Ron Daly, on stage with My Virtual StrongBox
We were so thrilled to be chosen as a presenter at FinovateFall 2012. This being our first year, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. We knew we’d have to demo our product on stage in front of a huge audience of financial technology experts, but little did we know what a whirlwind we were in for…
Day 1, Tuesday – Rehearsal
We got a little stage time to rehearse our presentation and make sure we had the right set-up for our laptop/iPad combination. The Javits Convention Center is a huge building and the exhibition hall is very large…we were certainly impressed, wondering what it would look like full of people.
The answer: impressive, and a little intimidating. There were thousands of people in the hall, some watching, some prepping, all buzzing about what they were going to see over the next two days.
For those of you unfamiliar with how Finovate works, sixty-four demos are shown over two days. The demos are each 7 minutes long, and not a minute longer. If your demo runs long, you get “gonged” – they shut off your microphone, stop your demo and kick you off the stage.
It only happened once. But it was a terrifying prospect.
Day 2 – Just Watchin’
The browser version of the product
We got to meet a few partners and friends on day one and early in day two. We chatted about what we were seeing through the course of the day. Plenty of apps and services were on display that streamline point-of-sale, charitable contributions, PFM and money management. Things mostly ran smoothly with one major exception – wifi connectivity was shot. It did NOT go unremarked on Twitter, that’s for sure.
Day 3 – Presenting…
Demoing our iPad app capability
We had to be up early to check in our laptop and iPad with the tech folks then dart over and grab a little breakfast. Our presentation was set for 10:45 so we had to get focused, get prepped, and say our peace in the seven-minute window allotted.
The demo went well and we had a lot of good feedback and buzz after our session ended. There were a few folks that didnt’ see the advantage of My Virtual StrongBox, but we were happy to explain the difference between “cloud storage” and secure document storage and sorting. One is used for day-to-day file transfer; the other was built specifically to keep online copies of a user’s most important documents.
The whole gang back at home base in Herndon was watching and cheering the Twitter stream (there were no live video feeds) and they were all thrilled with how it went. We came home the next day on the train with a lot of great stories, good contacts, and a sense of pride. We were happy to share the stage with all the great companies that presented and to be considered one piece of the “what’s next for financial technology” puzzle.
The crowd outside our Finovate booth
So, what IS next?
As best we can tell? More apps, more frequently used. People are incorporating feedback loops into their health more and more each year (Fitbit, anyone? Nike+ with the iPhone compatibility?). It stands to reason that people will be using their smart phones and tablets to manage their financial health and keep track of valuable information. The companies that demoed products at FinovateFall were all looking forward to an age where a handful of apps could cover everything from personal finance to small business point-of-sale to investments. It seems so strange – a decade ago, tablets and smart phones were a dream and now they dominate our culture in so many ways.
We can’t thank the Finovate people enough for letting us participate and for our staff, our friends, our partners and especially our clients for supporting us. We had an awesome time looking into the future with you all.