Posts from fintech

FinTech 2012

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 AmericaBarclays Capital,Citigroup, Credit SuisseDeutsche BankGoldman SachsJPMorgan ChaseMorgan StanleyState 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.

#VC & Technology

Calling All Fintech Entrepreneurs

The startup accelerator movement continues to gain momentum. And now we are starting to see sector specific startup accelerators. Last year I posted about Startl, which focuses on education entrepreneurs.

And now we've got a Fintech focused accelerator program here in NYC. It is called The FinTech Innovation Lab and it is an annual program runby the New York City Investment Fund and Accenture. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am on the Board of the New York City Invesstment Fund, which is twelve year old investment fund operated by The Partnership For New York City.

The Fintech Innovation Lab is focused on "entrepreneurs and early stage companies that are developing cutting edge technology products targeted at financial services customers."

Here's the cool thing. The customers are participating in this program. The CTOs and CIOs of firms like Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, State Street, and UBS will be participating in this program.

So not only do you get some funding but you also get mentoring and coaching by your potential customers. If you are an early stage Fintech entrepreneur, it sure seems like a fantastic opportunity.

The program runs from May 2nd to demo day on July 22nd. Applications are DUE SOON, on January 31st. If you want to apply, here is the application form, and here are the details.

#VC & Technology