Stocktoberfest Moves Fintech Guru Howard Lindzon to Center Stage
[Corrected 10/20/15, 11:20 am. See below.] A short version of Howard Lindzon’s bio on Angel’s List says he is the CEO and co-founder of StockTwits (a platform for tweeting stock market ideas and insights) and a general partner of Social Leverage, an angel investment fund that has invested in at least 30 startups (according to Crunchbase), including Ticketfly, Robinhood, and Klout.
A longer version of his biography describes Lindzon as a Canadian-born author, trader, and “super angel” investor who has worked as a financial and technical analyst, registered investment advisor, stockbroker, commodities future broker, and hedge fund manager.
Neither says anything about Lindzon’s sardonic sense of humor, or his passion for working amid the ebb and flow of stock market deals. He is a fervent believer in market momentum, he loves Apple, and has built a far-reaching network among the people who matter on Wall Street.
Through his work with StockTwits and as an investor in DeskHub, a startup co-working space in downtown San Diego, Lindzon’s profile also has been rising in San Diego’s local startup community.
This morning, Lindzon is rolling out his fourth annual “Stocktoberfest” at the Hotel del Coronado, mixing his perspective on the stock market with his peculiar passion for all things Web-related—especially Web-based startups. Nearly 400 people are expected to attend the two-day event, not including last night’s meet and greet, where Lindzon presides over a mix of stock market insights and startup presentations.
This year, Lindzon says he has focused the Stocktoberfest agenda on the two extremes of his investing interests—the handful of multi-billion dollar companies like Apple, Google, and Exxon that have the momentum to become trillion-dollar companies, and the innovative Web-based startups at the opposite end of the spectrum.
“The focus is less about the stock market, and more about very early stage companies at one end and who will be the next trillion-dollar company at the other end,” Lindzon says. “The rest of the market is stuck in the middle. It is the biggest, but probably the least interesting. There are so many good companies, and so few great ones.”
Lindzon’s Stocktoberfest agenda includes CEOs, traders, and investors discussing technology trends, and outlining strategies for all types of investing styles, including global macro investing opportunities and a look at what’s happening in China.
Lindzon also plans to highlight some of his early stage fintech investments at Stocktoberfest. He says the sheer size of the fintech market makes it another industry ripe for disruption. Venture capital firms already are investing in such areas as payment processing, lending, and insurance, and Lindzon expects they are all areas that will gain momentum in coming quarters.
[Corrected to show Robinhood raised $66 million.] Some of the innovative, early stage companies on the agenda are:
—Robinhood, a Palo Alto, CA-based startup that has developed a commission-free mobile brokerage app and has raised $66 million in three rounds from investors that include Index Ventures and New Enterprise Associates.
—Spark Finance, a San Diego fintech launching at Stocktoberfest that has developed a comprehensive mobile stock screener with the best ideas from top traders and investors. Swipe right to save to your watch list.
—Wag, based in Los Angeles, has developed a mobile app that makes hiring a dog walker as easy as getting a ride with Uber.
—WorthFM, launching at Stocktoberfest, is a robo-advisor making financial management less intimidating for new and less-experienced investors.
—ProducePay, a Los Angeles startup that provides a wide array of payment solutions to the fresh-produce industry and its agents. ProducePay offers growers next-day financing and quicker returns, eliminates the distributors’ financial bottlenecks, and reduces the bank’s risk in directly financing farmers.