88 International Startup Accelerators, Incubators & Innovation Labs Nurturing Innovators in Financial Services
By Elena Mesropyan for LTP
As the startup ecosystem grows in complexity and enrichment with technological advancements, banks and corporations rush to seize the opportunity to harvest the best solutions available. Innovation hunters have been looking for opportunities in different ways, one of which is to set an accelerator/incubator, innovation lab or some sort of a startup program. Let’s look at some of the interesting accelerators/incubators/innovation labs focused on financial and other types of technological innovations worldwide.
Flat6Labs, in cooperation with Barclays Bank Egypt, has opened the doors for participation in its one-of-a-kind 1864 Accelerator Program launched for the first time in the Egyptian market. 1864 Accelerator aims to qualify a new generation of entrepreneurs in Egypt through the adoption of creative ideas that can open up new opportunities in financial technology.
The 3D FinTech Challenge is a seven-week, immersive accelerator program designed to empower and accelerate technological innovation within financial services. It is a key element of Dassault Systèmes’ drive to bring accelerated technological, customer-centric innovation to the financial services industry. Dassault Systèmes and Deutsche Börse do not take equity from the startups. Senior executives from Dassault Systèmes’ and leading figures from financial services provide ongoing mentoring throughout the program whilst master classes are given by domain experts.
500 Startups is one of the world’s leading global venture capital seed funds and startup accelerators managing $200 million in assets, having invested in 1300+ technology startups. In January, the accelerator launched a FinTech-exclusive batch comprised of eight companies. 500 Startups has actively been investing in financial services startups such as Credit Karma, WePay, Simple (acquired by BBVA), ReadyForZero, FeeFighters (acquired by Groupon), Recurly, CoinPip, etc. They have also invested in eight bitcoin-related startups to date and they plan to invest in another 10–20 per year going forward.
Academpark Incubator is a business incubator based in Siberia, Russia, offering supportive ecosystem for startups working in areas of IT technology, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies and more. Aside from providing space in the state-of-art facility, Academpark Incubator offers services at an 80% discount for resident startups including HR, product development and prototyping, knowledge support and mentorship with IP, business planning, team development, marketing and funding. Residents also gain access to support in technical documentation development, creation of graphic materials, website, UX/UI prototyping and more.
Accelerator Frankfurt is an independent accelerator that gets startups investment-ready by finding cooperation partners, customers and investors. Accelerator Frankfurt is an international four-month program offering startups mentoring, coaching, office space and professional services in excess of 40,000€ per startup. The accelerator accepts web entrepreneurs past the idea stage and the potential to scale internationally. The program focuses on startups from FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech, Cybersecurity and WebTech.
ActivSpaces is a tech hub that runs centers aimed at providing resources to technology startups. ActivSpaces runs two programs, an incubation program and an acceleration program. The incubator supports startups by providing them with an office space, Internet connection, business coaching and a community of likeminded individuals and experts. The accelerator program helps startups to secure investments by aligning them with mentors, assisting them in incorporation, assisting them in driving growth, and providing seed funding for their operations. Startups are also being introduced to a network of investors.
The Alchemist Accelerator is an accelerator exclusively for startups whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers. The organization is passionate about the needs of enterprise seed ventures and believes they are different enough to warrant a program specifically for them.
The accelerator focuses on enterprise customer development, sales (direct and online), market validation, and a structured path to fundraising. The Alchemist Accelerator claims to have the most sought after advisor faculty, guest lecturers, venture capitalists and Fortune 100 customers primed to be resources for startups. The backers of Alchemist are Cisco Systems, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foundation Capital, Mayfield, Khosla Ventures, Salesforce.com, Sapphire Ventures, Siemens, Tyco, and US Venture Partners.
AlphaCode is a collaborative club for entrepreneurs in next-generation financial services based in Sandton, South Africa. Fully funded by the RMI, AlphaCode doesn’t charge entrepreneurs for membership. However, there are four membership models for startups of various sizes and stages of development. The memberships range from green entry level up to diamond. The hub provides a platform for members to engage and work alongside experienced entrepreneurs, technology investors and industry experts, resulting in accelerated growth and access to market. It offers office space and a clubhouse for entrepreneurs, an active online community and regular networking opportunities. The AlphaCode concept is modeled on Level39, London’s Canary Wharf FinTech development hub, which is one of the world’s leading FinTech hubs.
The AlphaLab accelerator programs are designed to help startup technology companies accelerate their progress through early stages of customer discovery and product development through a rapid, iterative “lean” approach. Started in 2008, AlphaLab provides critical resources to help startups launch successfully – including funding, mentorship, an extended alumni network, free office space, and the collective expertise of the Innovation Works team.
AlphaLab Gear was launched in 2013 as the hardware accelerator program based on the AlphaLab model to provide additional resources and expertise in areas specific to physical product companies including product design, manufacturing, supply chain and retail distribution. AlphaLab Gear companies also benefit from being part of the extended AlphaLab network, leveraging the alumni and mentor networks, software/Internet expertise built over prior AlphaLab program cycles.
Anthemis Foundry is a design-focused incubator of the Anthemis Group, an investment and advisory firm in the financial technology space. The incubator believes in focusing on some chosen projects at one time rather than selecting batches of startups with a fixed schedule. Some of its portfolio companies are Atom, Azimo, Betterment, Currency Cloud, Fidor Bank, Moven, etc.
In 2015, Worldpay US made a $1 million gift to the Georgia Institute of Technology to create a financial technology (FinTech) Program at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). This initiative creates a unique program between a non-profit, university-based incubator and a major financial services company. The ATDC FinTech Program powered by Worldpay US is focused on building and growing companies in the state of Georgia. ATDC FinTech Program operates with goals to make Georgia the capital of FinTech startups, screen and accelerate a dedicated FinTech pipeline and accelerate innovation by bringing together startups, corporations and investors.
Launched in 2013, the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator is a Berlin-based accelerator looking for trailblazing digital entrepreneurs. The accelerator claims to provide global opportunities from day one through their international network in Europe and Silicon Valley. Three times a year, they run a three-month-long program in which startups are provided with office space in the heart of Berlin, coaching, workshops, networking, 25,000 euros, events and more. The program ends with the Demo Day, where startups will have the opportunity to pitch in front of an elite audience of local and international venture capital firms for additional seed and Series A funding. In addition, startups have the chance to meet Silicon Valley investors as well as go to Silicon Valley.
Bank of England FinTech Accelerator was launched in 2016 to work in partnership with FinTech firms on challenges that the bank faces. The accelerator will work with new technology firms to help the BoE to harness FinTech innovations for central banking. Partner firms will be selected to engage in short proof-of-concept projects (POCs) that are relevant to the bank’s mission with all commercial considerations being taken into account.
The Barclays Accelerator Program is a 13-week program in partnership with Techstars. Barclays provides tools, equipment and facilities for startups. In conjunction with Techstars, they provide dedicated mentorship for select startups and entrepreneurs. The accelerator program was initially launched in London and is now being run in London and New York.
BASH – Build Amazing Startups Here – is Singapore’s biggest all-in-one startup facility. An initiative by the Infocomm Investments (IIPL), the investment arm of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), BASH allows members and partners of the tech building community across the entire value chain – from accelerators, investors, incubators to entrepreneurs – to meet under one roof.
Spanning across more than 25,000 square feet on Level 3 of Block 79, IIPL will leverage the extensive space and provide all the necessary facilities including a prototyping lab, valuable mentorship and community networks to grow promising, innovation-driven tech product startups from ideation, acceleration, incubation to expansion.
BongoHive is Zambia’s first technology and innovation hub. Established in May 2011 and based in Lusaka, the co-founders, all enthusiastic programmers, sought to address the gaps they experienced working within the local technology industry leading to a lack of coordination, skills exposure and productivity. BongoHive has evolved to assist scalable startups of any background by enhancing skills, accelerating growth, strengthening networks, increasing collaboration, providing a forum for ideas exchange and reducing the barriers to entrepreneurship.
Capital One Growth Labs in the UK is an accelerator program for early-stage startups and high-growth companies. The initiative, in partnership with corporate innovation specialist and tech investor L Marks, aims to discover innovative new businesses and give them cutting-edge support to develop technologies for the financial sector.
Chinaccelerator (a member of the Global Accelerator Network) is a mentorship-driven seed-funding program in China. The 90-day accelerator program is committed to helping entrepreneurs innovating at the cutting-edge of information technology create successful companies.
Upon acceptance of the invitation, the accelerator wires startups $30,000, with an optional $25,000 from its partners (using convertible notes), and makes make sure that startups find a temporary home in Shanghai. Chinaccelerator ten immerses teams in the intense startup community of like-minded individuals after which innovators are brought on Chinaccelerator’s signature tour Geeks On A Train (“GOAT”) – a two-week trip that initiates startups into the world of successful startups.
GOAT is a spinoff of the Geeks on a Plane by 500 Startups. In the first two weeks of the Chinaccelerator program, startups are sent on an eight-day tour of China to visit companies (such as Baidu, Alibaba, Taobao, IBM, XinCheJian, etc.), get exposed to as many mentors as possible, and attend some highly informative events in the startup hubs Beijing and Shanghai.
Citibank launched its first accelerator program in Tel Aviv in 2013. The four-month program was run three times and a total of 333 startups have participated in it till date. In December 2014, Citi Ventures partnered as the first Platinum-level Global Anchor Partner for Plug and Play to expand its FinTech Accelerator program to the US, Germany, Singapore and Spain. Citi has also launched “Citi Mobile Challenge,” a virtual accelerator program that combines a virtual hackathon with an incubator and is focused on the APAC region. Participants of the Citi Mobile Challenge are provided with a FinTech accelerator program that includes mentorship and a virtual and on-site boot camp curriculum.
Communitech is an innovation center in Waterloo Region that supports a community of more than 1,000 tech companies — from startups to rapidly growing mid-size companies and large global players. A member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, which is funded by the Ontario Government, Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed. Communitech helps companies with customer acquisition, assists in attracting funding and ensures startups are aware of market trends and opportunities.
CcHUB is Nigeria’s first open living lab and pre-incubation space designed to be a multifunctional, multipurpose space where work to catalyze creative social tech ventures take place. The HUB is a place for technologists, social entrepreneurs, government, tech companies, impact investors and hackers in and around Lagos to co-create new solutions to the many social problems in Nigeria.
Coin Apex is an NYC-based tech incubator that was born in fall of 2013 to give talented people a place to create and build cool things. Coin Apex helps to shape, develop and facilitate innovative ideas into full-on reality through the process of bringing technology companies, products and services to market. The incubator aims to encourage the forward motion of the FinTech ecosystem and help build the infrastructure needed to ensure sustainability of the emerging sectors of which it operates.
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Mastercard have launched Commerce.Innovated, a four-month, bi-annual virtual accelerator designed to help seed-stage startups that are innovating in the commerce, payments and financial technology sectors to refine and scale their business ideas. The program offers access to operational and industry expertise from Silicon Valley Bank, Mastercard and their respective networks.
D.CAMP is a non-profit foundation created to revitalize entrepreneurial ecosystem in commemoration with 20 member-banks of the National Association of Banks. The organization is engaged in activities such as investment, infrastructure construction, startup training and other initiatives.
D.CAMP’s focuses on the incorporation of startup ecosystem hub D.CAMP and online platform, startup incubation with partner institutions, growth ladder fund investment, indirect investment with professional management company and initial enterprise matching investment.
The DBS Accelerator, powered by NEST, a unique program run by a full-time, dedicated team. The accelerator is seeking up to eight ambitious startup companies from across the globe with an innovative FinTech proposition. Accepted startups receive mentorship, access to working space in Hong Kong, get introduced to investors and much more.
The Deutsche Börse Venture Network project helps to boost funding for young and fast-growing companies. It brings emerging, high-growth companies and investors together, giving them access to a powerful network of professional partners.
Located in the heart of Frankfurt, the Hub has 450 square meters of light-flooded office space for up to four FinTech startups, events and workshops. Deutsche Börse Venture Network helps and advises on topics such as preparing for investor meetings or feedback on sales and marketing strategies. It also organizes community get-togethers and connects with relevant industry experts, managers and investors from Deutsche Börse’s network.
The DMZ at Ryerson University is one of Canada’s largest business incubators for emerging tech startups. The top-ranked university incubator in North America and third in the world, it helps startups succeed by connecting them with customers, advisors, influencers and other entrepreneurs. It’s a space and community that encourages, supports and fosters new technologies that transform lives and businesses.
The DMZ is based at Ryerson, but it’s not just for students; this unique community is home to entrepreneurs and innovators of all ages from across Toronto, Canada and the world. Overlooking the heart of downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square, the DMZ is a hub of innovation and collaboration.
Eggsplore is an independent and open organization, founded by seasoned entrepreneurs, that acts as a catalyst for the European FinTech ecosystem by providing a number of services in collaboration with its partners. It organizes a number of educational and networking events, including a yearly FinTech Conference, and manages a Brussels-based FinTech studio.
Eggsplore connects the dots in FinTech and in doing so it relies on its structural partners: AXA, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, Cresco, Euroclear, ING, KBC, McKinsey & Company, Proximus, and SWIFT.
The Financial Solutions Lab is managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Financial Solutions Lab is a program that seeks to identify, test and bring to scale promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets.
The Financial Solutions Lab is a virtual laboratory for anyone who uses technology to improve Americans’ financial health. Lab participants share a relentless focus on building products and services that embrace inclusion, build trust, promote success, and create opportunity, and which solve important financial challenges that Americans face.
Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator is a six-month incubator for startups. The features that it provides are access to the Yodlee platform, guidance & assistance, participation in Silicon Valley boot camps, and a demo day to present the startup to select investors.
FinTech Innovation Lab provides a 12-week mentorship program in New York, London, Dublin and Asia-Pacific (in Hong Kong). The global program is run in partnership with Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City as a sponsor while they also have region-specific sponsors. The partners of the program in New York are Ally Financial, American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Guardian Life, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, New York Life, UBS and Wells Fargo.
Intel recently announced that it would launch a FinTech Innovation lab in collaboration with The Floor, a FinTech hub based at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. As reported by the Jerusalem Post, the venture “is aimed at identifying and developing technological innovations to upend and advance the global financial industry. Some of the technological focus will be devoted to blockchain (the technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin), the Internet of Things (IoT) and biometrics.”
Founder Institute (FI) is an early-stage incubator that has established its presence in 45 countries. It runs its incubator programs in multiple cities in these 45 countries. It also claims an 80% success rate for its startup graduates. Unlike many other incubators, FI takes a fee from applying graduates, profiles them and upon selection for the program; the founder needs to further pay some fees to attend the four-month program. The founders are required to contribute warrants of a certain percentage to the “shared liquidity pool,” 30% of which is shared with the graduates of the particular program. Some of the FinTech startups from this program are Peerby, RealtyMogul and Zipmark.
Gründermaschine is a FinTech incubator that invests in young FinTech companies for up to one year, supporting the living expenses of the founders as well as their startup costs. Founders retain the vast majority of ownership and shares with the incubator acting as an enabler for the business. Gruendermaschine underwrites the legal and administrative expenses for startups so they can solely focus on developing a product. The incubator also offers a business service network that enables startups to run their business.
Gruendermaschine’s network of experts can help entrepreneurs in areas like programming, business modeling, user experience, marketing, branding and finance. Startups get support by leading experts in their field.
Based out of Geneva, FUSION is Switzerland’s FinTech accelerator. FUSION capitalizes on Switzerland’s position as a global hub for financial services as well as its world-beating reputation for innovation to drive the FinTech agenda. FUSION’s aim is to fuse the best of Switzerland with the most promising FinTech talent to lead innovation in financial services. Mentors are drawn from all areas of financial services, such as banking, insurance and commodity trading. The accelerator has an academic sponsorship from some of world’s top engineering research institutes and involvement from venture capital funds, which will syndicate funding.
The Grindstone Accelerator is a structured entrepreneurship development program that assists high-growth innovation-driven companies to become sustainable and fundable. Grindstone supplies 10 companies annually with knowledge, networks and funding readiness through growth measurement, gap analysis and deep interventions designed to build a foundation for growth, transfer skills, create relevant business networks and enable these companies to take advantage of market access opportunities. Business support resources and services will include elements of training, corporate advisory, coaching, mentorship and funding.
Specific interventions for each company include doing a due diligence assessment, building a partner universe, developing pitch decks and teaser documents, financial modeling, intellectual property assessment, strategic and financial valuation as well as populating a data room.
The H2 Ventures Accelerator Program runs for 6 months with 8-10 teams (typically 2-3 entrepreneurs per team) invited to join the Program in each intake. Successful teams will be drawn from around the world and will be based inStone & Chalk in Sydney for the duration of the Program. Applicants are required to demonstrate their ability to deliver a working minimum viable product and initial proof of market within 3-6 months with the aim of raising a Series A round of capital within 6-12 months.
For selected startups, H2 Accelerator will:
- Invest $100,000 ($50,000 cash) in each startup in return for a minority (10%) equity share.
- House startups in our central Sydney CBD office space alongside other startups.
- Assist in establishing a professionally run business that is ready for third party investment.
- Fill any knowledge gaps entrepreneurs may have with its startup development program, supported by visiting industry experts and mentors.
iAccelerate is a University of Wollongong (UOW) business incubator program that helps entrepreneurs to build and grow businesses. iAccelerate is built around a robust educational program, formalized business acceleration monitoring and one-to-one mentoring.
iAccelerate offers innovative businesses the unique opportunity to partner with a university comprising over 30,000 students, 2,000 staff and a significant portfolio of faculties and business units. iAccelerate utilizes a multi-faceted approach to accelerating sustainable business growth to deliver the greatest economic impact. The accelerator offers a two-stream program with up to a three-year incubation period – unique in the Australian startup landscape.
The iHub catalyzes the growth of the Kenyan tech community by connecting people, supporting startups, and surfacing information. iHub is part open community space, a part vector for investors and VCs, and part incubator. “We include all parties in the ecosystem, supporting startups throughout their innovation journey and connecting them with opportunities through our initiatives. We want to be at the forefront of igniting the growth of successful company after successful company.”
The ING FinTech Village is an initiative powered by ING Belgium in strong collaboration with ING Luxembourg, ING Netherlands, the ING Group and other key partners. Innovation Studio is ING FinTech Village’s sister accelerator located in Amsterdam and coordinated by the ING Group. The accelerator is looking for technology-driven startups that offer solutions relevant for financial institutions and/or which can help ING provide superior financial services to its customers. Target startups are close to the proof-of-concept stage, with the intention that they can conduct a proof-of-concept or pilot with ING and/or FinTech Village Partners.
The FinTech Village offers an integration with the business through a mentorship structure that appoints a dedicated lead mentor and a personalized mentor team. Startups participating in the FinTech Village will benefit from hands-on mentoring from senior experts from ING with the goal to implement their solution after a successful proof-of-concept. They will also receive unique access to top-level expertise from leading players such as SWIFT Innotribe, Deloitte, serial entrepreneurs and other partners.
Innotribe is supported by SWIFT and was launched in 2009. It organizes startup challenges every year spanning EMEA, the Americas and APAC. The 2015 Startup Challenge event was held in London, New York, Cape Town and Singapore. The event was open for both early-stage and growth-stage startups at each location. Winners at each location would be hosted at Sibos, Singapore for the Startup Challenge 2015 Finale. Early-stage startups are required to pitch their idea to a large audience of decision-makers of the financial services world while growth-stage startups would host exhibition booths and provide live demos for their products.
JPMorgan recently announced the launch of In-Residence, a program for FinTech startups to sit ‘side by side’ with its businesses in order to develop innovations that could revolutionize the sector, enabling banks to operate faster, safer and at a lower cost. Emerging FinTech companies that become residents will join the bank for six-month periods and have access to the bank’s facilities, systems and expertise. Residents will retain control of their innovations and may receive continued support from the bank even after the residency period in an effort to bring their solutions to market.
The French Retail Banking FinTech Innovation Hub provides startups with tailored banking solutions, drawing on the expertise of specialist Relationship Managers working in close contact with the FinTech ecosystem.
This hub assists FinTechs working in such fields as payments, finance, savings & investment and asset management, or which are planning to bring innovative technology to the banking sector. The Hub also provides its expertise to the network of 14 other BNP Paribas Innovation Hubs to ensure that FinTech startups in France’s various regions are able to benefit from this dedicated support. The FinTech Innovation Hub will also liaise with the Bank’s community of experts so as to foster Open Innovation initiatives.
Launched in 2012, LAUNCHub has invested and committed 7.5 million euros in 60 startups from 10 countries in the SEE region, including Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Croatia, Greece, Slovenia, Ukraine, Austria and Switzerland. The LAUNCHub team works with the founders to provide assistance in many ways other than the investments granted. The fund offers startup teams access to a network consisting of experts, tech vendors, successful entrepreneurs and investors. On a strategic level, LAUNCHub is partnering with Seedcamp and Mozilla WebFWD. LAUNCHub operates under the Entrepreneurship Acceleration and Seed Financial Instrument of the JEREMIE initiative of the EIF and EC.
Level39 is one of Europe’s largest technology accelerators for finance, retail, cybersecurity and future cities technology companies. It was launched in 2012 with the aim of being the largest accelerator for the FinTech space. Recently, UBS had opened an innovation lab at Level39 to focus on blockchain and FinTech innovations. It has 513 individual members, of which 52% are from the UK. The 122 company members in the FinTech space are divided as follows: Data & Analytics: 42, Payments: 25, Crowdfunding: 25; Banking Solutions: 13; Trading: 9 and FX: 8.
Lux Future Lab is a startup incubator based in Luxembourg providing facilities, resources and services to local and international entrepreneurs. Lux future lab is currently home to nearly 30 promising startups, the majority of which fall under FinTech. Their areas of focus include digital security, financial services, social networks, big data, travel, intellectual property, robotics, software development, gaming and more.
Lux future lab accepts applicants who have already set up their business plan and proof of concept. The not-for-profit incubator is fully equipped to support these early-stage businesses during their growth journeys. Lux future lab offers startups workspace, training, networking, consulting and financing services along with access to BNP Paribas startup network: innovation hubs, technology watches & incubators in Paris, Brussels, Rome, San Francisco, Luxembourg, Istanbul & Shanghai. The network includes an extensive pool of experts in IT, finance, technology, asset management & marketing, major corporates & leading experts across the globe.
Main Incubator was formed in 2013 and is run in partnership with Commerzbank in Germany. The program works by accepting invitations from startups. Upon selection, the terms and conditions are set for the startups to enter the program. After four to five months of the initial phase where the team starts building their product with the support (VC funding, office space, and expert know-how) from the incubator, the investment committee reviews the status and decides on further funding.
Mambu, the SaaS banking platform provider, launched its FinTech Startup Program, allowing companies to bring their innovative vision to market faster by leveraging the Mambu platform. The program is designed for startups that are part of selected accelerators and incubators that Mambu has partnered with. Mambu will enable these organizations to build their innovative consumer- or business-focused financing products (like lending and deposits) much faster and cheaper than building the technology fully in-house.
By participating in the program, startups can benefit from cost savings and faster time to market, allowing for the quick launch of new loan and deposit products with market opportunities being approached with minimal risk. The startups will be able to re-focus their engineering efforts on what differentiates them from the competition, better positioning them for growth and funding through the support of Mambu’s scalable core banking platform.
MaRS Innovation (MI) is a non-profit organization that acts on behalf of its members – 15 of Toronto’s top universities, institutions and research institutes, plus the MaRS Discovery District–to bring their most promising research breakthroughs to market.
Its portfolio is built upon a pipeline of over 1,400 IP disclosures from researchers within its member institutions, which collectively receive over $1.47 billion in Canadian research funding each year. MI staff works with inventors and their founding teams to bring these discoveries to global markets through industry partnerships, licensing or startup companies. MaRS provides commercial services, early-stage funding resources and broker deals with industry and private investors.
Created in 2008 as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) by the Networks of Centres of Excellence, MaRS Innovation is supported by its 15 member institutions and by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence.
The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and the MEST Incubator program provide training, investment and mentoring for aspiring technology entrepreneurs with the goal of creating globally successful companies that create wealth and jobs locally in Africa. Established in Ghana in 2008, MEST offers aspiring African entrepreneurs a fully sponsored twelve-month, intensive full-time program. Sourced from top graduates in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya & South Africa, these Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) are selected each year and receive comprehensive training across the spectrum of skills required to build successful tech businesses, including computer programming, software development, product management, finance, marketing, sales and leadership best practices. After completion of the program, the EITs have the opportunity to pitch a concept. Winning teams receive a seed round from the MEST incubator to pursue their idea.
The BizSpark South Africa program offers startups software, support and hosting over a three-year cycle, at no cost to members. The program is designed to help startups through various stages of the product development – from the initial idea right through to an established successful product. Not only do South African startups get all the benefits of the global program, including software and hosting, but also a myriad of enhanced benefits such as business advice, mentoring and technical guidance and more.
muru‐D is the startup accelerator backed by Telstra, which aims to support the very best tech entrepreneurial talent in the Asia-Pacific region. Through providing mentoring, tailored acceleration services and investment to early stage technology companies, muru‐D’s goal is to help Australia and South East Asia become a center for digital business.
NDRC is a Microsoft Ventures partner accelerator and a member of the international Startup Federation. The accelerator is an early stage investor in tech companies. By providing the people, time, space and investment needed at the earliest stages of company creation work, NDRC is building new ventures worthy of commercial investment and with the ability to scale.
NDRC invests primarily using an accelerator model through its NDRC Launchpad, NDRC Catalyser and NDRC VentureLab investment programs, providing modest amounts of capital and high amounts of hands-on support to early-stage companies.
Hatched in 2010, Nest is a full-service, early-stage venture capital firm focused on helping startups and talented founders from around the world build businesses that apply and commercialize innovation. Nest partners with leading corporations to run a series of mentor-driven accelerators. Designed to support the needs of high-potential and fast-growth startups, these programs include a unique mix of resources that enable entrepreneurs to build and scale their businesses rapidly. Nest was founded in Hong Kong and has a presence in Singapore, Nairobi, London, Paris and New York.
nyuko is an independent nonprofit co-supported by public authorities and the business world (public-private partnership). It is an army of dynamic and innovational entrepreneurs, experts, advisors, coaches, mentors, service providers and strategic partners.
nyuko aims at supporting entrepreneurs, taking part in the across-the-board diversification of the economy and encouraging cross-pollination between sectors, in collaboration with the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Nyuko offers three programs of three months, three times a year, dedicated to entrepreneurs willing to kickstart their project.
OneEleven is a post-seed tech accelerator focused on helping Canada’s most promising, high-growth startups commercialize their technologies and scale their operations. The accelerator’s mission is to enable Canada’s best startups to relentlessly focus on value creation and business growth.
OneEleven makes meaningful connections and opens doors to valuable opportunities for its startups, provides turnkey operations including infrastructure, access to computing resources, and a community of the most ambitious tech entrepreneurs in a prime downtown location. The organization also helps companies scale by supporting their efforts in business development, recruitment, fundraising, and professional development.
PayPal’s incubation program develops and nurtures the next generation of FinTech startups, alongside PayPal’s technology center. The incubator provides over 9 months in Singapore:
- Prime co-working space at PayPal’s Singapore Technology Center located at Suntec City.
- Structured learning conducted by experts in the FinTech industry. Finance and technology topics such as risk, compliance, core payment network, channel partnering etc., will be covered in the curriculum.
- Coaching and mentorship by PayPal executives and external business/technical subject matter experts.
- Access to talent from within and outside PayPal.
- Access to funding through PayPal’s network and VC connections.
- An environment which promotes collaboration and innovation, where startups can grow and feed off each other’s energy, creativity and support.
Passion Incubator provides innovative entrepreneurs with the most critical resources to launch lean startups that can grow fast and where success can be quickly institutionalized. Passion Incubator is open to a wide array of entrepreneurs. Anyone with a clear business idea that solves a large scale problem will be considered. Passion Incubator, and its core product development team, will build the initial versions (Minimum Viable Product) for each founder team; enabling the founder teams to focus on business development early so their startups can quickly gain traction.
Plug and Play is one of the world’s largest global technology accelerator and venture funds. Since its inception in 2006, the program has expanded worldwide to include entrepreneurs from 24 countries, providing necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley. With over 350 startups and 300 corporate partners, the accelerator has created the ultimate startup ecosystem. Plug and Play provides active investments with 180 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in their community have raised over $3.5 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk.
QC FinTech Lab provides a 12-week intensive accelerator program with mentors from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Experian, etc. in addition to 12 months of free office space. The lab is based out of Charlotte.
Rise (Barclays Innovation Program)
Through its global network of connected sites in seven of the world’s top FinTech ecosystems (London, Manchester, New York, Vilnius, Cape Town, Tel Aviv, Mumbai), Rise delivers numerous programs that facilitate engagement between Barclays and the Rise community in order to solve some of the biggest challenges facing financial services. These programs foster long-term mutually beneficial relationships, designed to scale early prototypes and new business models into live products and services.
Rockstart gives startups rock-solid support in their first 1000 days. It also offers accelerator programs, pitching events and office/coworking space. Rockstart Accelerator is a 150-to–180-day program for startups to fine-tune their businesses and prepare for international scaling through mentoring, workspace and access to capital.
RockStart is interested in startups that are creating the future, using promising new technologies (AI, Blockchain, sensors) to make a positive impact.
The accelerator offers funding (€15k in investment for an equity stake of 8% per startup, which means no program fees), mentorship, personal & team development, access to global community (events in 18 cities across the globe and a vast network of startups, experts and investors), office in the heart of Amsterdam with 50 other startups (including 3D Hubs, Crowdy House, the Things Network, Undeveloped, Cupenya, Peerby and Konnektid) and much more.
RFI is a for-profit entity that supports startups with hands-on strategic and tactical guidance. The accelerator helps startups with market validation and customer acquisition, provide access to corporate partners, and make seed investments. RFI is connected to The DMZ at Ryerson University, which has incubated more than 125 companies since its launch in 2010. Ryerson Futures helps drive the success of high-potential startups focused on innovative and marketing-changing technology.
Savannah Fund is a seed capital fund specializing in US$25,000–US$500,000 investments in early-stage high-growth technology (web and mobile) startups in sub-Saharan Africa. A key piece of the fund’s overall strategy is to address the skills and experience gap of entrepreneurs in the region through the Accelerator Program. An accelerator program is designed to help emerging entrepreneurs build a company and launch a product. Early-stage companies participate in ‘cohorts’ and be exposed to a program to learn from experienced local and high value and reputable mentors that have built global technology brands that are also very hands on as would be expected by angel investors.
The Scivantage FinTech Incubator Program aims to support and accelerate the launch of the next generation of financial technology products, enabling entrepreneurs and early-stage startups to drive a new era of financial services innovation. At the end of the 12-week incubator program, each of the selected entrepreneurs will present at the Scivantage Incubator Demo Day, where leading FinTech executives and investors will be in attendance.
Through a competitive process, promising entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in the incubator program during each cycle, with each receiving an investment of up to $25,000 in seed capital, sales, marketing and design support, mentorship from a diverse group of seasoned FinTech executives and entrepreneurs and Stevens faculty and more.
Seedcamp is a UK-based venture capital accelerator that offers seed funding to innovative European FinTech startups. Founded in 2007, Seedcamp holds onto its leadership position and helps startups to grow into high-value global companies. The accelerator team believes that even the best founders will increase their chances by drawing on Seedcamp’s Network of expertise across Europe, the US and beyond. Seedcamp network is over 1,000 strong and covers the key functions of product, branding, marketing, sales, biz dev, technology, legal, HR and finance. In addition, they have a network of over 500 Investors consisting of angels, VCs, corporates and crowdfunding platforms.
SIX Group FinTech Accelerator F10 in Zurich was launched in collaboration with FinTech startups to enrich the innovative FinTech ecosystem with dedicated staff, know-how, infrastructure and communities whose task is to drive further developments on Switzerland’s FinTech front and develop new technologies for SIX. The SIX Group is demonstrating its commitment to innovation with the Swiss FinTech Award. Award applicants have a chance at a cash prize and access to a complete FinTech ecosystem including boot camp, training and networking opportunities.
Backed by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and venture capital firm Cultivation Capital, SixThirty is a business development accelerator that invests up to $100,000 in a handful of FinTech startups each year. The companies selected to take part in the accelerator program receive hands-on training, mentoring, and networking opportunities with the top financial services companies in the region.
Spark Labs is a collaborative ecosystem and US expansion hub to fast-track startups from around the world. Spark Labs is a community that is focused on collaboration, innovation, and its network. Aside from space, Spark Labs’ ecosystem provides various levels of membership, innovative startups get access to funding, mentors, networking, workshops, events, and benefits from the Labs’ various technology and operations partners.
Springlab is a technology incubator and Joint Venture partner headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. The lab supplies a seed capital and resources to qualifying startups, supports core functions (marketing, software development, and administrative functions) so entrepreneurs can focus on executing their idea and offers state-of-the-art office space in Cape Town among other benefits.
Start it @kbc supports and promotes innovative and scalable enterprise and has more than 445 startups to the largest startup community in Belgium. The community builds close partnerships with organizations and companies that work with the same pay-it-forward mentality. Start it @kbc builds an ecosystem and dynamic network of early-stage startups, scale-ups, incubators, accelerators, mentors, VCs, supporting partners and strategic partners.
The community has hubs in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt, Leuven, Kortrijk and New York and a strong commitment to internationalization in Europe and the United States.
Start Path Global is based on what has worked best for MasterCard’s portfolio of startups: more flexibility, more customization, and no distractions from current business. There is no need to move from home location, there is no equity taken up front, startups get immediate access to 60+ MasterCard experts and 20+ Global Corporates, they own any IP that they create, and MasterCard even provides companies with funds so that they have no out of pocket expenses.
STARTUP 90 manages sector-based Accelerator Programs. The Startup Accelerator Program is a three-month accelerator program that assists companies to bring technological innovations to market, validate products and gain traction. The Startup Accelerator Program primary focus is on startup and early-stage businesses.
As the company states on the official website, “We are looking for exceptional businesses that are using technological innovations to solve challenges in their communities and countries. We manage sector-focused accelerator programs in the Finance, Healthcare, Agriculture & Energy sectors.” The accelerator’s core services to high-growth businesses include the following: growth strategy, mentorship, business development support and business linkages.
Startupbootcamp (SBC) is a global network of industry-focused accelerators. It helps startups to go global by giving them direct access to an international network of the most relevant partners, investors and mentors in their sector.Startupbootcamp started in 2010 and now operates globally with 11 accelerator programs and eight locations in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Istanbul, London, Barcelona, Miami, New York and Singapore.
The Startupbootcamp FinTech Accelerator has some notable sponsors for the local FinTech event: London (Mastercard, Lloyds Banking Group, Rabobank, PWC, Intesa Sanpaolo, Route 66 Ventures, Arvato Bertelsmann, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, MyOrder, Cognito, DLL Financial Solutions Partner and MJ Hudson), Singapore (Mastercard, Route 66 Ventures, Intesa Sanpaolo, Infocomm Investments, PWC, Jungle Ventures, Estellion, Pix Vine Capital and DBS).
SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator is a program dedicated to both startups and scale-up global FinTech companies aiming to capture the Asian growth market. The program leverages on Hong Kong’s traditional strength as Asia’s finance and technology gateway.
SuperCharger has designed a structured curriculum to create success. The accelerator assists with company building, mentorship and advice in areas such as market entry, regulatory obligations and joint ventures opportunities. The program itself coincides with the peak time of financial and start-up activity in Hong Kong. At the end of the program, participants will have a chance to pitch to investors and potential partners at the Investor Demo Day and the invite-only Demo Day.
Sw7 (Start with Seven) is the largest mentor-led tech innovation accelerator in Africa with over 85 tech founder CEOs mentoring, creating access to market & to funders. The accelerator provides regular meetups in addition to group & individual mentoring sessions. Sw7 has partnered with Microsoft BizSpark & Standard Bank Incubator to offer Sw7 Accelerate for Technology & high growth Innovation markets at Workshop17, The V&A, Waterfront, Cape Town.
T-Hub is a unique public/private partnership between the government of Telangana, 3 of India’s premier academic institutes (IIIT-H, ISB & NALSAR) and key private sector leaders. It stands at the intersection of the startup, academic, corporate, research and government sectors.
T-Hub is designed for technology-related startups, and its mission is to catalyze the creation of one of the tightest and most vibrant entrepreneur communities in the world in order to encourage and fuel more startup success stories in India.
T-Hub work with an extensive network of partners to help entrepreneurs launch and scale innovative companies. It equips innovators and organizations alike with the entrepreneurship skills required to succeed, using methodologies that transcend traditional learning. T-Hub links, educates and promotes all entrepreneurship-related stakeholders in Hyderabad and Telangana, including startups, investors, incubators and accelerators, research centres, startup resources etc. in order to facilitate faster connections between talent, ideas and capital.
Tech City UK provides a platform for digital technology businesses to be established in the UK. They provide support for startups, established businesses and budding entrepreneurs. As part of its goal to support new business idea/entrepreneurs, they have a program called ‘Digital Business Academy’ in partnership with Cambridge University Judge Business School, University College London and digital skills experts Founder Centric. They provide the know-how for a digital business that helps one to start, grow or join a digital business. Another program, Future Fifty, supports 50 UK-based companies to scale their business.
Frankfurt-based TechQuartier serves as a focal access point to the startup and FinTech community in the largest financial center in continental Europe. HIPA, a program ran by TechQuartier, is a 3-month business challenge where Israeli and German entrepreneurs team up to solve challenges faced by German companies in the financial service industry. The program targets students and young professionals (5 years after graduation) from Israel and Hesse. It partners with companies from the financial services and insurance industry from Frankfurt Rhine-Main.
Techstars provides location-specific and function-specific accelerator programs. It also partners with other global accelerators to provide its expertise (e.g. Barclays London Accelerator). While it is not a pure play FinTech accelerator, they do host a lot of FinTech companies as part of their larger portfolio. (e.g. The Gone App, AppInside, Stagelink, Localytics, etc.). Some of its local sponsors are SAP, Lowe’s, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Lakewest Venture Partners, Fried Frank Technology, Google Cloud Platform, Orrick, Foley Hoag LLP, and more.
The OCBC FinTech Accelerator, powered by NEST, is a mentor-driven program designed to help entrepreneurs build the financial technology companies of the future, faster and more efficiently. Run from a dedicated space in Singapore, up to eight startups are selected to join the full-time 12-week program.
Through this program we’ll provide mentorship from carefully selected business leaders and experts, not only in FinTech but also in funding, marketing, PR, scaling, running concepts, pilot testing and more. OCBC will support the companies accepted into the program by providing mentors, visibility and network opportunities. Founders will also benefit from Nest’s global network of investors, corporates and startups.
The Watson Centre at Marina Bay in Singapore by IBM is an incubator designed to bring together organizations of all sizes, business partners and IBM experts to co-create business solutions that leverage IBM’s cognitive, blockchain and design capabilities.
Watson Centre at Marina Bay will act as a center of expertise for almost 5,000 IBM cognitive solutions professionals in the Asia-Pacific region alone, including researchers, IBM Watson specialists, data scientists, software engineers, agile developers and analytics experts. It will also offer education, hackathons, and customized workshops for a broader ecosystem of innovators including software companies, startups, developers and systems integrators.
The mission of ValueStream is to accelerate the adoption of new technologies in the financial services industry. ValueStream fosters a community of customers, professionals, and investors, and partner with emerging technology-enabled financial services startups, with a strong focus on companies that target the Professional (B2P), Institutional (B2I), and Enterprise (B2B) spaces.
ValueStream’s process focuses on customer and product development. For companies that are past the ‘man with a plan’ stage, ValueStream combines a customer feedback and industry mentor-driven model to enable its portfolio companies to move beyond a working prototype into the sustainable customer base stage – typically in preparation for a growth inflection point.
The VC FinTech Accelerator’s 12-week rigorous program is designed to accelerate the growth of early-stage FinTech startups through detailed business development; compliance, regulatory, security and risk management guidance; technology development and specialized financial services content. In addition, it will work with portfolio companies to build a solid, investable model to support founders in seeking additional funding.
Wayra is a Telefónica’s startup accelerator that helps the best entrepreneurs grow and build successful businesses. Wayra’s accelerator program provides funding up to $50,000, an incredible place to work, mentors, business partners, access to a global network of talent and the opportunity to reach millions of Telefónica customers.
The Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator is a six-month program which is run twice a year. The 2015 event witnessed over 300 applications out of which three startups were selected: Bracket Computing, Context360 and MotionSavvy. Startups who have previously participated in the program include EyeVerify, Kasisto and Zumigo.
XNode incubates ideas and accelerates startups & entrepreneurs, connecting them to an international and local (Shanghai) network of mentors, experts, partners, VCs, corporations and institutions looking for the next Unicorns.
With XNode, startups receive access to 5 office locations in Shanghai and the community of 70+ startups. XNode organizes 3 to 4 events a week: lectures, networking & focused workshops for small teams. Every 2 months, top investors judge most promising startups. The incubator offers access to the community of VC partners, incubators and reputable mentors.
Y Combinator is a seed funding organization which invests small amounts in selected startups. They run two cycles every year, once from January–March and once from June–August. The three-month event ends with the Demo Day where startups present to an audience of global startup investors. While this is not a pure play FinTech accelerator, among the more than 800 startups that it has funded since 2005, around 7–8% (~60 companies) are from the FinTech space.
First appeared at LTP