Kiwibank has partnered with Xero, Callaghan Innovation and Creative HQ to launch New Zealand's first fintech accelerator.
Based in Wellington, the programme will initially fund and support eight Kiwi fintech startups to build, launch and expand products in global markets.
The 14-week mentor-intensive programme is based on the accelerator model developed by TechStars in the United States and deployed by Barclays Bank.
Kiwibank chief executive Paul Brock points to a March PwC report which estimates that 83% of financial services companies surveyed believed their business was at risk of disruption from fintech companies.
“Because we’re a major bank uniquely focused on the New Zealand market, it’s important to us that New Zealand has a strong, local fintech community, ensuring our financial services sector continues to evolve and grow,” says Brock. “For Kiwibank, supporting a fintech accelerator will help drive our own internal innovation agenda, both with Kiwibank teams taking part, and also the chance for our culture to be influenced by what our people see in the accelerator programme."