Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode 61 · 7 months ago

Where AI Meets Finance: Upstart Hosts ‘Boosted’ in San Francisco


"We should remember to always look back at ourselves and realize the power of what we can do if we push the ball forward," said Dave Girouard, Upstart's Co-Founder and CEO at Upstart's inaugural event - boosted. 

boosted was first in Upstart's annual conference to spur discussion around the future of AI and finance.

Jeff Keltner, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Upstart, gives an insider view on what took place at boosted, including the line-up of A-list speakers in the FinTech space.

Marc Benioff kicked off the 3 day event with a conversation about not just what business is doing for profit, but for changing the world for the better. Dave Girouard, Upstart’s CEO, discussed inclusive lending and how broader access to credit is key to unlocking the American dream for more borrowers.

Hear about these key moments and highlights from Boosted:

  • How many Americans are being left out of the credit system despite being creditworthy
  • Trends in the consumer lending space- including lending in emerging markets
  • Politics, the regulatory landscape and how that might impact financial institutions
  • The future applications of cryptocurrency
  • An inside view from Washington on emerging technologies like AI   

Upstart will be posting more from this event, so keep an eye on Jeff and Upstart’s social media.

More information about Jeff and today’s topics:

To hear more from Leaders in Lending, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on our website.

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You're listening to leaders and lending, from upstart, a podcast dedicated to helping consumer lenders grow their programs and improve their product offerings. Each week here, decision makers in the finance industry offer insights into the future of the lending industry, Best Practices around digital transformation. In more let's get into the show. Welcome to leaders and lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. In this week I just want to have a short episode and talk to you guys a little bit about the recent event that upstart hosted in San Francisco called boosted, where AI meets finance. This was a first of what we hope to make an annual event and, as such, we were really excited we got over two hundred people in the room to talk about these really important topics, because really critical to us that we keep an intimate size event where we can have real conversation, not just content, but conversation among the attendees, and I thought this first time event really exceeded our expectations in terms of how well it...

...came off, in the quality of both the attendees and in the content that was delivered. Quick run through the event was took place at the Historic Palace Hotel and San Francisco. I'd not spent a lot of time at the palace and it was a really cool location. We kicked off our first evening with presentation by Mark Benning off, who always delivers, I think, an interesting explanation of the history of sales for us and the things they're doing in the for sacy business being for not just profits but for change in the world, and that was a great conversation. We then had it performance by Leslie Odom Jr, better known as Aaron Burr Sir, from Hamilton. That was a stunning way, I thought, as a Hamilton Fan in particular, a great way to kick off the event and and Leslie, I'm not only did some stuff from Hamilton but some of his other work, which was was really phenomenal and a great way to kind of to set the mood and kind of set that set the stage for the day that followed. They too, really a content heavy day with it, with a lot of time for networking, but I really enjoyed the agenda. I thought I got a lot of great feedback.

So quickly run through who we heard from and what we talked about a little bit Dave Gerard, upstarts CEO, gave us a little perspective on upstarts mission and really our goal generally of working with the industry and financial institutions to drive more inclusive lending, broader access to credit, lower price credit, broadly speaking for the American consumer, and highlighting how far we are away from the opportunity to realize that vision, how far we still have to go to really be as inclusive in our ability to lend as we can and how many Americans are are being left out of the credit system, at least a traditional credit system, despite being credit worthy. So really powerful way to kick off the conversation. We moved to a discussion with Pam Habner, who runs brandon card and unsecurity city, and Swathiebatia, who runs Marcus at Goldman Sachs, talking about, from a big banks perspective, what the trends they see coming are in the consumer lending space, where they're headed, a lot about the challenges they see in the opportunit unities and how they're engaging customers in a digital way.

Not a great discussion within moved to a discussion with Nicoleilm from the National Bankers Association Association of minority depository institutions here in the US, really talking about what the needs of those institutions are, what the support during covid has been, how their institutions of maybe seen a different experience than standard and how we, as of a financial services industry, and is fintext can best support their depository institutions moving forward. Thought that was a really great discussion, powerful moment for us. We also had conversation with Amy Walter from the political report. That was maybe a deep dive on politics, where we're at, what the midterms hold, what maybe that bodes for regulatory action, executive actions, legislation across the board. This is always whenever I meet with financial institutions, one of the key topics they want to talk about, want to learn more about,...

...is this question of what's coming from Washington. What do we see next, and amy really delivered in a fascinating way on those topics, both in the political election landscape, the regulator landscape, the executive action landscape and what we see coming and how that might impact financial institution. So that was a great discussion. We then dove into it a totally different space with Dr Gordon Leal from you to swap and talking about crypto. Where's crypto going going? It was a really fascinating time. I think originally we had planned to spend a lot of time on stable coins as a bridge between defy and tried FY and you know, stay was an interesting week to have a discussion about stable coins because stable coins and not always been that stable. So that that led to a great discussion about what the opportunities are, what the roadblocks are between here and there, but really what the vision is for where Crypto, web three or the whole defy space can go, the opportunities it has to change...

...the game and remake the system. So that was a really good conversation. We had a great conversation with Angela strange from interesting Horowitz about kind of what she sees in the Fintech landscape, how the game's changing, where the new opportunities are, kind of what's going on in that space. I thought it was, you know, a really fun conversation, particularly for someone who's been through the through the beginnings of the company all the way through through the growth stages. Understand where a venture capitalist is looking at the landscape, how they see the opportunities, what's evolving how they make decisions about where to invest in where not, and a fun story about the first meeting between Angela and in our CEO, Dave Gerard, and their joint love of running, although maybe different speeds. We also had a conversation with Pala CEO, Chavanni. So Roya. Tala really focused on serving the billions of usures outside the US who have very little access to credit, with both credit products. Where they really...

...started with short term loans for people in emerging markets. They really operate today in the Philippines, Mexico, India and Kenya, and so kind of how they've done credit, why they've started shifting into also more traditional banking, you know, depository type products, how that really unlocks opportunity for their customers and their consumers. So a really great discussion there. And finally we ended the day with one of my favorite discussions. I got to host this and interview Yelena McWilliams, of former chairwoman of the FDICE. That was great conversation. Many of the individuals on stage that day. Many women actually on the agenda today, which was great to see so many great speakers who also happened to be women, describing themselves as accidental bankers. I think it was one of my my favorite phrases from the day, and Yanna explaining her how she ended up not only as a banker but as a banking regulator, walking through some...

...of what happened during the financial crisis, what maybe regulators got right, what they got wrong, what could have gone better, maybe, we'll say during the COVID, the covid crisis, as well as the original financial crisis of the last one in two thousand and seventy Thousan eight. We also talked to about, you know, some of the emerging technologies, vintech partnerships, things like Ai, how to approach your regulators and deal with that environment. That was, I thought, a really fascinating conversation, obviously an inside view from Washington, about how to engage, what's possible, what makes sense and that that really rounded out a pretty phenomenal day worth of content. The thing I took away from the event other than, I think, you know, number one, the energy and excitement of having people in the same place. I got a lot of comments people they were ready for this kind of interesting content, for being in person with people again. It's been a while since we've really done that in the energy that comes from being in the same place with the people that you can really talk to and get ideas from and bounce ideas...

...off of and learn from. I think that really came through so so that was great. I also thought it felt like always reminded of Jeff bezos is comment from Amazon that it feels like day one, and it just it felt like a moment where everybody's looking at the future as one of very rich opportunity, despite maybe short term headwinds in terms of the credit environment or what we might think about regulatory environment or things that might be slowing down, just so many opportunities for improvement, for innovation and areas like crypto and areas like ai just so much energy and excitement around what's possible in the future, where the industry can and should go and what that can look like for us. I thought that was a huge takeaway. In addition to wanting to be together, that kind of art of the possible was was really the thing that I took away the the energy, the enthusiasm, the excitement about pursuing not only the...

...things that are meatately in front of us, but the longer term vision of where we as a financial industry can can take those products, those services, those consumer experiences in what we can deliver in terms of opportunity for the American consumer. So this was, I thought, a phenomenal of it. I unders say that because we hosted it, but I really enjoyed getting to not only talk to a lot of people, hear from a lot of the speakers, who were uniformly fantastic, but also to just meet with the other attendees, to talk to people, to understand what they were doing, what they were seeing and to swap ideas and share stories about how we can move the state of the art and the state of the industry forward. So a great event. This is our intent is to make this a not an upstart centric event but really an upstart sponsored event where we're hopefully convening the right leaders from finance, from Fintach, from tech, from from government and from, you know, consumer advocacy groups to come together and have a conversation about where the...

...big opportunities are, what we're seeing and how we move the state of the art and the state of the industry forward. So I thought was a great first rount. We are very excited to think about what next year two thousand and twenty twenty three will will make possible for us, and so keep your eyes peeled on social media or reach out to me directly. We'll be sharing kind of add me to the list for people who like to attend next year. We do intend to keep this relatively smallen in but only we have, I think, a lot of energy and enthusiasm and opportunity that comes from making it a more intimate event. We will be publishing some of the contents of some of the some of the speeches and some of the conversations will be published soon. So keep your eyes peeled from both my social media and you can. You can fall upstart social media as well to see where some of the content comes out and you can see what was talked about at the event, but also where you can find out information about when you can sign up to find out about next year's event, because I think it's a was. It was a great opportunity, a great event. I had a great time go on. I hope everybody who came did as well, but I'm looking forward...

...to next year as well. So that's a just a short snippet. I know I did a little behind the scenes. My social media while we were there, but wanted to give a little more full featured update on what boosted was like, how how excited we were by the results from this year and even more excited we are about the opportunities to do this again next year and really bring people together for energizing conversation. So hope you enjoy that description and if you want to find out more about boosted, please do reach out to me directly on Linkedin, via email or just reach out to upstart and we will make sure you find out about the information for boosted next year. Up Start Partners with banks and credit unions to help grow their consumer loan port bolios and deliver a modern, all digital lending experience. As the average consumer becomes more digitally savvy, it only makes sense that their bank does too. UPSTARTS AI landing platform uses sophisticated machine learning models to more accurately identify risk and approve...

...more applicants than traditional credit models. With fraud rates near zero. Upstarts all digital experience reduces manual processing for banks and offers a simple and convenient experience for consumers. Whether you're looking to grow and enhance your existing personal and auto lending programs or you're just getting started. Upstart can help. Upstart offers an into end solution that can help you find more credit worthy borrowers within your risk profile, with all digital underwriting, onboarding, loan closing and servicing. It's all possible with upstart in your corner. Learn more about finding new borrowers, enhancing your credit decisioning process and growing your business by visiting UPSTARTCOM Ford Banks. That's UPSTARTCOM for banks. You've been listening to leaders and lending from upstart. Make sure you never miss an episode. Subscribe to leaders and lending in your favorite podcast player, using apple podcast. Leave us a quick rating by tapping the number of stars you think the show deserves. Thanks for listening. Until next time.

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