On Wednesday, August 3, nearly 300 attendees packed the William J. Clinton Presidential Center for the inaugural Global Investor Demo Day of the VC FinTech Accelerator. Investors, financial services professionals, business executives and government leaders celebrated the completion of the 12-week program.
The founders of The Venture Center's VC FinTech Accelerator portfolio companies presented ten-minute investor pitches. Attendees also heard several important economic development announcements. Monotto, a company providing a platform solution for banks to better engage millennial consumers, announced Arkansas-based Bear State Bank as the first commercial client on its platform. Atlanta-based LumoXchange–which provides an efficient, cost-effective money transfer platform–announced a partnership with Bear State as well as plans to move the company permanently to Little Rock.
Gov. Hutchinson and FIS CEO, Gary Norcross Reach Funding Agreement
The biggest economic announcement of the day was a joint presentation by Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson and FIS CEO, Gary Norcross. The two reached an agreement to fund The Venture Center's VC FinTech program for 2017 and 2018, the Governor indicated.
After touting rapid GDP growth and record unemployment in the State, Hutchinson unveiled plans to present the Arkansas legislature with a budget that would provide systematic funding for additional industry-specific accelerators as a method of economic development.
“Arkansas is developing a national reputation for technology both as a result of the major technology companies in Arkansas and because of Arkansas leading the nation in computer science education. Our new high tech accelerator initiative is an innovative way for the state to attract new technology companies and to support our existing industry. I was elated to hear that several of the startups that participated in the program are interested in exploring Arkansas as a home for their operations. We are optimistic that some of the startups will take advantage of the tremendous benefits of locating their companies in this state.” – Gov. Asa Hutchinson
The Venture Center plans to open registration for the VC FinTech Accelerator later in the summer, with plans to launch the second cycle of the program again in early 2017.