Applications are now being accepted for the FinTech Innovation Lab New York, a 12-week program co-founded by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and the Partnership Fund for New York City that helps early- and growth-stage fintech companies accelerate product and business development through in-depth collaboration with top financial services and venture capital firms.
The FinTech Innovation Lab is designed for entrepreneurs developing disruptive enterprise technologies for the financial services industry, including the banking, insurance and asset management sectors. Now in its 10th year, the Lab has helped established New York City as a fintech hub for enterprise technology innovation. Applications for the 2020 class are available at www.fintechinnovationlabnyc.com and are due by Monday, Dec. 2. An information session will be held for applicants on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Based on feedback from senior executives at participating financial institutions, this year’s Lab is seeking companies leveraging innovative technologies — including artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, mobile and robotic process automation — and building end-to-end solutions around five major areas:
- Cloud: Including cloud management, migration and security;
- Data: Alternative data sources to improve underwriting analytics, as well as tools for data management, governance, privacy and visualization;
- Digitization: Automating and scaling internal processes to drive operational and engineering efficiencies;
- Engagement: Tools focused on clients, employees or agents, including for customer acquisition and experience, product customization, predictive analytics and talent development; and
- Security: Solutions focused on cyber, risk and identity management, and fraud.
“When we established the FinTech Innovation Lab 10 years ago, few financial institutions were sourcing technology in New York. Now there is a rich ecosystem of fintech entrepreneurs, venture dollars and corporate engagement here that has enabled fintechs to scale and create jobs locally. New York is now a leading center of fintech — particularly for enterprise solutions,” said Maria Gotsch, co-founder of the FinTech Innovation Lab and president and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City.
Through a competitive process, a mix of fintech and insurtech chief technology officers and senior technology executives from the 43 participating financial institutions will select companies to participate in the 2020 Lab, which begins in April 2020. In recent years, financial institutions have favored more-mature companies, with average capital raised for the 2019 Lab companies exceeding $13 million.
Applicants must have at least a working beta version of their technology that is ready to be tested for either the institutional or retail market. The Lab will partner the selected fintech entrepreneurs with senior-level bank, insurance and wealth management executives, who will help them develop and refine their technologies and business strategies through a series of one-on-one meetings, panel discussions, user-group sessions and networking opportunities.
The Lab culminates in June 2020 with Demo Day, where participants will present to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives at an event hosted at the Bank of America Tower at Bryant Park.
“The evolution of artificial intelligence, blockchain and extended reality capabilities is bringing a new wave of enterprise transformation — helping financial institutions harness new data sources to improve the customer experience, digitize and refine their operations to create new efficiencies, and engage customers with more personalized and differentiated offerings,” said David Treat, a managing director in the Financial Services practice of Accenture, which co-founded the Lab. “It often takes a team approach to capitalize on these technologies, and we anticipate an exciting round of fintech and insurtech innovations for this year’s class as well as continued industry collaboration.”
“We have increasingly seen international companies participate in the Lab as a way to enter the U.S. market and build partnerships with New York financial institutions. In addition, post-Series A and B companies have found the Lab to be a helpful platform for collaborating with banks & insurance companies and receiving feedback on new use cases to accelerate business development efforts and ultimately product adoption,” said Sunny Parikh, director of the FinTech Innovation Lab New York.
“New York City offers an unparalleled mix of talent, customers, and capital across retail, commercial, and institutional markets. FinTech Collective is pleased to support the FinTech Innovation Lab bringing 20 years of fintech experience as entrepreneurs and investors, from formation to IPO and exit,” said Brooks Gibbins, managing partner of NYC-based venture capital firm, FinTech Collective.
“Even for an entrepreneur going on to found their second or third startup, relationships established as part of the FinTech Innovation Lab generate real value. Getting selected for the program boosted the credibility of our work and many of the executives and mentors we met continue to champion our company even after graduating,” said Jordan Brandt, co-founder and CEO of Inpher.
“Zurich joins Accenture and the Partnership Fund in encouraging innovative tech entrepreneurs to get involved in the 2020 FinTech Innovation Lab New York,” said Paul Horgan, head of U.S. Commercial Insurance for Zurich North America. “This is an opportunity for them to work with the financial services industry — including the banking, insurance and asset management sectors — in the development of innovative products and services that can meet the needs of businesses now and in the future.”
“As a London-based company with strong market presence in the U.K., breaking into the U.S. was critical for our continued growth,” said Ky Nichol, CEO of Cutover. “The Lab helped us make the meaningful connections we needed to grow here and now we are scaling and hiring people in New York.”
“The 2014 FinTech Innovation Lab gave us unparalleled access to the inner workings of leading global financial institutions,” said Hicham Oudghiri, CEO and co-founder of Enigma. “This experience taught us not only how to navigate, but how to understand and engage with these institutions to build products that can impact the industry at scale.”
“Aon’s collaboration with the FinTech Innovation Lab is a great source of innovative ideas and capabilities. By bringing together an ecosystem, catalyzed by New York City entrepreneurs, with our senior business leaders we will identify solutions to fulfil our clients’ strategic goals across risk, retirement and health,” said Steve Petrevski, SVP and head of enterprise analytics, Innovation & Partnerships, Aon.
“For entrepreneurs building digitally native companies in the financial services space, there is no more fertile ground for ideation and partnership than the FinTech Innovation Lab. The program creates an environment for collaboration and openness with financial institutions and VCs that is unlike any accelerator or incubator program anywhere,” said Tom Ryan, Partner, Anthemis Group.
Since its founding in 2010, the New York FinTech Innovation Lab has provided entrepreneurs from 69 technology companies with mentoring and access to CEOs, CTOs and CIOs from more than 40 financial and insurance institutions, as well as leading venture capitalists and technology luminaries.
Previous participants include Digital Asset Holdings, a provider of distributed ledger technology-based solutions; Enigma, which transforms disparate data into applicable intelligence; and Pymetrics, which applies proven neuroscience games and cutting-edge artificial intelligence to reinvent the way companies attract and retain talent. Program graduates have created more than 1,100 jobs and raised more than US$1 billion in venture financing after participating in the program; seven participants have been acquired.
Among the 43 participating institutions providing mentoring and guidance for this year’s applicants are:
AIG; AllianceBernstein; American Express; Aon; AQR Capital Management; AXA XL; Bank of America; Barclays; BlackRock; BNP Paribas; BNY Mellon; Capital One; Chubb; CIT; Citi; Credit Suisse; Deutsche Bank; Fidelity Investments; Global Atlantic; Goldman Sachs; Guardian Life; JPMorgan Chase; KeyBank; Marsh & McLennan; Mastercard; Morgan Stanley; New York Life; NFP; Rabobank; RBC Capital Markets; Société Générale; Synchrony; The D.E. Shaw Group; The Hartford; The Travelers Companies; TIAA; U.S. Bank; UBS; Wells Fargo; and Zurich North America. Supporting venture-capital firms include: Anthemis; Bain Capital Ventures; Canaan; Contour Venture Partners; FinTech Collective; Nyca Partners; Oak HC/FT; Rho Ventures; RRE Ventures; and Warburg Pincus.
About the Partnership Fund for New York City
The Partnership Fund for New York City is the $170 million investment arm of the Partnership for New York City, New York’s leading business organization. The Fund’s mission is to engage the City’s business leaders to identify and support promising entrepreneurs — in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors – to create jobs, spur new business and expand opportunities for New Yorkers to participate in the City’s economy. As an “evergreen” fund, realized gains are continuously reinvested. The Partnership Fund Board is led by co-chairs Charles R. Kaye and Tarek Sherif. Maria Gotsch, president and CEO, leads the team. More information about the Fund can be found at www.partnershipfundnyc.org/.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 492,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.