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Startup Competition Guide

110799

Your guide to accelerators focused on the FinTech space

These accelerators include Plug and Play, Barclays and Wells Fargo

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
June 9, 2017
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/49af

For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours! 

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

One of those areas that requires some additional expertise is FinTech. Here are some of the accelerators that are focused specifically on mentoring companies in that space:

"The world of financial technology changes so quickly that we must always be ready for the next big thing."

Investment amount: Check size ranges from $25,000 to $500,000

Program benefits: Three month programs, twice a year for 25-30 FinTech startups. 

Mentor makeup: Dana Stalder, Jeff Garzik, William Koenig, Jonah Lupton and Anjney Midha

Portfolio companies: Paypal, Credit Sesame, Lending Club, FiscalNote, Revolution Credit 

Barclays logo

"A unique programme designed to take your business further. We're fintech-focused and overflowing with opportunities."

Investment amount: Techstars invests in each company and retains 6 percent equity as common stock, as it does with all of its programmes. Companies will be part of the extended Techstars network and will always be able to benefit from the business opportunities this presents.

Investments are up to $120,000.

Program benefits: A 13-week program that includes:

  • Introductions and guidance from key decision makers at Barclays, who are looking for innovative solutions
  • Access to technical expertise in a dynamic and collaborative community working space with cutting-edge resources
  • The opportunity to pitch to the influential tech community

 Mentor makeup: David Cohen, Frank Meehan, Roger Ehrenberg, Brad Feld

Portfolio companies: Seldon, Wave, Wisor, AgentCASH, Forward Lane, Alloy

SixThirty

"SixThirty provides FinTech startups with up to $100K in funding, focused mentorship, and connections to the top financial services companies in the country."

Investment amount: The funding it puts into startups is typically an equity investment. Unlike other accelerators, its stake in the company is negotiable. Historically, it has taken less than 10 percent for the $100,000 and the services it offers as an accelerator.

Program benefits: SixThirty provides a 14-week intensive business development program in which companies receive hands-on training to refine their product, business model and investor pitch.

Companies also get pro-bono and discounted legal and accounting services, Amazon Web Services credits, and co-working office space in the T-REX tech startup incubator.

Mentor makeup:  Each company in a cohort is assigned a lead mentor over the course of the program. The lead mentor meets with the founding team on a weekly basis, keeps them on track, and reports back to the other lead mentors for advice on direction and strategy.

Mentors include Tim Stern, Jim McKelvey, Brian Matthews, Bernard Moon and Scott Rich.

 Portfolio companies: ClearServe, BondIt, Just.Cash, Rippleshot, Upside

"The Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator is a hands-on program designed to advance startups that create solutions for enterprise customers - inside and outside the financial industry."

Investment amount: Wells Fargo may fund each startup with up to 4.9 percent of equity with a potential direct equity investment of up to $500,000 for selected companies. 

Program benefits: A six month program that includes

  • Access to Wells Fargo business and technology leaders who are looking to solve real problems and to explore relevant opportunities for their areas of focus.
  • Support from a dedicated working team that's focused on exploring a startup's product and service capabilities, exercising the product in specific uses, and making recommendations for development and improvement.
  • Experience working with a large enterprise like Wells Fargo, positioning the startup for success with other companies.
  • Exposure through program public relations and marketing efforts, and consultation on individual marketing and communications efforts.

Mentor makeup: Kevin Bouey, Benjamin Brinkman, Chris Cherewan, Sats Roumiantsev

Portfolio companies: AlphaPaymentsCloud, Kasisto, Roostify, Zumigo, Gridspace

Home 

"FinTech Sandbox is a Boston-based nonprofit that drives global FinTech innovation and collaboration."

Investment amount: No equity. No fees. Simply contribute to the shared learning and collaboration within our community of FinTech professionals.

Program benefits: FinTech Sandbox offers a six-month program that provides access to data feeds and APIs from its data partners, cloud hosting from its infrastructure partners, and much more.

Portfolio companies: Coalesce.Info, Algoriz, Koyfin, Stilt

"Queen City Fintech provides fintech startups access to world class mentors, capital, and leading financial services organizations; all in the heart of global banking hub Charlotte, NC."

Investment amount:  Accepted companies receive an upfront capital infusion of at least $20,000 per company with the potential for follow on funding for the top performers in the program. It takes a 6 percent equity stake in the companies in the program.

Program benefits: Queen City Fintech is a 12-week accelerator program designed to mature financial technology startups through intense mentorship from leading banking executives, business development professionals, and venture capitalists and attorneys, among others in Charlotte's robust business community.

Queen City has a partnership with Extended Stay America that covers housing for each program participant for the full 12 weeks of the program.

Mentor makeup: Adam Hill, Diane Morais, Andy Moose, Brian Davis, Jessie Dennen

Portfolio companies: Inovance, Pacatio, belTowr, Stock Tycoon, Moulah, CarPay

"Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) combines seed capital, hands-on help and a great co-working location with an expert team to positively impact the trajectory of early-stage startups."

Investment amount: ERA puts $100,000 in each company selected. In exchange, it receives 8 percent common stock in the company. 

Program benefits: ERA runs two, four-month programs per year, which include:

  • $360,000 in webhosting credits from Microsoft Azure
  • $100,000 in webhosting credits from Amazon Web Services
  • $100,000 in webhosting credits from Google Cloud Platform
  • $24,000 in webhosting credits from Softlayer
  • $50,000 in credits from PayPal Startup Blueprint Program
  • $15,000 in credits from Stripe
  • Special legal benefits from Dentons Law Firm
  • Free signup package from TriNet Benefits Provider
  • One year free service from Phone.com
  • Free banking account and perks package from Silicon Valley Bank
  • Free and discounted services from Shutterstock, WithumSmith+Brown, ZipCar, HubSpot, RelateIQ, RJMetrics, InVision, FreshDesk, ZenDesk

Mentor makeup: Chris Dixon, Eric Hippeau, Fred Wilson, Marc Michel, Pat Kiernan

Portfolio companies: CardFlight, Debitize, Fund That Flip, LearnLux, ModernLend, Payfully

(Image source: business2community.com)

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