Applications are now being accepted for New York’s sixth annual FinTech Innovation Lab, a 12-week program co-founded by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and the Partnership Fund for New York City that helps early- and growth-stage financial technology (fintech) companies accelerate product and business development by gaining exposure to top bank and venture capital executives. Applications are available at www.fintechinnovationlab.com and are due by Dec. 3.
The FinTech Innovation Lab is a program for entrepreneurs that are developing cutting-edge and disruptive technologies for the financial services sector – particularly in the areas of big data, analytics and cognitive computing; security and identity management; risk management and compliance; digital marketing and social media tools; cloud enabling technologies; payments; blockchain technology; talent management; and, Internet of Things applications. Chief technology officers and senior technology executives from 15 participating financial institutions will select six of the applying fintech companies to participate in the Lab through a competitive process.
Applicants must have at least a working beta version of their technology that is ready to be tested for either the institutional or retail market. The Lab, which begins in April 2016, will partner the chosen fintech entrepreneurs with senior-level bank executives and leading technology entrepreneurs, who will help them fine-tune and develop their technologies and business strategies through a series of workshops, panel discussions, user-group sessions, networking opportunities, one-on-one meetings and presentations. The Lab culminates in June 2016 with a Demo Day presentation by all six participants in front of an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.
The Lab continues to introduce new, leading-edge fintech companies to top banks and insurers to help push them into open innovation. According to a report issued by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City in June, the value of fintech investments in the United States nearly tripled last year, to $9.89 billion from $3.39 billion in 2013. In New York, fintech deal values grew by 32 percent in 2014, to a new high of $768 million, with 42 percent of deals in the lending and payments segments and nearly 20 percent in the area of wealth management.
“With the value of financial technology investments having tripled over the past year, it is safe to say that fintech has arrived. Now in its sixth year, the FinTech Innovation Lab is playing a major role in drawing attention to fintech’s ever-growing potential and helping to establish some of the industry’s leading companies,” said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. “With most of the world’s largest financial institutions located in New York, there is no better place for a fintech company to develop its product. The FinTech Innovation Lab brings entrepreneurs into the room with financial services decision-makers, who not only give critical feedback but also potentially become customers.”
American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) joins this year’s program as a supporter, providing mentoring and guidance alongside 14 other major financial institutions continuing their support from last year: Ally Financial (NYSE: ALLY), American Express (NYSE:AXP), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Barclays (LSE:BARC), Capital One (NYSE:COF), Citi (NYSE:C), Credit Suisse (VX:CSGN), Deutsche Bank (Xetra:DBK), The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), New York Life, and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Supporting venture-capital firms include Bain Capital Ventures, Canaan Partners, Contour Venture Partners, Nyca Partners, Rho Ventures, RRE Ventures and Warburg Pincus.
“Financial services firms are increasingly more open to the innovations coming from fintech startups that can help them improve and add value to the customer experience, increase the efficiency of internal functions and enhance their core capabilities,” said Robert Gach, managing director of Accenture Strategy Capital Markets and co-founder of the FinTech Innovation Lab. “As the industry continues to evolve, we expect to see a shift toward incorporating startups into the overall financial services ecosystem, and we look forward to working with our clients to help bring about this change.”
Since the New York FinTech Innovation Lab was founded in 2010, it has provided entrepreneurs from 31 technology companies with mentoring and access to more than 30 leading bank CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, venture capitalists and technology luminaries. Previous participants have raised a total of over $175 million in venture financing after participating in the program; four participants have been acquired, two in 2015 alone, including Standard Treasury and BillGuard.
“The FinTech Innovation Lab has been a key contributor to the rapid growth of the fintech sector in New York,” said Matt Harris, Managing Director at Bain Capital Ventures. “This program directly connects entrepreneurs with senior leaders in the financial services industry so that they can develop their products into solutions that major institutions need the most to serve their customers.”
“The FinTech Innovation Lab is a fast-track program for start-ups in the financial services industry that positions participants directly in front of the right customers,” said Dan Ciporin, General Partner at Canaan Partners. “This direct access to top-level executives at banks and investment firms provides an unparalleled venue for entrepreneurs to craft their products and hone their business strategies. We look forward to collaborating with another class of high quality companies.”
“The FinTech Innovation Lab was designed to support and build the ecosystem of financial technology companies in NYC,” said Cary Davis, Managing Director at Warburg Pincus. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for companies to get mentorship and access to local financial institutions. I look forward to seeing the companies that apply this year.”
The success of the FinTech Innovation Lab in New York has led to the founding of three other FinTech Innovation Labs around the world – the FinTech Innovation Lab London, which was founded in 2012, and the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong and the FinTech Innovation Lab Dublin, which were both established in 2014.