E27.CO: It turns out that last year’s seven startup graduates of Accenture’s first FinTech Innovation Lab in Asia Pacific have so far gone on to collectively raise more than US$6 million in funding — an impressive number.
This year’s programme starting in August in Hong Kong hopes to piggy-back off the growing wave of fin-tech in the region, with investments into fin-tech ventures more than tripling from US$245 million in 2013 to US$767 million in 2014, according to research cited by the management consultancy giant.
This funding boom has also been coupled with a similar boom in the number of corporate and bank-backed accelerators such as the DBS-Nest partnership in Hong Kong announced in April. Meanwhile, the likes of Goldman Sachs last month led a US$40 million round into Hong Kong-based financial comparison startup CompareAsia.
Applications to the 12-week Accenture FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific 2015 opened on May 1 and will remain open until May 31.
While there are admittedly a growing number of accelerators for fin-tech hopefuls to choose from in APAC these days, what Accenture’s programme does delivers is mentoring from some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, China Construction Bank (Asia), China Citic Bank International, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, HSBC, JP Morgan, Maybank, Morgan Stanley and UBS.
Hong Kong’s government-backed incubator Cyberport will provide work space, and J Plus Hotel by YOO will assist with accommodation.
According to a release, the Lab is “modelled on a similar programme that Accenture co-founded in 2010 with the Partnership Fund for New York City, the US$110 million investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. The New York Lab’s 24 alumni companies have raised more than US$160 million in venture financing after participating in the programme; one participant was acquired for US$175 million.”
It’s not just Asia that is seeing a spike in fin-tech investments. Indeed it’s a global trend, with investments across all continents tripling from US$4.05 billion in 2013 to US$12.2 billion in 2014.
In terms of whether your startup is right for Accenture’s programme, here are the segments they’re particularly interested in: alternative currencies, Big Data and analytics, mobile and wireless payments, risk management and compliance, as well as social media and collaboration technologies.