Offers 12 Scholarships to Virtual Incubation Program Focused on Bootstrapping and Go-to-Market Strategies for Entrepreneurs Launching or Expanding Financial Services Ventures
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. and SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. – August 6, 2012 – Online broker-dealer TradeKing, an innovator in financial services, today announced the TradeKing Financial Entrepreneur Pitch-Fest Competition. The Competition is designed to encourage and support new entrepreneurs to develop launch and create financial services platforms related to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This program is supported by noted Silicon Valley entrepreneur, strategist and author Sramana Mitra and the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) global initiative, which has a goal of nurturing one million entrepreneurs to each potentially reach $1 million or more in annual revenues. Through the program, TradeKing will sponsor 12 tech-savvy entrepreneurs to virtually attend the 1M/1M program for one year, which will assist them in establishing their businesses to create financial services platforms, “Apps” and trading experiences using the TradeKing API.
One Million by One Million (1M/1M) is a case-study-based, online educational program that provides budding entrepreneurs methodologies, video lectures, strategic consulting through public and private online roundtables, and introductions to customers, channel partners and investors, including pre-seed, seed, angel, VC, bank and alternative financing. The 1M/1M program is all about coaching entrepreneurs on funding, business strategy and execution. TradeKing was founded in 2005 to offer the self-directed investor a compelling combination of low-priced trading coupled with an extensive arsenal of tools, educational content and investment vehicles to accommodate just about every skill level and market approach, from beginner to the most advanced. The firm was a pioneer in introducing social networking to the financial services industry and today remains one of the innovators in applying advanced technology to reinvent how independent investors learn and trade.
The idea for the Financial Entrepreneur Pitch-Fest Competition grew from an interview Mitra conducted with TradeKing CIO Dan Raju last year for her blog, Sramana Mitra on Strategy (http://www.sramanamitra.com).
“Today’s increasingly app-centric world is changing how we live, interact, collaborate, consume services – and now, invest online,” commented Raju. “In July, 2011, TradeKing launched its open API to help developers, partners and tech-savvy investors create highly-customized trading platforms and apps, opening up a whole new avenue to deliver greater choice for the firm’s more than 300,000 clients. The TradeKing technology platform and API can play a crucial role in encouraging innovation across new entrepreneurial talent. I’m looking forward to working with Sramana and her team throughout this Pitch-Fest process.”
Said Mitra: “We can accept companies regardless of their prospective Total Available Market (TAM) or the speed at which the business will grow. Small, niche businesses comprise the operating system of the global economy, and any small business owner can benefit from being trained. 1M/1M is headquartered in Silicon Valley and is an international virtual incubator for entrepreneurs rooted in the Valley’s methodology and best practices; only the ability to speak and understand English is required. Our program started in 2010, and this partnership with TradeKing is yet another recognition the program is receiving worldwide and we are excited to see the potential.”
The deadline for entrepreneur scholarship applications is Friday, September 28, 2012. Applicants must have a concept or existing business providing a financial services product or service that offers any of a wide variety of features and benefits, with a special focus on online tools providers, mobile tools providers, platform SDKs and data visualization tools. Submissions take the form of a simple business plan; a sample format is available here.
By October 1, TradeKing and 1M/1M will select 20 finalists to present their company pitches, with guidance from 1M/1M, during a public online 1M/1M Roundtable for Entrepreneurs at 8:00 a.m. PDT on either October 4 or October 11, 2012. The six winners, 12 in total, will be chosen at the end of each session by Raju and Mitra, and each selected entrepreneur will receive a year-long scholarship from TradeKing to the 1M/1M program. Winners will be profiled on Sramana Mitra’s blog and elsewhere after the roundtable.
About One Million By One Million
One Million by One Million (1M/1M) is a global initiative to nurture a million entrepreneurs to each potentially reach a million dollars in annual revenue and beyond, through education, incubation, strategy consulting, coaching, mentoring, business development, media outreach, and access to capital. Find more information here: http://1mby1m.com.
TradeKing (www.tradeking.com) is a nationally licensed online stock and options broker offering simple, low cost online trading fees. A pioneer in integrating new financial social media as part of its innovative online equities, options trading and fixed-income trading platform, TradeKing has received multiple discount broker awards from top industry sources and was rated best in customer service by SmartMoney Magazine for the third consecutive year. (June 2012 SmartMoney Broker Survey).
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