Fintech incubators and accelerators have been growing quite substantially, both in quantity and in quality, over the past few years. These are the players that play a key role in the development and maturation of the financial technology ecosystem, in a market that’s still very much volatile, to help out startups by offering seed funding, connection to mentors and investors, and in many cases also a place to work that founders can use during the incubation period. We previously published a post focusing on fintech accelerators operating in Europe, now we broaden our horizons by compiling this updated list with the most interesting ones in the whole world.
F10 is a Zurich based incubator and accelerator supporting fintech startups aiming to scale their operations. They already have a proven track record of innovation, acceleration, and product creation for financial services. Working with SIX, the Swiss stock exchange and other primary financial institutions, they give fintech firms access to know-how, resources and contacts, thus enabling them to collaborate with international finance organizations.
Accelerator run by Barclays in partnership with TechStars, based on an intense programme with dedicated teams in London, New York and Tel Aviv. What they are looking for are startups with capability in machine learning, lending, digital banking solutions, trading, cybersecurity, data analytics, payments, cryptocurrency, insurance and wealth management (that’s pretty broad!), along with a great team committed to develop the company in a full-time 13-weeks programme at their accelerator locations. What they offer in exchange is guidance from top professionals at Barclays, mentoring from leading entrepreneurs and fintech experts, as well as a place to work in their coworking space, with access to technical expertise and the opportunity to pitch the business to their community. Last but not least, some corporate perks and up to $120,000 investment from TechStars.
One of the top startup accelerators in the world, Y Combinator invests seed money, up to $150k, twice a year in a large number of startups. The selected startups need to move to Silicon Valley for three intense months of acceleration, that culminate in a demo day, when startups have the opportunity to pitch their company to an invite-only audience consisting of international investors and entrepreneurs. Their programme is not specifically about fintech, but they have selected a significant number of financial technology companies in the past few years, including, for example, Stripe, FundersClub and GoCardless.
An initiative powered by ING, with the mission of accelerating tech in financial services. In each acceleration batch, they look for fintech startups that offer a solution to one of the following 4 challenges:
- Instant bank – providing personal experiences driven by data analytics, IoT & AI (chatbots and robo-advisors indicated as examples);
- Secure bank – solutions in the biometrics, cybersecurity, regtech and risk modelling;
- Business bank – solutions offering financial services for SMEs focusing on data insights, risk modelling and business financial management;
- Open bank – looking for solutions that help to go beyond the financial services as we know them today.
The seven to ten startups selected for each batch have the opportunity to attend master classes and work on the concrete development of a proof-of-concept or a proof-of-value with a top tier bank.
Plug and Play Tech Center is an international startup accelerator headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. Their Plug and Play Fintech 12-week program runs two times a year connecting the best fintech startups with established financial institutions. The program launched in 2015 and has accelerated more than 200 financial technology startups since then, investing in more than 50 of those. Started in Silicon Valley, the program has now expanded all over the world, with new offices in New York City, Paris, Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore, and Shanghai.
Different from other accelerators and incubators but still interesting and worth exploring, Fintech Sandbox is a Boston-based nonprofit that has a clear focus on all things data. They run a 6-month program providing access to data feeds and APIs from their industry-leading data partners as well as cloud hosting from top infrastructure partners, and more. Started by a group of fintech entrepreneurs and investors in Boston who wanted to solve the problem posed by the high costs and inaccessibility of data for fintech startups, they can now count on a good range of partners including data providers, leading financial institutions and venture capitalists, that work together helping entrepreneurs to develop and scale their startups.