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Upcoming Flyover Fintech Conference Brings Together Fintech Companies, Professionals in Lincoln

Ben Pankinon, co-founder of software development company Social Assurance, considers Nebraska an undiscovered hotbed of financial technology. “We don’t think of fintech often enough,” Pankinon said. “It’s not always a top-of-mind industry to the general public. That’s part of what makes it exciting, too.” The fintech industry uses innovation and technology to challenge traditional financial-service…

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Ben Pankinon, co-founder of software development company Social Assurance, considers Nebraska an undiscovered hotbed of financial technology.

“We don’t think of fintech often enough,” Pankinon said. “It’s not always a top-of-mind industry to the general public. That’s part of what makes it exciting, too.”

The fintech industry uses innovation and technology to challenge traditional financial-service delivery models (e.g. mobile banking, cryptocurrency, electronic trading platforms). If you’ve ever snapped a pic of a check on your smartphone to deposit the funds into your savings account, you’ve benefited from fintech.

Pankinon’s passion for fintech led him to partner with Don’t Panic Labs COO Bill Udell on a two-day, fintech-focused conference called Flyover Fintech, November 11 – 12 at Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena and the UNL Innovation Campus.

Flyover Fintech brings innovators, financial services leaders and policymakers to the center of everything fintech, according to the event website. By convening influential fintech companies, startups and professionals, the conference strives to impart a greater understanding of the changing industry landscape and celebrate the region’s unsung influence on fintech.

“Fintech is one of those areas that’s hard to enter without having some level of invitation from somebody else,” Pankonin said. “You need someone to say, ‘Here’s how the banking system works, here’s how this service works.’”

Pankonin said the conference will facilitate connections between individuals and companies already working in fintech while also offering an entryway into the industry.

How Flyover Fintech Came to Be

A couple years ago, Udell and Pankinon noticed a wealth of fintech companies in the area. So, they decided to start a meetup group to help fintech professionals meet each other.

“Some good conversations happened out of that,” Pankonin said. “We just wanted to get to them all in the same room.”

Hence, the conference.

The timing seems right. The Silicon Prairie houses a huge variety of financial technology companies. Long-established giants like TD Ameritrade and Fiserv exist alongside newer, smaller companies like Des Moines-based Dwolla.

The industry has become so in-demand that Creighton University recently launched its own fintech degree.

“If we take a view of fintech and incorporate some of what we’re known for in financial services in Nebraska, we’re incredibly good in that space,” Pankonin said.

Tickets to the conference are $200.

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