Investing In Fintech Start-Ups

By Laura Layden
Naples Daily News, Fla.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) CSI globalVCard founded “CSI Kick Start” to invest in financial technology (or fintech). The incubator continues to seek investment opportunities and recently opened its annual funding application process to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Naples Daily News, Fla.

With money and mentorship from a local business incubator, a two-man team in Los Angeles is changing the corporate world one healthy micro market at a time.

The business incubator, CSI Kick Start, made its first investment in Delicious Nutritious Markets based in Los Angeles in 2014 and the partnership is paying off.

There are now more than 100 grab-and-go markets providing healthy food to workers in lunch rooms and break rooms across America, including a few in Southwest Florida. Think carrots, not candy bars.

“We’re trying to revolutionize the employee experience of eating at work,” said Caroline Perry, the director of CSI Kick Start.

Delicious Nutritious Markets was founded by Mike Johnson, known as the “vp of happiness,” and Ben Thomas, the “vp of dreams,” on Jan. 1, 2014. They heard about CSI Kick Start and reached out to its chief executive Keith Stone, who is also the president and CEO of CSI globalVCard, a leading provider of corporate payment solutions based in Bonita Springs. Stone took an interest in what the startup was doing, offering mentorship, money and payment system know-how.

With a novel self-checkout system the markets — stocked with nutritious meals and snacks by caterers and other food operators — virtually run themselves. The system not only takes payments, but manages inventory, making the markets easy to restock.

Markets operate on the honor system. Employees use an app to scan and pay for food with an iPhone, or swipe a company card or other credit card at an iPad kiosk to make purchases. (There are no cashiers or security guards.)

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