FinTech Innovation Lab

I’ve written about this financial services oriented accelerator program run by the Partnership Fund for NYC and Accenture before. It’s a great program. Most of the major banks and brokerages are sponsors of this accelerator. So if your startup is accepted into FinTech Innovation Lab you will have high level access to these banks and brokerages. And there are “sister” programs in London and Hong Kong so you can also access sponsoring financial institutions of the sister programs.

If you are building a company that intends to sell to or otherwise partner with the largest financial services companies in the world, you would be well served to apply to FinTech Innovation Lab. The next program runs from April to June of 2015 and you and several of your colleagues will be required to be in NYC during that time period.

Applications for the 2015 spring program are now open and the application deadline is December 5th. There is an info session next week on November 12th. Details on all of this and how to apply are here.

#hacking finance

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    what’s the most significant innovation to come out of this lab to date?

    1. fredwilson

      well it would be a startup that has emerged into a real businessBillGuard and Digital Reasoning are two companies that have gotten a lot of press and attention

      1. Mark Chou

        Jason, I used to manage the FinTech Innovation Lab for two years under Maria Gotsch (from 2011 – 2013). Fred, thanks for your support throughout the years!!To follow up with Fred, another company of note would be True Office (interactive gaming for compliance training) was a class of 2013 company that the banks never thought they’d want until it was presented to them via the Lab. And coincidentally, the NYSE just announced today that they will be acquiring True Office and integrating the company into NYSE Governance:… A big congrats to Adam Sodowick and team!

  2. JimHirshfield

    Where’s the Bitcoin accelerator?

    1. jason wright

      nailed it.

    2. pointsnfigures

      Chicago at 1871

      1. JimHirshfield

        Sorry, don’t get it.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Ah. Thanks.

          2. jason wright

            one for those in the know – i googled it.

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      I’m watching for William to start that.

  3. William Mougayar

    In the section about “products they are interested in”, there is no mention of Bitcoin or crypto-currency related technology. Weird, but telling.

    1. jason wright

      nailed it, the sequal.

    2. awaldstein

      Why would you expect the financial institutions to be the funders?Sure on one level I get it but this change is not going to happen from within the institutions. They will embrace it when they have to, not before.My suggestion to you and the others who are lamenting here–create the accelerator you think (and I agree) the world needs!

      1. jason wright

        i wouldn’t expect them to be the funders. i expect they are hiring and working on this out of sight. the “products they are interested in” section William refers to is the ‘tell’.

      2. William Mougayar

        There are Bitcoin accelerators and there are Bitcoin companies getting accepted into YC, Techstars & other accelerators. But I would have expected a bullet at least on that segment from this Fintech group.They are totally missing the boat if they think it’s all going to come from the outside. Internally, they are trying to figure it out, but they’re not as vocal about it.I remember in 1996 when banks thought internet payments weren’t safe and you had to go thru separate internet payments gateways to complete an online transaction. Then they embraced it.

        1. awaldstein

          I think the most interesting thing about BitCoin in general and block chain in specific is that this is a superset of verticals in many ways.FinTech is not where I would look for this.What Bitcoin could do is not even analogous to payment gateways. This is a replumbing not a reconfiguration in my opinion.

          1. Chimpwithcans

            Their twitter account mentioning bitcoin plenty, for what it is worth.

          2. pointsnfigures

            I agree. I think the biggest use of Bitcoin initially will be in supply chains. Fred blogged about tickets yesterday-but what about luxury goods? What about legal docs? Why can’t there be a bitcoin watermark associated with every good produced? Blogged about it today.

          3. awaldstein

            I’ll check it out when meetings clear here.I linked something yesterday about the movie biz investigating block chain for digital rights.

          4. JimHirshfield

            Link please

          5. JamesHRH

            How about this –… ?Bankers may be quasi-evil. but when it comes to $$$, they are pretty much geniuses.If I had any interest or background here, I would start a Red Hat style outfit and focus on the the Big Banks.

      3. SubstrateUndertow

        They will embrace it when they have to, not before.Then they would be too late to retain significant control ?They would be pulling a Microsoft!Being on the wrong end of the money/credit stick, I distain the banksters at least as much as the next guy but I suspect they are much more clever/devious than that ?

    3. Mark Chou

      See my reply above to jasonpwright on why this is the case!

  4. jason wright

    the absense of a bitcoin/ blockchain interest suggests to me that they are already working on it out of sight……in an attempt to steal away a potentially bright future.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      There you go again with another Marxist conspiracy theory :-)It is just all too easy to execute partisan attacks by disingenuously mislabelling other’s ideas.Welcome to election day !

      1. jason wright

        who, me? :-)i can imagine there’s a proprietary form of blockchain in the works, something approximating to what Ripple is to Bitcoin.

    2. Mark Chou

      Jason, during my time with the FinTech Lab from 11′ – ’13, I think everyone involved was pretty aware that there are some companies that would be a fit, and others that wouldn’t be. If you’re trying to completely disintermediate the current financial system, the Lab probably doesn’t make sense. And if you’re working on proprietary trading algos or something, you also wouldn’t be applying here, since the banks involved would be in kind of an awkward position competitively speaking, as far as mentoring is concerned.If you are selling a product or service INTO the enterprise, though, where a large financial services firm is a potential customer or partner, then you would be a good candidate for sure. At the end of the day, any technology that would help the banks increase their revenues or reduce their costs or fraud/compliance risk, would be interesting from their perspective.Check out the whole portfolio of the past 4 classes here: http://www.fintechinnovatio…* All opinions here are mine only and not that of the Lab etc etc etc

      1. jason wright

        thank you Mark. it’s good to read a perspective from inside the program.

  5. PatrickABrowne

    We learned of FinTech Innovation Lab this summer. Seems like an incredible opportunity if you’re in FinTech like we are. We’re applying in the coming weeks.

    1. Mark Chou

      Patrick, I’m not longer directly involved with the Lab, but did manage the program for two years from ’11 – ’13, when I was a VC with the Partnership Fund. If you have any questions, feel free to tweet/DM me @markdchou, and I’d be happy to chat or put you in touch with the current program manager!

      1. PatrickABrowne

        Mark, thanks for reaching out. I’ll definitely drop you a note as I’d love to talk. Thanks!

        1. Mark Chou

          Sounds great!

          1. PatrickABrowne

            Hi Mark, I tried reaching you on Twitter. We’re working on our application. Do you have a minute to speak with us? If so, please drop me a note at pbrowne {at} smoretgage dot com and then we can set up a time. Thanks!

  6. jason wright

    is avc losing popularity?

  7. Steve Amara

    Hope lots of good co will come out of it. FinTech is quite heavy here in London, and it’s natural to see London and NYC being big players in the field. At the end, it’s very good for our “wallet”!

  8. MacLane Wilkison

    We looked at this for LoanCoin but it’s not clear to me if they’re open to blockchain apps. Do you have any insight into their interest/non-interest?

    1. Mark Chou

      MacLane, tweet me at @markdchou and I can put you in touch with the program manager. I managed the FinTech Lab for 2 years and still keep in touch with the folks there.

  9. afat

    We did this in the summer of 2011. The biggest thing we learned is that the sales cycles for the banks are very, very, very long. The startup I worked for is still trying to sell their product to some of the same companies we meet through FinTech and there are a few deals that are now about to get done. You get some pretty great access to the banks.

    1. Mark Chou

      Thanks for the update! How are Michael and RoseAnn doing these days? Hope all’s well with the Aqumin team.