Day One of The Venture Center’s VenCent Fintech Summit 2023 Delivers Strong Agenda for the Future of Banking

Posted on August 15, 2023
Share via

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (August 14, 2023) – Drawing nearly 300 fintech enthusiasts, from founders and bankers to other industry experts, Little Rock, Arkansas became a hub of fintech discourse on the first day of The Venture Center’s VenCent Fintech Summit. The day concluded after several insightful panel discussions, hands-on product demonstrations, and networking opportunities. The spotlight was on fostering and deepening fintech partnerships, underscored by members of the Venture Center’s 2023 FIS Fintech Accelerator cohort showcasing their latest technological solutions. These presentations covered a range of innovations, with demonstrations from:

Other key highlights of the day included:

  • Arkansas’ Embrace of Innovation: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Secretary Hugh McDonald expressed their fervent support for entrepreneurs and startups in the state. They highlighted the state’s commitment to fostering a nurturing environment for innovation, particularly in the fintech sector.

  • Pitching New Business: One of the standout moments of the day was the introduction of “VenCentMatch,” an exclusive speed networking breakout session tailored specifically for bankers and fintech innovators. This innovative platform allowed for real-time connections in a rapid-fire format, where fintechs could pitch their products to bankers. Designed to maximize each interaction, VenCentMatch set the stage for potential future partnerships, with many industry leaders praising its efficiency and immediacy. It’s a testament to the summit’s commitment to fostering collaboration in the fintech ecosystem.

  • Embracing the Future: David Peterson delivered a forward-thinking keynote on embracing the Future of Financial Technology amidst a rapidly changing landscape. Crucially, Peterson also touched on the need for the industry to engage younger audiences, ensuring the longevity and relevance of fintech solutions.

  • Co-Creating the Future: Jill Castilla took the stage to share insights on “How to Co-Create the Future of Our Industry.” Emphasizing the interdependence of banking and fintech, Castilla emphasized that collaboration is the key to driving industry evolution and better meeting the needs of consumers.

  • Bank Strategy, Simplified: Michael Bryan distilled decades of banking technology expertise to provide attendees with a clear, actionable roadmap for simplifying their bank technology strategies. Drawing from real-world experiences, he emphasized adaptability and the seamless integration of innovations into traditional banking systems.

“Events like VenCent are more than just gatherings; they’re pivotal moments where technology meets trust. In the digital age, it’s easy to forget the power of face-to-face interactions,” said Daniel Schutte, vice president of strategic partnership programs. “But real-time, in-person exchanges foster genuine connections and fintech partnerships that thrive on mutual understanding and shared visions. This is where innovation truly comes alive.”


Tues, Aug. 15

8:05 a.m. CST

Finance and Digital Asset Congressional Update, Policy Panel

  • U.S. Rep. French Hill (AR-02), a former Treasury official, banker, and chair of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee

  • Beth Knickerbocker, Special Counsel, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

  • Rob Nichols, President & CEO, American Bankers Association

  • George Makris, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Simmons First National Corporation

Tues, Aug. 15

9:05 a.m. CST

People, Processes & Technology: Transformation starts with People

  • Laura Merling, Chief Transformation & Operations Officer, Arvest

Tues, Aug. 15

10:00 a.m. CST

A Century of Innovation: Maintaining An Innovative Culture

  • John Buhrmaster, President & Chief Executive Officer, 1st National Bank of Scotia

Full agenda here.

VenCent connects banking leaders, fintech innovators, and influencers worldwide and spotlights solutions for today’s biggest challenges in financial technology. Since it began in 2015, The Venture Center has connected more than 10,000 bankers with early-to-growth stage technology companies, impacting revenues, brand, culture, and growth.  Visit to learn more.


About The Venture Center
The Venture Center’s immersive accelerator programs are designed to accelerate the growth of early-to-growth-stage companies and help validate their solutions for real-world problems. Our methodology provides a unique opportunity for early-to-growth stage fintech companies to connect with financial institution executives, receive investment, and learn from a comprehensive curriculum aiding in strategically addressing go-to-market, business, and finance challenges. Learn more at Follow The Venture Center on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@VentureCenter), and Instagram.