CMFG Ventures Launches Fintech-Insurtech Incubator

CMFG Ventures , the venture capital arm of CUNA Mutual Group, and Filene Research Institute have announced the launch of the FinTech Catalyst Incubator to test new fintech products and services in credit unions.

“Tomorrow’s financial products and services are being funded, supported, and validated by CMFG Ventures today to improve the financial stability of credit union members in the future. We are committed to the success of our entrepreneur partners and that commitment goes beyond funding, which is why we’re so pleased to partner with one of the country’s leading research organizations, Filene Research Institute, to test companies and ideas for desirability, viability, and feasibility.” – Brian Kaas, managing director, CMFG Ventures.

The FinTech Catalyst Incubator will test fintech and insurtech products and services that could fill credit union system gaps and create new opportunities for credit unions to innovate, grow, and better serve their members.

Each fintech product or service will be tested by a group of up to 12 credit unions of varying asset sizes, locations, and consumer demographics for six months. During this time, participating credit unions will offer their members the new fintech product or service while receiving tools and support from Filene Research Institute to test a unique hypothesis. These credit unions get a head start on bringing needed solutions to their communities and can shape final outcomes by sharing feedback and insights throughout the testing period. Research findings, including next steps and launch recommendations for viable products, will be published by Filene Research Institute upon completion of the testing period.

“Right now, our first research test is underway with Align, offering members with low- or fluctuating-income levels a loan alternative through an income share agreement to give them an affordable way to borrow. Look for test results later this summer. We’re also excited to announce our next research test will begin soon with two different companies – Finhabits, exploring how different demographics approach saving for retirement and Steady, exploring the future of work – and we’re looking for credit unions to get involved today.” – Kaas.

The second round of testing will begin in July and run through December.