CES 2024: Fintech is creating opportunity for entrepreneurs

Kelsey Ruger, chief product and technology officer, Hello Alice, joined WorkingNation at CES 2024 to share his thoughts on fintech’s support of small business owners
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Kelsey Ruger, chief product and technology officer of Hello Alice, describes the fintech organization as a “toolbox for entrepreneurs,” providing funding, resources, mentors, and community. He notes, small businesses require special guidance. Ruger says many aspiring small business owners don’t know how to access capital.

“Probably the biggest barrier is just knowing and having access to the networks where these things are at. A lot of times people say, ‘Well, it’s equitable and everyone has the same access and ability to go apply for grants or ability to go to a VC.’ The problem is much of that still remains hidden in a layer where if you don’t have access to that layer, you would never even know who to go talk to.”

Ruger joined WorkingNation’s editor-in-chief Ramona Schindelheim for WorkingNation Overheard at CES 2024 in Las Vegas to share his thoughts on how technology can give entrepreneurs greater access to funding.

Ruger describes a new Hello Alice fintech tool, the Business Health Score. “That gives us the ability to ask some very specific questions of the business to give them a score of where they are health-wise as a business, and we can make better recommendations.”

About Hello Alice, Ruger says, “We target everyone. So, we have a lot of Main Street businesses – hair salons, grocery store, candle makers, as well as tech businesses.”

Ruger notes Hello Alice has awarded nearly $40 million in grants over the last three years and, in the last two years, added credit and loan services.

He says, “I’m actually pretty excited about small businesses. They are the Number One employer in the United States. They also provide us with a lot of innovation. The small businesses are where all of the new ideas are coming from. They are also where we’re seeing a lot of the innovation in how people work. So, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for small businesses. It’s just helping them get past that initial hump.”

Learn more about Hello Alice.
Learn more about CES 2024.

Funding for WorkingNation Overheard at CES 2024 was provided, in part, by Walmart.

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