Standard Chartered has selected the first eight companies to participate in a fintech accelerator programme run in conjunction with Chinese Web giant Baidu in Hong Kong.
The shortlisted companies were handpicked by the bank following a roadshow that visited London, New York, Tel Aviv, Singapore and Beijing, meeting 160 applicants from more than 20 countries along the way.
Standard Chartered’s regional CIO for Greater China, North Asia and Hong Kong, Ericson Chan, says: “This programme brings together a high calibre group of cohorts with expertise in data analytics, peer-to-peer lending, artificial intelligence, microcredit solutions and microfinance as well as digital payments. With our strategic location adjacent to the world’s largest fintech market, China, we aim to help them to scale and leapfrog into their next stage of development.”
Four of the finalists are in their early stages of development; with the other four being later-stage growth companies. The programme has been structured to place both tracks in a single programme to encourage an exchange of ideas and promote the potential for strategic partnerships.
During the programme which will culminate in April 2016, all eight finalists will be based in Hong Kong at the TusParkHK Innovation Hub. a co-working space which has successfully incubated 19 publicly-listed companies. The finalists will receive coaching and mentoring from Baidu’s technologists, Standard Chartered’s bankers as well as venture capitalists and industry experts to "refine their business model, develop market entry strategies, navigate the regulatory landscape and identify joint ventures opportunities".
New business ideas will be pitched to the public at a Demo Day which will be held on 8 April 2016 in Hong Kong. Selected businesses will also be given an opportunity to take part in an international roadshow by Innovate Finance and Digital Finance Institute at the end of the scheme.