Applications are open for New York’s fourth annual FinTech Innovation Lab, a 12-week program that helps early- and growth-stage financial technology innovators accelerate product development by gaining exposure to top-level financial industry executives and venture capitalists. The Lab was co-founded by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and the Partnership Fund for New York City. Applications are available at www.fintechinnovationlab.com and are due by December 6, 2013.
The Lab has gained momentum with the rising investment in the fintech sector in recent years. According to CB Insights, there was more venture and private-equity investment in New York’s fintech sector in the first half of 2013 than in all of 2012, which was the biggest year on recent record. On a global basis, annual venture investment in the fintech sector has nearly tripled since 2008, with more than $9 billion invested over five years.
“Fintech investment is growing rapidly, but entrepreneurs face the same headwinds in bringing new ideas to market,” said James D. Robinson III, co-founder and general partner of RRE Ventures, which supports the FinTech Innovation Lab along with Bain Capital Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, and Warburg Pincus. “It is often a struggle for ventures to penetrate large, heavily-regulated institutions and to meet the product standards and procurement processes necessary to be ready for prime-time at banks. The FinTech Innovation Lab helps solve this problem.”
“Tech startups are plentiful in New York, but often face a tall challenge when trying to get their products in front of established companies – especially in the financial services sector,” said Kevin P. Ryan, a New York entrepreneur and board member of the Partnership Fund for New York City. “By offering direct mentoring and access to top decision makers at banks, the FinTech Innovation Lab offers a unique product and business development advantage.”“The Partnership Fund and Accenture have created a fast-track for fintech entrepreneurs looking to validate their products and strategies,” said Fred Wilson, Managing General Partner of Union Square Ventures and member of the Partnership Fund’s board. “After its third successful year, the Lab has shown that the networking opportunities it opens up for entrepreneurs targeting Wall Street go well beyond the twelve-week program itself.”