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Shining a Spotlight on U-M FinTech Ecosystem at Donor-Sponsored 2023 Conference


On Thursday, March 9, the Michigan Ross FinTech Initiative, Michigan FinTech, and the Michigan Investment Group hosted the 2023 Michigan FinTech Conference at the Robertson Auditorium at the Ross School of Business, drawing students from various majors across the U-M campus community. Topics discussed at the event included: ways technology is disrupting every facet of the financial world through decentralization, AI, machine learning, and how fintech can be leveraged as a force for social good.

This year’s FinTech Conference featured industry expert Anshul Mehta, a product leader and strategist with nearly a decade of experience. He most recently served as a product manager on the new product development team at Goldman Sachs. Mehta, who graduated from the University of Michigan College of Engineering in 2014, gave his insights on the ways that big data can create more personalized financial products, finding room for innovation in a heavily-regulated industry, and building a “win-win” relationship between startups, incumbents, and Big Tech. Mehta noted his enjoyment at coming back to Ann Arbor, and being able to connect with “impressive student organizations that are way ahead of their time.”

The conference included student speakers from College DAO, which aims to build bridges between college campuses and the larger Web3 ecosystem by promoting education about blockchain, and by facilitating project and startup launches. Following the speakers’ presentations, the conference featured a showcase of student team projects related to robo-advisory software and algorithmic trading. Students also participated in a trading competition and learned about career opportunities in quantitative finance, blockchain, and decentralized finance (DeFi).

“This event was the perfect opportunity to network with industry leaders, Ross faculty, and student entrepreneurs within Michigan’s fintech ecosystem, and spark insights about a field that is rife with innovation and disruption,” said conference organizer Saanika Kulkarni, class of 2024 in the College of Engineering.

The Michigan Ross FinTech Initiative was launched in 2019 with the partnership of PEAK6 Investments, a private investment and technology firm founded by Jenny Just, BBA ’90. The primary goal of the Ross FinTech Initiative is to produce a robust pipeline of top talent well-versed in technology and finance and prepare students for successful careers in the rapidly growing fintech sector.