another one can share tech. So InsureTech is a, is a large portion of our companies actually, which is surprising a lot of times 23% of the companies in that 23 is InsureTech.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I remember when we started kind of looking across companies and breaking down the sub-segments being surprised, honestly, that InsureTech popped up as this meaningful kind of that 23% number. Um , I know many of you here in Georgia often think of payments when payments first, when you think about PA , uh , FinTech in particular in early stage in tech and we've , um, we do have, you know , several payments related companies. Um, but it it's, I think very much worth calling out that almost a quarter of these , um, these InsureTech companies.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, definitely.

Speaker 2:

Oh , you're looking at that Kristen , like, how does that whole pie break down between

Speaker 3:

I got it right here. InsureTech at the top is, is a majority, but coming right behind payments , unsurprising , uh, right behind that lending also not very surprising. Um, blockchain, capital markets , cyber reg tech are all kind of hovering at the same level. And then we've got some banking, wealth management, and a couple of, you know, some that are just hard, hard to categorize and have very niche and specialty markets that they hit. But , um, it's a pretty good mix. Um, what's also good too, is when you have multiple companies in one segment, you can get them together. There's a lot of synergies, common connections, you know, helping each other out. And it's really fostering that community and that connection that we like to bring through our program as well. And entrepreneur is hard. Having your own company is hard, being surrounded by other people that are doing it too, is just super helpful. It makes such a difference as you're going through that journey.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. Uh , we should also mention that U S bank has been a sponsor of this FinTech vertical , um, and a great partner and in supporting many of these FinTech companies and helping to get them introduced , um , not only to yes bank , but giving them advice around , um, their business models and helping them understand where the opportunities can be with large financial institutions.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. And they sponsored a really cool event series last year. So we had Doug Nielsen , the SVP of innovation over at USBank talk about payments. So that was a really good basics on how payments work. You know, a lot of companies are trying to get into the payment space. So having that background knowledge is super important. And we talked about innovation within a large organization too, which is really helpful and how those organizations really look at working with fintechs to enhance their own business. And so it was really eye-opening and great that they are a good partner on that.

Speaker 2:

Hmm . Yeah. Um, how about at the accelerate level in a couple of handful of companies you want to pull out from that? Correct ?

Speaker 3:

Yeah . He had three that I would pull out just because they had substantial raises at that level. And so a lot of times an accelerated is typically that seed round. So they come into the program typically, bootstrapping self-funding maybe a little bit of angel. And so they go into more of the institutional money that second round. Um, so three would be artists they're in my, my old , um, space. So point of sale finance, we have female finance, which is lending. They offer loans through employers. That's a pretty interesting model. Um, and then we have , um, the narrow pay also , uh, who raised and is doing cross border payments between the U S and Mexico. So, you know, and even last year, any company is being able to raise. It was always a question, you know, at the beginning. And so I was really excited and happy that we close out the year with several fundraises , um, by portfolio companies.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. That was remarkable. Um, one, I guess other I'd add into that mix is a defining dance and they recently joined us. Um, they were actually out of Florida , um , and they moved here to Atlanta appreciating. We've got , um , you know , pretty fantastic ecosystem to support their growth. And , uh , I've been getting to know that company and it's been interesting to me because it's in involved with the student lending space and student lending , um, you know, as a kind of hot topic right now, particularly with the Biden administration, looking at , um, some, some proposals around loan forgiveness, student loan, forgiveness , um, and did finance is really looking to also attack this student debt problem with a new model that , um, where they essentially approach students and give them an opportunity to do what they call ISA income share agreements. And , um, so the, so essentially define Nance would pay off the student's loan, have the student enter into this income share agreement where the student in their job is giving a certain share of their income to define Nance until that, you know, amount that to finance is covered on their loan has been paid off. And so it's, it's a really interesting model to me because it's really flipping things on its head, letting the student participate, get, you know, take care of their financial circumstance and getting that loan off the books. But then, you know, the interests are mutually aligned between defiance and the student, because of course the finance wants the student to be successful because they're getting share of their income and that's, what's making the model work. So it's really, it's a very interesting , um, approach to that market. And so I'm, I'm just , um , I'm excited for them. And , um , I'm, I'm really feel fortunate that we've had them in our portfolio to begin to figure out how we can help them succeed.

Speaker 3:

And because of the audience, I'm going to do a quick plug for them there they're in the middle of doing customer discovery, which I had mentioned is a really big aspect for a lot of early stage companies, just to make sure you're solving the problem for your customers. He's looking for people to interview. If you've got student loans and want to participate, reach out to myself or Tommy, and we can get you connected to them. Um, definitely wish that that was available when I graduated. And , uh, it's nice that they're also looping in financial education as well as part of that program. So it's going to be really interesting to see , um, all of these companies, their successes and hopefully future unicorns , uh , for Atlanta.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And you can see a full list of all of the companies and ATDC incubator overall, and then by vertical, including this FinTech [email protected] So please go there. There's the , all the companies are amazing. We just, we, we plot the couple out dimension here quickly, but there, there really is an amazing set , um, across the board in the , uh , in the incubator today. Um, well, Kristen , let's kind of move towards closing out, but we, you know, typically at this point in the show, we like to talk about it FinTech news from the past , uh , week. Um, I know for, I guess from my standpoint, there were a couple of things I wanted to touch on. Uh, one is , uh, it is Thursday at 1255 and the , the game stop congressional hearing just began. And , uh, I have a television over my head here and I I've got it on mute, but I've seen Maxine waters, grilling Blab 10 F from Robin hood. And , uh , I can't wait to see how this is going and , uh, here hear what is being discussed. Um, but this, you know, obviously been a very interesting news story over the last month , um, with the wall street , uh, BEPS edit , uh, Reddit , uh , crowd and Robin hood and Citadel and multiple other players. Uh, and it seems to have caught the attention of our industry FinTech and overall. So I'm really looking forward to seeing where this , um , hearing takes us. Um, and then I guess, additionally , um, Equifax, our local , um, you know, large FinTech company, they , um, did another acquisition that they just announced , um, of a company called account score, which has an open banking , uh, enablement platform. Uh, and this is the second acquisition they've done since the beginning of this year. They , uh, they bought a , uh , relatively famous tech company called count K O U N T a . And that deal was announced , um, I think right at the beginning of the year. So , um , exciting to see Equifax, you know, making some big moves , uh, expanding in the market. Um, and , uh, I can't remember. I know they just had a positive quarterly report as well. Um, so, you know, great momentum there , uh, from an important stakeholder in our, in our ecosystems. Um, well, good. Well, Kristen , thanks so much for being with us today. It's been wonderful to have you and hear more about the exciting things going on at ATDC.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And then one other piece of news that I just recalled Thintech lifestyle, a website is up early thing is available. So if you love FinTech, please come to our conference. It's the biggest conference in the Southeast , all around FinTech. We were putting together excellent speakers and engagement activities we even have in the escape room, which I'm like really nerding out over, but it's really fun. So check that out. FinTech style, the.com . And then if you have questions ,

Speaker 2:

He is being modest. She is the co-chair of FinTech South 2021. And , uh , thank you Johnny role , and I don't think you'll have any trouble , uh, making the event even better. It'll be a blast. Awesome. Thanks again. Have fun . Thanks for being with us. And , uh, you're welcome back any time and thanks for everything you do for the Georgia FinTech Academy pre we really appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

Tech Academy podcasts are available on iTunes and Spotify to obtain additional information about the Georgia FinTech Academy. Please visit our [email protected]