Highlighting FinTech Leaders: Jean Donnelly (FinTech Sandbox)

“FinTech Sandbox is a Boston-based nonprofit that drives global FinTech innovation and collaboration through access to data to build product.”





FinTech continues its blistering growth with a projected CAGR of 22.17% from 2018 to 2023. The unsung heroes of the rapid rise are the connectors: support organizations dedicated to breaking down barriers for fledgling startups to take their first flight.

Boston-based connector FinTech Sandbox is one such non-profit dedicated to accelerating startups to infinity and beyond. Founders and other leaders get to connect and collaborate within the walls of this adult-sized bouncy castle. Channel your inner nerd with the oodles of quality financial data FinTech Sandbox offers.

Team captain of this enterprise is Jean Donnelly, Executive Director and Six Sigma BlackBelt. Watch out! She’ll karate chop those corporate troubles into order in no time. An inspiration to us all, Jean is a modern-day incarnation of Rosie the Riveter – “FinTech, we can do it!” Yes. we can, and Jean and the team will show us the way.

Without any further ado, we welcome to you our interview with Jean…


Tell us about FinTech Sandbox in a few words?

FinTech Sandbox is a Boston-based nonprofit that drives global FinTech innovation and collaboration through access to data to build product.


What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I started my career working on aircraft engines and manufacturing lines.


Dinner with 3 people from any time across history, who would they be?

George Harrison, Maya Angelou, Jane Austen – wouldn’t they just be funny together?


If you could pick any job in the world, what would it be? Aside from your current hustle.

Captain of the US women’s soccer team 🙂 oh yeah, I have skills.


What’s your favorite thing about working where you do?

Getting to speak with and work with startups and entrepreneurs.


What’s your company look like 5yrs down the road?

We have replicated our data access program for startups focused on underserved to help create needed solutions for the LMI community.


What keeps you up at night?

Making payroll, having empty seats at Boston FinTech Week!


What do you think about the future of FinTech that your colleagues don’t all agree with?

How to reach the LMI community will take the entrepreneurs lifting them up and corporates creating distribution that reaches people where they are at. BOTH will be needed to change where we are headed.


What (other) bank, FinTech, or VC do you have the most admiration for and why?

Grasshopper – having met Minerva Tantoco I can’t wait to see what they do!


How do we make the FinTech community even stronger?

Support each other with intros, it doesn’t take much but can do a lot. Be an advocate, its EVERYBODY’s job, not just the resources that support the ecosystem.


Does Libra scare you? Why or why not?

No – volatility is still too high for everyday folks to engage, a couple of more years…


Which tech giant will leap into banking first and why? (Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc)

Amazon – they are already there in everything but charter.


Pick your own fun question! Dazzle us!

Favorite album: Radiohead The Bends, Favorite Author: Nick Hornby

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