Accenture invites applications for Asia Pacific accelerator

Source: Accenture

Applications will soon open for Asia-Pacific’s fourth annual FinTech Innovation Lab, Accenture’s (ACN) 12-week program that helps early- and growth-stage fintech companies accelerate product and business development by gaining exposure to top financial institution executives.

Applications can be made at between April 24, 2017 and May 31, 2017.

Investments in Asia-Pacific fintech companies are on the rise: during the first quarter of 2017, investments totaled $1.1 billion, representing 21% of the $5.1 billion invested into fintech companies globally, based on Accenture analysis of CB Insights data.

“Fintech isn’t new or hot, it’s a basic requirement; it has to be a part of standard operating procedures for financial institutions today because if you’re not innovating you’re not keeping pace with what your customers want and you need to do for your business,” said Jon Allaway, senior managing director at Accenture and the executive sponsor of the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific. “But startups still struggle to meet senior executives of financial institutions unless they get an introduction through programs like our Lab.”

The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific is for entrepreneurs that are developing cutting-edge and disruptive technologies for the financial services sector - particularly in the areas of big data; analytics and cognitive computing; security and identity management; risk management and compliance; digital marketing and social media; cloud; payments; blockchain technology; talent management; and, Internet of Things applications.

Chief technology officers and senior technology executives from the financial institutions will select up to eight of the applying fintech companies to participate in the Lab through a competitive process and will then provide them with intensive in-person mentoring in Hong Kong.

The principal financial institutions are: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Macquarie Group, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Societe Generale, Sun Life Financial. In addition, supporting financial institutions and investment firms include: China CITIC Bank International, China Construction Bank, Manulife, Maybank, Point72 Asset Management, Siam Commercial Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG).

Applicants must have a working beta version of their technology. The Lab, which begins on August 21, 2017, will partner the chosen fintech entrepreneurs with senior-level financial institution executives and leading technology entrepreneurs, to 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. Cyberport, which houses the largest fintech community in Hong Kong, will provide work space to participating entrepreneurs, and J Plus Hotel by YOO will assist with accommodations. The Lab culminates in November 2017 with a Demo Day presentation by selected participants in front of an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.

“The program provides an excellent opportunity for start-ups in Asia Pacific to connect to our global financial and technology expertise,” said Simon Lucocq, head of Asia-Pacific technology & operations at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “As a global financial institution, we’re investing US$3 billion in technology growth initiatives - specifically in digital, mobile and online platforms. Here in Asia Pacific, we believe we can play a valuable role in fostering start-ups to be sustainable and successful companies.”

“HSBC is committed to participating in and enriching the fintech ecosystem in Hong Kong. Fintech is one of the key pillars supporting the growth of this important international financial centre,” said Raymond Cheng, HSBC’s chief operating officer for Asia-Pacific. “During the past three years, we have mentored dozens of start-up and new technology companies, offered expert advice on their fintech services and products and performed proof-of-concept on their cutting-edge technologies in the banking environment. Working with these companies, we have launched innovative ways to make banking faster, easier and safer.”

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