Industry Experts Discuss Michigan's Role As A Fintech Hub


As 2018 comes to a close, a group of entrepreneurs, professionals, executives and investors gathered to discuss the financial technology space.

The Detroit Fintech Association on Dec. 4 hosted a panel moderated by Katherine Rothstein of Bodman Law. The panelists included Al Pacha, chief technology officer at QCheque; Peter Adriaens, Professor of Engineering, Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan; and Kristen Sheppard, CIO Chief of Staff at TD Ameritrade AMTD.

Keep Talent In Detroit

Pacha discussed the increased safety technology QCheque utilizes to combat the alarming uptick of fraudulent checks, amounting to $770 million.

"QCheque was born in Michigan. We are homegrown fintech company just trying to make paper checks more secure," Pacha said.

In regards to Detroit's up-and-coming fintech exposure, Rothstein asked the panelists what it would take for the Motor City to rise to the level of the most innovative city for financial technology. For Pacha, it's about keeping the young minds in Michigan.


“We have the best universities. So what can we do to make these young kids become college grads and not leave Michigan to go to Silicon Valley? What can we do to keep them here?”

Going Blue

Within his professorial role at the University of Michigan, Adriaens runs a center for structuring finance, in order to solve the infrastructure of finance in Detroit and beyond. The developed finance mechanisms are driven by data and utilized with fintech endeavors.

Additionally, Adriaens co-founded Equarius Risk Analytics, a fintech company that focuses on the development of water risk indexes based on waterBeta, an algorithm that quantifies risks.

“Specifically to the fintech space, the University of Michigan is leading an effort to drive a center of smart infrastructure and finance," Adriaens said.

Online Trading

With TD Ameritrade, Sheppard looks at emerging technologies and formerly worked in the advanced technology and innovations group to empower all aspects of the company.

TD Ameritrade remains one of the top online investment services, including an electronic platform that enables the purchase and sale of a myriad of financial securities. This technological exposure attracts specifically to the quickly changing culture of web-based reliance.

Related Links:

Detroit Fintech Association Hosts Networking Event: 'It's A Golden Age Of Investment And Innovation'

Hello Detroit: FinTech Consortium To Open Flagship North American Incubator

Posted In: FintechEntrepreneurshipMovers & ShakersStartupsGeneralAl PachaDetroit Fintech AssociationEquarius Risk AnalyticsJason RaznickKristen SheppardPeter AdriaensQChequeTD AmeritradeUniversity of Michigan
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