Founders Arena Spotlight: Manifest
By Office of Communications
Posted on November 29, 2023, November 29, 2023

Anuraag Tripathi, Co-Founder & CEO of Manifest

The Founders Arena, born from a partnership between the City of Arlington, Arlington Economic Development Corporation and First Rate, Inc., is an innovative WealthTech Accelerator designed to meet the needs of startup tech entrepreneurs. 

The 10-week intensive gives participants access to networking, funding, training and mentorship. Participating startups have created innovative products that banks and wealth management companies across the world can use to better serve their clients. The Founders Arena, headquartered at the new First Rate, Inc. campus in North Arlington, aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship while actively engaging the local community through workshops, seminars, hackathons and networking events. 

The inaugural WealthTech Combine took place on Oct. 10-11, 2023. Members of the first Founders Arena cohort spent two days networking with industry experts, honing their business pitches and attending sessions on topics from artificial intelligence to the current state of wealth management and everything in-between. Learn more about each member of the inaugural cohort through the Arlington Economic Development Corporation’s “Founders Arena Spotlight” series.  

Name of Founder and Company
Anuraag Tripathi, Co-Founder & CEO of Manifest
Chicago, IL

What makes your product unique?
We’re the first and only plan-to-plan consolidation tool ever. We’re trying to build the pipes between 401k providers so that these accounts can follow people as they switch from one job to another. One in 10 people who start the process of transferring a 401k actually finish it. It has to do with the manual process as well as a little bit of confidence as far as vocabulary, understanding of the industry—financial literacy in a way. At Manifest we believe finance should enable people to live their lives, not take it over. Today it’s a 60-day process with seven hours of effort – Manifest can transfer that account with seven minutes of effort from the user. 

What encouraged you to apply to the Accelerator?
The lifetime customer value for an IRA is very high – financial advisors make money from managing an IRA. This becomes a big buyer for our solution – we would end up being a major lead generation source for them, as well as a way for them to get the assets so they can manage those accounts. We’re not sure how to develop our product there, but the Founders Arena has been helping us hone in on how to do that. 

What’s the best part about the program?
The access we get to the partners. The second we came over, we had one-on-one meetings with SEI and First Rate. They took time to actually understand our businesses before partnering. It’s a luxury – as an entrepreneur, you often don’t get access to these types of people this easily. The relationship building mattered a lot to me because we aren’t sure how we want to enter into this market, and we’ve learned a lot from these guys. You get to learn from pitching and hearing their pitches. 

How has working with the Founders Arena helped you achieve your goals? 
I’m not sure yet. This is my third startup, and startups are tough. It’s nice to have champions and supporters who you can trust. These guys have been very generous with their time and it’s very nice and welcoming. 

What’s next?
Make sure we get through some follow-up, build relationships, explore different things with partners, but also other Founders in the cohort. Listening to more registered investment advisors (RIAs) to figure out how to hone in our product for them. We’d like to launch a pilot with RIAs sometime before the end of this cohort. We’re working on that, we have some irons in the fire and we need to listen to make sure we have something of value. It’s important to pair up first. 

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