Top Accelerators and Incubators for Fintech Startups
As you read through the list below, keep in mind that many of the services offered will be the same. Deciding between one or the other comes down to what exactly is on the table and how it meshes with your individual mission. Fintech accelerators will have different requirements based on their premise, founders, and staff.
1. Financial Solutions Lab
Location: Chicago, Illinois
The Financial Solutions Lab is an accelerator that supports entrepreneurs who are trying to bring financial equity to customers. The lab is managed by the Financial Health Network in collaboration with founder JPMorgan Chase (and support from Prudential Financial). Despite the network of organizations, though, the lab is known for offering personalized, one-on-one support. It means you’re less likely to get lost in the shuffle or passed around to a variety of professionals that are all starting at Square One when it comes to you and your idea.
The Financial Solutions Lab is for companies targeting customers of limited means. This can include low-income immigrants, the elderly, or single-parent households. Financial health challenges can occur at any time in a person’s life, but those most likely to experience them again and again are people in underserved communities.
If you’re developing and scaling technology that will give people viable options to lift themselves out of poverty, you can expect the staff here to support you both financially and otherwise. With this mentorship program, companies can expect help with understanding the legal and regulatory environment that dictates their compliance ratings.
2. Nex Cubed
Location: San Francisco, California
Nex Cubed may not be fintech-specific, but the staff understands the tech world as a whole. Those who know the inner mechanics of their products and services are likely to thrive here, as there is little room for error. The team has more than 10 years of experience and 500 companies under its belt. Perhaps even more impressively, 65% of its founders are either minorities or female founders. In addition to early-stage capital, Nex Cubed expands clients’ corporate relationships.
The other major benefit of Nex Cubed is its network of resources, which includes helping bring new technologies to market and giving startups the means to scale. Ultimately, this is how fintech startups end up with a clear map out to liquidity, a goal that can help anyone gain the upper hand when it comes to their value in the market. This one is worth considering if you have a particularly brash idea that is sure to disrupt the status quo.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a well-known accelerator, and it has its own division for fintech startups. The organization offers a general education in addition to custom coaching from experts. They’re known not just for helping a company get off the ground in terms of its initial idea but also for working alongside startups as they pave the way to commercial success.
The FinTech program is a partnership between a nonprofit incubator based out of a university and a variety of financial services firms in the state. Launched in 2015, the arm has been supported by various sponsors over the years, including Visa. The goals of ATDC are to make Georgia the capital of fintech innovation and to build a strong enough pipeline of startups to insulate the division through upcoming changes.
4. Barclays Accelerator
Location: New York, New York
Barclays Accelerator is known for its versatility when it comes to fintech, which means you can approach the company if you’re trying to digitize wealth planning, encourage smarter trading, or improve customer data analytics. In addition to investments through their program, startup companies can expect to take part in a 13-week program where they’ll brush up on their skills. The courses take into account a variety of theories about where fintech is headed and how everyone involved can best prepare for the upcoming changes.
The team from Barclays is located all over the world, and you’ll be based full-time on a site from one of its impressive co-working locations. There will also be introductions made to key decision-makers, those who are looking for the best in solutions from their startup accelerators. The cap for investments is $120,000, but the corporate perks in the form of networking and advice will likely be far more valuable to a budding superstar company.
5. Plug and Play Fintech
Location: Sunnyvale, California
More than 70 global financial institutions look to Plug and Play Fintech to help them stay on the ball when it comes to their financial innovation. There may be 50,000 startups under Plug and Play’s massive umbrella, but this ultimately means that many more opportunities to understand how to best stand out from the crowd. The more you can speak to the markets as they are today, the more you’ll be able to influence the markets of tomorrow.
Plug and Play is well-known in the fintech world because of the incredible opportunities there. In fact, it’s not unheard of for the company to spend hundreds of thousands on a company they believe in. Plus, you don’t have to give up equity to take part in one of the programs.
6. Founders Floor
Location: San Jose, California
Founders Floor looks for forward-thinking leaders who want to push their tech to the next level. They encourage would-be partners to present their ideas, regardless of which direction they take. No matter where you stand in the fintech industry, this early-stage investor offers a coworking space for an immersive experience. Founders Floor provides hands-on help and one-on-one guidance, challenging entrepreneurs to push themselves farther than they ever thought they could.
The check that the founders bestow is just the first step — the mentorship from world-class tech experts can be found during regular workdays, as well as special events. Pitch nights, workshops, and networking are regular occurrences that give even all members the chance to shine.
7. FIS Fintech Accelerator
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
FIS Fintech Accelerator largely serves fintech companies that want to bring new functionality to banks, as opposed to competing with them. If you fit into this category, FIS Fintech Accelerator offers a 12-week program that brings bankers and executives together with fintech leaders. Those with matching solutions have the chance to work alongside a portfolio company until both parties refine the business model.
Many banks, particularly smaller operations, are still functioning on very outdated solutions. They may lack the funding needed to offer more convenient options to the consumer. If you’ve come up with a way to deliver a low-cost answer that will reap new customers, FIS will likely have several companies that they can introduce you to.
8. Catalyst Fund
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
The Catalyst Fund was founded in 2015 and backed by a variety of prominent individuals and organizations (JPMorgan Chase & Co., Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). The company offers early-stage capital for inclusive fintech entrepreneurs who are improving the financial landscape with their technology. As with many fintech accelerators, the staff is looking for people who are developing accessible solutions for emerging markets like Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
The Catalyst Fund is known for being flexible when it comes to what products they select and how they choose to iterate them. The grant capital and customized venture-building support from sector experts opens the door to a wide range of benefits. This pre-seed fund is made possible by founders who want to level the playing field for people from all financial backgrounds. A global network of more than 140 investors is a way to give people access to advice that will give them insight into exactly the type of person they want to help.
9. DFS Lab
Location: Seattle, Washington
DFS Lab is a fintech accelerator that is designed specifically for startups looking to work in Africa. Though based in Africa, they have locations and partners that span the globe. Funding, mentorship, and education is the cornerstone of this early-stage backer. Their mission is to fuel the future of digital commerce with the nearly 1.3 billion people who live on the continent.
The company has been researching and investing in a variety of ecosystems that have led to strong insights and ideas about what will actually give everyday people a boost. This unparalleled sector-specific knowledge is exactly what fintech entrepreneurs need not only to scale their operations but also adapt them so the customer will instantly understand the advantages of using the product or service.