This past week, TAG set the stage for Fintech South (June 22 to 24) with two exciting announcements. 

First, we introduced this year’s Fintech South Innovation Challenge class. Congratulations to this group of 10 up-and-coming companies. They represent the next generation of fintech talent, and I know we’ll see great things from them. 

I can’t wait to see the top three companies compete on the conference’s main stage on June 24. The grand prize is $25,000 and a year of admission to the Advanced Technology Development Center. May the most innovative startup win!

The Innovation Challenge is one of my favorite TAG programs. It’s a great example of why TAG makes education one of its pillars. The Innovation Challenge has been and continues to be a launchpad for fintech startups. Past winners include: EnrichHER (2020), Stackfolio (2019) and Qoins (2018). These and other startups exemplify success in the innovation economy. 

Not only that. The 10 companies participate in a four-week virtual Education and Mentoring program aimed to accelerate early-stage growth. This mentoring combined with education is especially powerful. When we bring together startups with industry veterans, innovation goes into warp speed.

And Georgia’s entire fintech ecosystem becomes stronger and more resilient. That ecosystem has adjusted remarkably well to the challenges of the pandemic. Did you know more than 70 percent of traditional payments and 80 percent of cryptocurrency transactions take place in Georgia?   

In addition to startups, we’re also proud to recognize this year’s Fintech ADVANCE Award finalists. Kudos to this group of 12 established companies for making substantial contributions to our fintech ecosystem. Winners will be featured in Fintech South’s ADVANCE Awards Showcase June 23.

We like to say Georgia is the center of the digital payments universe during the three days of Fintech South. But we’re more than that—much more. Thanks to the power of education and mentorship, our state is becoming a key hub of fintech innovation all year long. 

Have a great weekend,

Larry K. Williams
President & CEO, Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)