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Winners Announced in the Sound Credit Union FinTech Incubator

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FinTech Winner Leif Christensen
Winners announced in the 2021 Sound Credit Union FinTech Incubator Competition.

TACOMA, Wash. Sound Credit Union (Sound) in partnership with the Milgard Center for Business Analytics at the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT), announced late last week the winners of their FinTech Incubator competition. The two innovators recognized were Leif Christensen, Tacoma and Betty Park, Sammamish.

Sound and UWT joined forces earlier this spring, creating a competition seeking Financial Technology – also known as FinTech – innovators interested in creating solutions to provide consumers with digital financial tools that can help guide confident financial decisions, while at the same time make life more affordable. Christensen walked away with first place in the competition for his idea of leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help consumers have a better understanding of investment ethics so they can make more informed investment decisions. His concept will develop a state-of-the-art natural language processing AI that researches corporate actions from a variety of sources, which will provide access to underlying research.

“I want to express my gratitude for Sound Credit Union’s vote of confidence in AI-driven ethical investing,” said Christensen. “Their feedback and generosity have been instrumental in bringing this concept to life. Sound’s enthusiastic support of small businesses and the Puget Sound community was on full display during this competition, and I look forward to carrying on their personalized, open spirit.”

Finalists in the competition, presented their concept to a panel of judges. This panel was made up of representatives from Sound’s Executive Management team, leaders from UWT, and local community partners, Quincy Henry – Co-Owner & Chief Experience Officer at Campfire Coffee, and Dennis Joyce – Tacoma Venture Fund’s, Director of Investments.

“Sound strives to provide our membership with the tools and resources needed to make confident financial decisions,” said Nancy Sternitzky, SVP/Chief Information Officer, Sound Credit Union. “We are proud to partner with UWT to connect FinTech innovators, like Leif and Betty, with a network of professionals who they can collaborate with in bringing their ideas to life.”

Winners were awarded $11,000 in total cash prizes from Sound and a renewable 6-month membership for CoMotion Labs in Seattle.

About Sound Credit Union

Sound Credit Union was founded in 1940 and today is one of Washington State’s largest credit unions. With 28 full-service branch locations throughout the Puget Sound area, Sound provides their 143,000 members with authentic and trusted financial support and services. Sound is driven by the purpose of standing with members, employees and the community through all waves of life. For more information, please visit www.soundcu.com.

About University of Washington Tacoma

The University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) is an urban-serving university providing access to students in a way that transforms families and communities. The university impacts and informs economic development through community-engaged students and faculty. UWT conducts research that is of direct use to our community and region. And, most importantly, UWT seeks to be connected to our community’s needs and aspirations.