I've written extensively about the startup accelerator phenomenon. I think it has been transformative for entrepreneurs and VCs and startups in general. We should all take a second and thank Paul Graham for his insight into how to properly construct such a program. Paul is a visionary entrepreneur who has changed the game.
One of the things I am most excited about in the startup accelerator world is the development of "vertical accelerators." We have seen them emerge in healthcare, education, finance, and a number of other sectors. Last year I blogged about the first FinTech Accelerator here in NYC. I watched that group of entrepreneurs go through FinTech last summer, I talked to them at an evening event, and I watched what has happened to those teams after they came out of the program. I was impressed at every stage.
Last week, the second annual FinTech program, FinTech 2012, was announced. Like last year, the secret sauce of this program is the leadership of the CIOs and CTOs of the largest banks and financial services companies:
The chief technology officers and senior technology executives from 12 financial services firms will pick up to six entrepreneurial companies to participate in the Lab, which begins in May 2012. Bank of America, Barclays Capital,Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, and UBSwill be joined this round by American Express and Capital One.
When I talked to the teams that went through last year's program, this was the thing that all of them gushed about. Getting regular access to the highest level technology execs in these institutions was a game changer for most of the teams.
If you have a fintech startup that could benefit from participation in such a program, you should seriously consider FinTech 2012. There's an information session on January 10th and the applications are due on January 18th. Details are here.