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Saturday, December 14 News

Fairfield grant enables new fin-tech start-up

FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Department of Community & Economic Development announced its latest micro-enterprise assistance grant awarded to FinTron Invest, LLC, a new, Fairfield based financial technologies company. The grant will enable FinTron to continue software development associated with its educational and financial trading platforms, town officials said.

FinTron (www.FinTroninvest.com) is a fin-tech start-up that seeks to develop a new financial services platform aimed at those new to investing, primarily young people. The platform enables users to invest in fractional shares of stock while offering incentives to help pay off student debt. FinTron is also developing a companion platform to provide free educational resources and an investment game aimed at students in the 13-18 age range. The platform allows students to create paper accounts and trade fictional money as part of a multi-player investment game. The company is headed by Wilder Rumpf, a student of the Jack Welch College of Business and Technology at Sacred Heart University.

The Micro-Enterprise Assistance Program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is intended to provide entrepreneurs with training, technical assistance, and startup capital in order to create and sustain viable and productive small businesses in Fairfield. The program seeks to strengthen and enhance these small businesses, with the ultimate goal of increasing employment opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons. In order to be eligible, applicants must be a recognized form of commercial enterprise that employs five or fewer employees, have its primary operations in Fairfield, and be current on all tax obligations. Since the inception of the program, the Town has assisted more than 40 small businesses.

“We’re delighted to help, and always excited to welcome new business to Fairfield,” stated Mark Barnhart, Director of the Department of Community & Economic Development. “Small businesses such as FinTron have long been the backbone of our economy, and the Micro-Enterprise Program has been a very useful tool in our small business development strategy,” he added.

Rumpf remarked, “A huge thank you to the Town of Fairfield and my network of advisors at Sacred Heart University. Industry Titans and dedicated professors John Gerlach, Mark Ritter, Kawajah Mamun, Erdil Cenk and many others have been vital in our ongoing pursuit of launching a digital broker dealer. Moving my start-up from New York to Fairfield has been the greatest business decision I’ve ever made. Fairfield has not only provided us with tangible support, they have heard and considered our small voice.”

FinTron’s team of young entrepreneurs is housed in Sacred Heart University’s (SHU) Student Incubator space. The incubator is located on SHU’s “West Campus,” the former world headquarters of GE which has been converted into state-of-the art labs and classrooms. Dr. Martha Crawford, Dean of the Welch College of Business and Technology (WCBT), stated, “On behalf of the WCBT, I can say that we are thrilled for FinTron, and grateful to Fairfield DCED. This is much appreciated recognition, of how SHU’s dedication to incubating innovation and cultivating entrepreneurial skills is paying off for the larger community. We are committed to opening up our West Campus as a regional hub for entrepreneurs, to accelerate and scale innovative start-ups.”

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