The 2021 FIS Fintech Accelerator follows five highly successful programs produced by FIS and The Venture Center. This year’s Accelerator will be conducted entirely virtually. In our FIS Fintech Accelerator Founder Feature series, we’re peeling back some layers and getting to know the 2021 cohort founders. We hope you enjoy hearing from the cohort companies – be sure and save the date for Demo Day on August 26!
For our next Founder Feature, please meet Mike Montgomery, Founder and CEO of BankLabs. Banklab’s Participate is a single platform to manage all loan participations, existing or new, bought or sold. www.banklabs.com
Where did the idea for Participate originate?
All the BankLabs founders come from a banking and technology background. I saw firsthand the inefficiencies that the traditional loan participation process presented and wanted to change that. I saw the opportunity for innovation. In the current world of lending operations, most of the processes are still manual. With the success of our other two applications (OREO and Construct), I saw the opportunity to create a meaningful solution.
What problem is it solving?
The amount of debt has reached $134 trillion. We aim to help community banks work more effectively and thrive by providing a solution to the cumbersome and slow loan participation process. Currently, banks are only able to participate with banks with whom they have prior relationships. With the social aspect of Participate, banks can connect with other banks looking for loan opportunities. The connectivity, digitization, and balance sheet management aspects of Participate are really making the most significant impact today.
What has been the most challenging part of building this business?
Our most significant obstacle is the traditional resistance to change. This is something that all new technology faces but can slow down the adoption process.
Who has been your most influential mentor?
My dad and my dad’s dad were my biggest mentors. My grandpa owned a bank when I was born. Then my dad helped build one of the biggest banks in the state of Idaho from scratch. I have been a banker for 73 of my 73 years of life. I am always the oldest banker in the room!
What’s the best advice you ever received?
That banks are busy being bankers, and today’s banks don’t have a lot of technology experience. There is a real opportunity for technology companies to bolster banks for their community. We give community banks tools to keep them thriving and serving their community.