I 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.
SmartHippo.com, a vertical search engine & comparison shopping service for financial products
Thanks to Linkedin, I am in touch withGeorge Favvas, Co-Founder and CEO.
SmartHippo.com is allegedly the first-ever site that uses the power of community to help consumers find the best finance rates and save money. SmartHippo.com 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.
SmartHippo.com 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, SmartHippo.com 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.