Banking 2.0 – FinovateStartup: Focus on SmartHippo

Banking 2.0 – FinovateStartup: Focus on SmartHippo

FinovatestartuplogoI covered the first Finovate event organized by Jim Bruene back in October 2007 (in New York City). The event was such a success (it sold out in only 6 weeks) that Jim decided to organize two more Finovate events in 2008: FinovateStartup & Finovate 08.

I was delighted when Jim invited me to be the official live blogger on NetBanker at FinovateStartup in San Francisco.  Before the event, I plan to blog about most of the 40 startups which will demo their products. My goal is to give you a brief overview of those innovative startups., a vertical search engine & comparison shopping service for financial products

SmarthippoThanks to Linkedin, I am in touch withGeorge Favvas, Co-Founder and CEO. is allegedly the first-ever site that uses the power of community to help consumers find the best finance rates and save money. allows any individual to post information and feedback on the rate they received, and to compare rates with other members of the community with similar profiles. The site is currently focused on the mortgage vertical. champions a consumer-friendly approach to lending based on transparency and accountability. The company uses the power of online communities to level the playing field and put the balance of power back in the hands of consumers, where it belongs.

For banks and financial institutions, provides a platform where they can connect with prospective customers and engage them in a conversation at a level never before possible.

Contrary to traditional mortgage comparison sites, SmartHippo levels the playing field by letting any bank or broker post rates for free, and then uses the power of the community to keep them honest as well as report on additional rates that individual members have found.

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Based in London, Christophe is an entertaining social media keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of social media, social business and digital innovation. Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries. Currently, Christophe is 'Social Media Senior Managing Consultant' at IBM Interactive Experience. He's also a Digital Advisor at the Financial Services Forum and the Moller Centre (part of the Churchill College in Cambridge). Christophe's views on are his own, not necessarily his employer's.