As part of our commemoration of African American History Month, our Alumni Profile feature for this week showcases two African Americans who represented their companies at Finovate events in 2021.
Nathan Gibbons is Chief Operating Officer of Innovation Finance USA, the company behind QuickFi, a fully digital mobile, self-service business equipment financing platform. QuickFi made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia during the summer of 2021 and returned to the Finovate stage later that year for FinovateFall.
“Businesses acquire new equipment as they grow, and most equipment is financed by banks or manufacturer finance companies through leases and loans, similar to the way that automobiles are financed by consumers,” Gibbons explained at the beginning of QuickFi’s demo last year. “In fact, roughly a trillion dollars of business equipment is financed each year in the U.S.”
“Unfortunately, the equipment financing process is lengthy, opaque, and takes days or weeks to complete. And this is a real problem. Because there are literally millions of businesses whose growth and success is stifled by a slow, antiquated, equipment financing process.”
Previous to joining Innovation Finance, Gibbons was an executive with First American Equipment Finance, serving as Vice President for five years and as Project Manager for six. Educated at the University of Rochester, where he earned a B.A. in Spanish, Gibbons received his MBA from the University’s Simon Business School. He is both a Certified Lease and Finance Professional (CLFP) and a Certified DISC Behavioral Analyst. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association and the CLFP Foundation.
Headquartered in Fairport, New York, and founded in 2018, QuickFi has partnered with companies like Johnson Controls, SANY America, and Juniper Networks. The company was recognized last November by the 2021 Asset Finance Connect UK Conference and Awards by Asset Finance International. The following month, QuickFi was named a 2021 Pan Finance Award winner in the Innovative Commercial Financial Platform, USA category.
Anthony Heckman is Head of Business Development and Growth for and founding member of unitQ, a product quality monitoring platform that enables fintechs and other companies to pursue a data-driven approach to product quality and enhancement. The company made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in New York last September.
“We’ve built a world-class, machine learning platform. And today, I’m going to show you how we help some of the best companies in the world – companies like Chime, BRD, Truebill, and Pinterest — fix the right quality issues faster,” Heckman said last year at FinovateFall. “And by doing so, (we help them) improve product quality, (and) important metrics like retention and app store ratings. We’re cutting ‘time to fix’ for some of the best engineering organizations in the world so they can win in hyper-competitive markets like fintech.”
A graduate of the University of Southern California, where he received his Bachelors degree, Heckman earned his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. He is mentor with Defy of Northern California, an organization that helps current and formerly incarcerated men, women, and youth develop the skills they need to pursue legal business opportunities and careers. Heckman is also a board member of Safe & Sound, an organization that works to prevent child abuse.
Based in Burlingame, California and founded in 2017, unitQ raised $30 million in Series B funding last fall in a round led by Accel. With partners including Chime, HelloFresh, NerdWallet and, most recently, PagerDuty, unitQ gives product managers a single, platform with which to observe and benchmark user feedback and product quality signals. Earlier this month, the company unveiled its February 2022 unitQ Scorecard of the highest-ranking apps with the best product quality across a range of different industries.
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