Plaid is riding an explosive fintech wave, and some say contributing to its growth. : Banking applications don't usually create a buzz at "hackathon" events. But two consultants in their early 20s were running out of options. It was five years ago, and the pair had just quit their steady jobs at the consulting firm Bain & Co. They had an idea to build technology that linked banks and consumers through apps, but the 70 investors they had already pitched weren't buying it. So, they decided to prove their concept would work.