MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, will launch its newest vertical accelerator to support and grow startups in the financial technology (FinTech) industry.
Headquartered in Boston, MassChallenge FinTech will match later-stage FinTech startups with industry leaders to accelerate the emerging products and services that have the power to transform the financial services ecosystem.
Startups selected for MassChallenge FinTech will participate in a six-month long, vertical accelerator where they will work closely with a leading partner on a range of activities from co-development and product validation to strategic investment and advisor introductions. At the end of the program, the enterprise-ready startups have the opportunity to win a portion of $250,000 in zero equity cash prizes.
To lead its newest program, MassChallenge has named Devon Sherman as Program Director of MassChallenge FinTech. Prior to joining MassChallenge, Devon was a global strategist at State Street Corporation in its Boston, New York, and London offices where she partnered with C-suite executives to source and evaluate FinTech startups for partnership opportunities, drove research for market entry and expansion opportunities, and developed competitive intelligence. Devon is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and a graduate of Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Ignite program.
MassChallenge FinTech is supported by a public-private partnership that includes founding partners Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Putnam Investments, Fidelity Investments, Citizens Bank, John Hancock, and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP). It has been endorsed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and is partnering closely with FinTech Sandbox. MassChallenge FinTech is now actively seeking additional “challenge” partners to participate in the program and has already received commitment from Eastern Bank.
Together, MassChallenge FinTech and its partners will help accelerate innovation in the financial services industry by making it easier for startups and established businesses, institutions and organizations to work together.
“Massachusetts is home to a nation-leading innovation economy with tremendous access to top-notch talent and capital,” said Governor Charlie Baker. "Initiatives like MassChallenge FinTech will help ensure entrepreneurs launching Massachusetts-based financial technology ventures have the support they need to grow and positively impact the Commonwealth.”
"I am thrilled to see MassChallenge translate its successful accelerator model to drive growth and creativity to two of Boston's largest and most notable industries," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Given Boston's strong reputation in financial services, our entrepreneurial talent, and collaborative business ecosystem, I am excited to see MassChallenge's FinTech accelerator produce strong and innovative technology."
“MACP is excited to continue our partnership with MassChallenge to develop a financial and insurance technology lab. Based on our successful digital health lab, PULSE@MassChallenge, we are confident that the FinTech lab will drive technological innovation and growth in financial services, one of the Commonwealth's most prominent and critical industries. The success of this lab will give Massachusetts' financial services players a competitive edge in the global market," said Dan O’Connell, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.
“We are extremely proud to be a founding partner of this critical effort, as MassMutual has long supported groundbreaking initiatives in financial services,” said Michael R. Fanning, Head of MassMutual U.S., and an Executive Sponsor of MassChallenge FinTech. “Massachusetts, specifically Boston, is at the forefront of cultivating talent and promoting startups. The launch of this FinTech accelerator will enable the development of new and innovative products and solutions, further solidifying the Commonwealth’s position as a true financial services leader – not only in the U.S., but around the world.”
“Financial technology will increasingly play a critical role in how an array of financial products, services and information are delivered to -- and consumed by -- the marketplace,” said Robert L. Reynolds, President and Chief Executive Officer, Putnam Investments. “Entrepreneurship and start-up initiatives will continue to be the lifeblood of FinTech, and to that end, Putnam Investments is pleased to partner with MassChallenge in launching a powerful new effort to drive advancement in this important area.”
"Collaborating with emerging companies is a channel for us to push the boundaries, think of new ways to innovate and learn from companies that do things differently,” said Amy Danforth, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Services at Fidelity Investments. “We’re looking forward to the possibilities inherent in collaboration and to gaining new perspectives on our specific business challenges.”
“The City of Boston is growing at an incredible rate, which brings immense opportunity and some challenges. It’s exciting to see MassChallenge harness this evolution in support of FinTech startups and businesses building mutually beneficial relationships that will ensure future success in our community,” said Steve Dorval, head of advice and innovation at John Hancock. “At John Hancock, we are proud to be a founding partner for this effort and look forward to lending our experience and resources to entrepreneurs who, like us, seek to make lives better in our hometown and beyond.”
“This partnership with MassChallenge is a step forward in our ongoing effort to seize the great potential of digital banking,” said Beth Johnson, CMO and Head of Virtual Channels at Citizens Bank. “The financial services technology ecosystem is constantly transforming and leveraging the best FinTech expertise is critical to ensuring our customers can realize its full promise.”
“We enable FinTech entrepreneurs to build robust products by providing access to critical data, development tools and community. Given the alignment of our missions, we’re excited to be working side by side with MassChallenge FinTech to ensure entrepreneurs are armed with the resources they need to address the greatest challenges facing financial services," said Jean Donnelly, Executive Director of FinTech Sandbox.
"For early-stage startups, MassChallenge affords access to some of the leading players in the fintech space – both locally and globally,” said Mike Massaro, CEO of MassChallenge alumni Flywire. “The ability to collaborate with these companies as strategic partners, investors, and customers is incredibly valuable as entrepreneurs refine their solution offerings and try to hone in on their market sweet spot. As a judge and mentor in the program, I’ve seen this first hand. At the same time, the startups in MassChallenge also inspire innovation for those market leaders as well. There is tremendous value in the give and take for all involved.”
“By working together, leaders in the financial services industry and FinTech startups can have a transformative impact on the ecosystem,” said Scott Bailey, Chief Growth Officer at MassChallenge. “We are proud to launch MassChallenge FinTech to build a much needed bridge between exceptional entrepreneurs and global financial services institutions to help meet the needs of this rapidly changing industry.”
MassChallenge is uniquely positioned in the ecosystem to support and grow this vibrant startup community in Boston. Founded in Boston in 2010, MassChallenge has supported a number of highly successful FinTech startups, and its first vertical accelerator – PULSE@MassChallenge which supports digital health startups – accelerated 31 startups that have raised $40 million in funding.
The MassChallenge FinTech program will run from January 2019 through June 2019. Applications for the first cohort of MassChallenge FinTech will open in August 2018. For more information about MassChallenge FinTech, visit masschallenge.org/programs-fintech and follow MassChallenge FinTech on Facebook and Twitter.
MassChallenge FinTech Founding Partners
Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Putnam Investments, Fidelity Investments, John Hancock, Citizens Bank, and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.
MassChallenge FinTech Founding Advisors
Mike Fanning, MassMutual; Sumedh Mehta, Putnam Investments; Amy Danforth, Fidelity Investments; Steven Dorval, John Hancock; Christopher Musto, Citizens Bank; Bryan Jamele, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership; Sarah Biller, FinTech Sandbox.
About MassChallenge FinTech
MassChallenge FinTech accelerates innovation in financial services by making it easier for startups and partners to work together. Headquartered in Boston, MassChallenge FinTech supports the world’s most innovative startups that are building the technologies, services, and programs that address pressing challenges in financial services and improve individual lives, increase value, and build a better world. Learn more about MassChallenge FinTech at masschallenge.org/programs-fintech.