Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and 14 leading financial institutions have opened the application period for the third annual FinTech Innovation Lab London, a 12-week mentoring program that helps early and growth stage financial technology entrepreneurs accelerate product development and gain exposure to leading financial industry executives.
Entrepreneurs developing potentially game-changing technologies for financial services – particularly in the areas of Big Data and analytics, mobile and wireless, payments, risk management, security, compliance, and social media and collaboration technologies – are invited to apply from now through September 14, 2014 at fintechinnovationlablondon.co.uk.
This year, Nationwide and Santander have joined in support of the Lab. They, alongside a dozen other major institutions – including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, RBS, and UBS – will help select the Lab's seven participating entrepreneurs and provide senior-level mentoring throughout the program.
Richard Lumb, Group Chief Executive-Financial Services at Accenture said: "We are delighted by the growth and progress of the Lab and welcome Santander and Nationwide as its newest supporters. The growing momentum behind the program shows the value of technology innovation in financial services and the great opportunity London has to lead in this category. We look forward to hearing from the talented young entrepreneurs across the UK and Europe who wish to participate in this year's program."
The FinTech Innovation Lab London is also supported by the Mayor of London, the City of London Corporation and the UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board. Other supporting organizations include Euclid Opportunities, The Greater London Authority and UK Business Angels Association.
Tony Prestedge, Chief Operating Officer, Nationwide Building Society commented: "The FinTech Lab is a great way for us to support a culture of innovation and to back a new generation of entrepreneurs from across Europe. Nationwide has a strong history of innovation – both as a leader in online banking and more recently in areas like mobile banking and digital wallets. Supporting the Innovation Lab is one of the ways we are investing in, and implementing cutting-edge technology to improve customer choice and service. I'm excited to be involved in the development of the next generation of technology."
Santander UK Executive Director Victor Matarranz commented: "The UK is a global leader in financial innovation. Just last month, Santander launched its own fintech fund to build on our philosophy of collaboration and partnership with small and startup companies at Santander. So we know how important their work is and we are very proud to be involved in this mentoring program, which will provide invaluable experience and access to industry expertise for these fintech entrepreneurs."
The FinTech Innovation Lab London
The Lab is looking for cutting-edge technologies for the financial services sector in the United Kingdom, Europe and internationally.
• Chief technology officers and senior technology executives from the financial institutions will select seven entrepreneurs to participate in the Lab through a competitive process. To be accepted, applicants must have at least a beta version of their technology available, and demonstrate that access to senior-level executives at financial services firms would have a meaningful impact on the company's growth prospects. Lab participants from outside London are required to relocate to the city during the program and are provided workspace
• The Lab consists of a twelve-week program, in which participants are partnered with senior-level bank executives and successful technology entrepreneurs who will help them fine-tune and develop their technologies and business strategies through a series of workshops, panel discussions, user-group sessions, networking opportunities, one-on-one meetings and presentations
• It culminates with an Investor Day presentation by all six participants in front of an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives in April 2015.
The previous participants in the FinTech Innovation Lab London include BehavioSec, Calltrunk, Digital Shadows, Erudine, FinGenius, Growth Intelligence, Kiboo, Logical Glue, Open Bank Project, PhotoPay, PixelPin, Squirro, uTrade and Waratek. The alumni companies have raised more than $10 million in venture financing since participating in the program.
The Lab is modeled on a similar program that was co-founded by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City in 2010. The New York Lab's 24 alumni companies have raised more than $76 million in venture financing after participating in the program; one participant was acquired for $175 million. In June 2013, Accenture launched the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong. Global investment in fintech ventures has more than tripled from $928 million in 2008 to $2.97 billion in 2013, according to a March report released by Accenture.