March 9, 2016
2016 might just be a standout year for fintech. It’s an industry that has been growing rapidly in recent years, but the acceptance of new technologies by consumers and financial institutions seems like it is finally catching up with the companies that are innovating them.
You may be asking yourself, “Why Little Rock, of all places?” There are several reasons why Little Rock is the perfect city for this accelerator, rather than some of the cities you may associate as financial sector powerhouses such as NYC or Chicago. Little Rock is the birthplace of several early fintech innovators, including Systematics (now FIS), Arkansas Systems, ABC Financial, Stephens, Inc., Mainstream Technologies, and Acxiom. Thanks to these companies, Central Arkansas has been on the map for a while as one of the birthplaces of fintech. Therefore it seems like an appropriate place to host such a program.
Little Rock is also home to The Venture Center, which is where VC FinTech will live. The Venture Center helps startups obtain customer validation and reach viability through systematic programming and mentorship. They teach startups best practices in lean methodology and strategic acceleration to help them scale and create measurable economic impact.
“Startups innovating in analytics, cognitive computing, cybersecurity, bank back office, investment management, wearables, and wallets (among others) should apply for this unique program. There is no other place on earth where a founding team can gain access to leaders from the largest global financial software company,” said Lee Watson, president and CEO of The Venture Center, in a statement.
The accelerator is a 15-week, on-site program, beginning in May. Ten startups will be accepted in core banking, payments, mobile, fraud, and security and startups leveraging emerging technologies like cognitive computing, neural networks, and blockchain innovating in financial services. All startups will receive an initial $50,000 investment and are eligible to pitch for up to $100,000-300,000 additional investment at the end of the program.
Applications are being accepted through March 31, 2016. You can apply here.
Feature image courtesy of VCFinTech.co
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