Insights

Firsts in FinTech with Betsy Cohen - Commerce Conversations

January 31, 2023
by: Cohen Circle Team

Betsy Cohen sits down with Dan Rosen, Founder of Commerce Ventures to discuss her career spanning law, banking, and investing on Commerce Conversations.

Episode Summary

Betsy Cohen is a pioneer in FinTech, having chartered her own banks and led one of the first financial institutions to pioneer the sponsor bank model. After capitalizing on SPAC excitement in the past few years Betsy and Cohen Circle are focused on investing at early stages. Dan Rosen of Commerce Ventures and Betsy dive into her personal journey and look forward to what’s to come.

Listen to the full episode

Highlights from the Conversation

  • Growing up with a physician father and social worker mother, a life of service was drilled into her from an early age.
  • After absolutely hating philosophy as a major, she changed her focus to law on a whim.
  • Then after law school she was awarded a prestigious internship with a law firm and performed brilliantly. However upon completion her manager conveyed that the senior leadership of the firm was not yet ready to have a woman as a professional colleague. After that moment she swore never to work for someone again and began her entrepreneurial journey.
  • After law school Betsy went to go teach and then became interested as a new bank law passed, enabling new banks to be chartered in the early 70s.
  • She then became one of the first women to lead a bank as she filed for charter in Pennsylvania.
  • Betsy called herself an observer, looking for negative space and could start to see that the banking space was simply not going to serve the digital world of the future as the early 2000s approached.
  • Betsy wondered how banks could serve financial technology companies, and that birthed the Bancorp – a pioneer in what would become the sponsor bank framework.
  • Dan recalls that Betsy was the person who he first heard the term SPAC from, an area where she and her son Daniel developed expertise.
  • Unlike the fund model, the SPAC model enables you to deeply understand the company in Betsy’s perspective.
  • Today, Betsy is more focused on investing in FInTech and advising founders with her deep experience in bank partnerships.

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