South Dakota company wins in Wichita at NXSTAGE financial tech competition – Wichita Business Journal

A South Dakota startup that helps consumers boost their credit scores was the big winner in NXTUS Inc.’s second financial technology NXSTAGE Pilot Competition.
Cedar Credit Builder of Sioux Falls, which helps consumers with little or no credit boost their score with automated lending and repayment on small-scale credit lines, won a pilot project with Emprise Bank. 
“We are thrilled to move forward with Cedar Credit Builder, as their innovative yet simple solution to a critical consumer obstacle really stood out to our team,” Emprise CEO Matt Michaelis says in a press release. “It aligns perfectly with our mission of empowering people to thrive and accelerates our ability to deliver a more personalized and relevant experience to our customers.” 
The 12 finalists of the contest were selected by Emprise, Fidelity Bank and Intrust Bank. 
While Cedar Credit was the one to walk away with an initial deal, other finalists could still land work after pitching their products in the organization’s innovation showcase on Wednesday. 
Those pitches are available online for other organizations to view. 
“It’s an exciting time to be in banking and experience how technology is driving business performance and improving the customer experience,” said Fidelity CEO Aaron Bastian. “We’re eager to explore partnerships with this year’s NXTSTAGE finalists, an impressive group that exemplifies the types of innovation that are pushing our industry forward.” 
Finalists were selected from 107 competitors, marking a 65% increase in the applicant pool compared to the organization’s fintech contest last year.
Finalists hailed from seven U.S. states and Canada, though no Kansas startups made the final cut. The contest is designed in part, however, to draw new companies to Wichita and Kansas by connecting them with potential customers locally.
The 2021 fintech contest from NXTUS was also supported by the Talent Ecosystem Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, BKD and NetWork Kansas.  
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