BMO Harris Bank is joining forces with Chicago-based incubator 1871 to launch a women's fintech mentoring programme.
BMO Harris and 1871 have been running an innovation programme since 2017 but this year have pivoted to focus on women, citing a Crunchbase report which shows that just 20% of global startups raising their first funding round in 2019 had a female founder.
Open to US fintech startups with a female founder or co-founder, WMN•FINtech is a three-month mentoring programme with guidance from BMO Harris experts. Firms also get four months of membership and working space at 1871, and the chance to pitch to venture capital investors.
Niamh Kristufek, head, US business banking, BMO Harris Bank, says: "Women face unique challenges when running any business, especially startups. We designed this year's program to help women innovators and entrepreneurs overcome barriers and bring new ideas to market."
Interested firms have until 11 May to apply for one of up to five places.