This last week I had the opportunity to attend the FinTech Global convention in San Diego. Not only was the weather and the company nice, but there was some really valuable insights provided into the near future of alternative financing. A majority of the thought leaders in the industry were there, discussing where the industry is and where it needs to be. I found it interesting that alternative business financing actually has a lot of the same challenges as some of the other industry’s present at the conference. Bitcoin, alternative personal financing, and real estate financing were all present. One thing that united these was the impact each industry was having on banks. Lendio’s CEO Brock Blake said during his keynote presentation that banks were not only taking notice of alternative financing, they’re looking for ways to compete with and maybe even partner with them. He quoted JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon’s statement to investors. "There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking. The ones you read about most are in the lending business, whereby the firms can lend to individuals and small businesses very quickly and — these entities believe — effectively by using Big Data to enhance credit underwriting. They are very good at reducing the 'pain points' in that they can make loans in minutes, which might take banks weeks. We are going to work hard to make our services as seamless and competitive as theirs. And we also are completely comfortable with partnering where it makes sense." During the alternative lending panel, Al Goldstein of Avant Media talked about how smaller players in the space are going to be acquired by the larger players. I can personally see that, as the public becomes more aware of the space, certain brands are going to stick in their minds. Once the public comes to these brands, it’ll make sense for the smaller brands to either sell or fold. After this conference, I’ve walked away with a better understanding of where the industry is, and where it needs to be. How about you? What’s your thoughts on the future of alternative financing.