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If We Were The Judges, This Startup Would Have Won Code Launch 5

CHDR is Going To Save Kids Cheese By Helping Them Become More Financially Literate

We toyed with the idea of running this story this way for twenty four hours. Several calls and texts were sent back and forth so before we dive into the story we want to put a disclaimer out there, Jason Taylor and the crew at Code Authority and Asset Panda put on an amazing event. The judges of the event were all uniquely qualified. We just didn’t agree with their decision. They came to their own cohesive decision. After watching (and video taping) every single one of the pitches, we would have picked a different winner. A number of audience members we talked with agreed.

Keep in mind we’ve been writing about startups outside Silicon Valley since 2011 and have done a bunch of judging ourselves including SXSW accelerator, SXSW/Tech.co Startup Battle, OneSpark (numerous times) and more. This is just our opinion. So let’s call this Op-Ed.

Cole Oliver is polished, professional, smart and a hustler. He’s doing all the right things when it comes to his startup CHDR (pronounced Cheddar) a new take on FinTech, the fastest growing vertical in the world of startups.

CHDR is a fintech startup, their app is poised to help millennials, post millennials and really anyone who wants to use it, become more financially literate. According to CNBC 86% of millennials have money saved up, but for an overwhelming majority of those people, the savings is less than $500. If an emergency were to happen, those people would be screwed. That’s an alarming statistic. Where does the money go?

While Oliver was pitching on Wednesday evening at the Dr. Pepper Arena just north of Dallas, he spoke about a typical Thursday night when a college student wants to go out. They spend $10 on the Uber, $20 on drinks at the bar and then end up with numerous overdraft charges on Friday morning. That’s a harsh reality, but it’s a reality.

chdr-ss If We Were The Judges, This Startup Would Have Won Code Launch 5CHDR has a read only view of accounts their users connect to the platform. The app can identify usage patterns and tell users exactly where the money is going. Then, through a variety of technologies, CHDR can alert the user before they’re about to make a decision that may impact their financial outlook. With the example described above, CHDR would tell that college student, tonight might not be the night to go out or use cash reserves or you’ll face another set of fees.

CHDR can give the user an overview of their financial landscape and then an overview of the way they make financial decisions, from all those latte’s before your 8am class to that extra video game you bought at GameStop and everything in between. They use an AI driven machine learning interface to analyze all of a users data and accounts to help make smarter decisions.

Now here’s the kicker. Remember a decade ago when you could find just as many Citibank employees on a college campus as students? You couldn’t walk 10 feet from one building to another without being offered a credit card of some kind. With student debt increasing, the fallout of the financial crisis ten years ago, and overall stiffening of privacy laws, credit card companies are scarce on college campuses. But those companies are still looking for the college demographic, it’s one of the most valuable demographics in financial services. And just to level the playing field, not all students who get credit cards go into debt, for some it teaches them responsibility.

So here’s where CHDR can come in. With the user’s permission, CHDR can share their information with credit card partners. But what makes it unique, and better for everyone, is that CHDR can opt to share the information of the students and users who are most likely able to responsibly use a credit card, based again on their financial literacy, stemming from the app. The lenders want to make sure they get their money back. Users want a credit card for emergencies and to start building that credit file. CHDR can give a way more qualified customer than just someone with a 600 credit score.

The same goes for other financial services as well including wealth management, brokerage accounts, and even retail banks that would want to spiff a student/user that would be more likely to responsibly use their account. CHDR’s path to revenue is through these partnerships with financial services providers.

We spoke with someone who has been in consumer lending for 20 years who confirmed that a lead of this kind could be worth $80-$100 per person per service. This could be or rather will be a very lucrative business model.

Down the line as the CHDR users become older there will be the opportunity to connect them with automobile credit companies, mortgage lenders and more, those leads are also worth a lot of money.

But don’t get it twisted, the root of CHDR is financial literacy and helping to develop a more educated, responsible consumer. ‘ “A lot of news is touting Millennials as having learned from our parents through the 2008 debacle and just avoiding credit cards in general.  The problem is, none of them know how to grow their savings.  And even worse, by being afraid of credit cards, 63% don’t have one yet, they aren’t building credit and aren’t prepared for the real world.” Oliver told LaunchDFW

Check out the official winner of Code Launch 5 here. Check out CHDR on the web here at chdr.com