Over 50% of college students face a decision point in their college career. Sadly, this one is not an exciting decision – which job offer to take or where to relocate. It’s the decision whether to continue college or not due to mounting financial pressures. This population of students are studying in the U.S. and typical banking loan products are outside of their reach — the underserved. These students have equal motivation, drive, and desire as their mainstream peers, but are forced to downgrade, or worse drop-out due to lack of funding. MPOWER offers a solution – using a revolutionary credit model, MPOWER is able to provide access to the underserved with loan products to ease the burden of financial shortcoming during the course of college study. Tailored for American as well as international students attending U.S. colleges, MPOWER lends where other banking institutions would not be able to do so. Students in their pre-prime are measured on potential, rather than historical, repayment ability. Co-Founded by Emmanuel Smadja and Michael Davis, with over 30 years of combined experience in FinTech and startups, MPOWER has already garnered initial kudos.
In May, MPOWER was selected as one of 14 participants in the Village Capital Financial Tech accelerator program. Soon, we were sitting amongst our equally ambitious peers – attempting to solve the problem of financial inclusion one unique idea at a time. Over the course of 4 day-long workshops held in San Francisco and San Jose, we met with amazing leaders in the social impact space, refined our business models, and met others who believed that it is possible to do well by doing good (more on this later).
We left workshop #1 with a base set of hypothesis that we needed to test – is the product right? is the demand there? is the supply there? Can we realistically match both sides of that equation? Would we actually be able to create the change we believed should occur? We left workshop one having made some new friends, met some great advisors, learned some great tools to methodically address the litany of questions that were certain to come up in our journey. MPOWER did manage to win another award during the first workshop as well – the Ross Baird Award for Excellence! Bestowed upon us by the ever legendary founder of Village Capital, we felt proud stepping out of the comfort of our cohort and back into the uncertainty known as startup-landia.
Co-founder + CTO of MPOWER