Kansas City’s blooom takes home Best of Show at Finovate in NYC

NEW YORK CITY—The team behind blooom knew that Finovate's fall conference in New York City would be a great place to officially launch their company. But Wednesday the Kansas City-based startup got an extra boost when blooom was named one of Finovate's Best of Show winners.

FInovate Best of Show

Blooom logoNEW YORK CITY—The team behind blooom knew that Finovate‘s fall conference in New York City would be a great place to officially launch their company. But on Wednesday the Kansas City-based startup got an extra boost when blooom was named one of Finovate’s Best of Show winners.

“This would be massive for blooom if we win Best of Show,” co-founder Chris Costello told SPN Wednesday before the announcement. “We spoke to a few companies that had won at this event before and it put them on a map big time. This could be huge for us.”

“There aren’t too many companies from Kansas out here, I can tell you that.”

The blooom team traveled to Finovate to promote their newly launched product, a service that helps individuals better manage (and in a lot of cases fix) their 401K.

“Mostly if you’re younger and don’t have lots of money, it’s harder to find quality financial advice,” Costello said. “We came out here optimistic that we have a unique product and the feedback so far has been very good.”

So far Costello says he and his co-founders—Kevin Conard and Randy Aufderheide—have bootstrapped the startup, but that the exposure they’ve found at Finovate could likely help them accelerate blooom to the next level.

After a soft launch in April, Costello says blooom currently has about 55 clients from around the country—that’s more than $5 million in 401Ks. Now he says the team is ready to “start pouring some gasoline into the marketing machine.”

During their Finovate presentation, Costello says the team announced they’ve partnered with a consumer benefits exchange to put blooom on the menu of options given to the group’s more than 100,000 consumers.

“There’s a major change afoot in terms of how people are buying benefits through their employers,” he said. “We’re seeing more private exchanges that offer a menu of voluntary benefits to employees and blooom is a very nice add-on at $10 a month.”

Costello says the team plans to pursue similar partnerships in the future to get blooom in front of the most consumers possible.

At Finovate’s spring event, fellow Kansas City startup EyeVerify also was named a Best of Show winner.

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