Wells Fargo announced this week that it will be accepting applications through October from startups to join the new Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, a semiannual boot camp for innovators whose technology ideas in payments, deposits, fraud, operations and other fields could shape future customer experiences in financial services.
The fourth-biggest U.S. bank will make a direct equity investment of $50,000 to $500,000 in each selected company.
“For Wells Fargo to work on big ideas and spark innovators inside our organization, we need to expand our access to new ideas at the edges of our industry,” said Steve Ellis, executive vice president and head of Wholesale Services at Wells Fargo.
The Startup Accelerator also will provide business planning expertise to firms as well as workshops and individual coaching to the firms.
“The Startup Accelerator adds a new cylinder to our corporate innovation engine,” said Ellis. He adds that Wells Fargo intends to work closely with these companies to explore whether any of the security, biometrics, and analytics concepts could be applicable to the bank.
For its first accelerator round, Wells Fargo chose the three companies from areas that could help customer service, including a company from Kansas City and San Jose.
- Zumigo, San Jose, California: A developer of mobile services using a unique combination of location and mobile identity technologies to secure commerce and enable mobile marketing.
- EyeVerify, Kansas City, Kansas: The creator of EyePrint ID™ that transforms a picture of your eye into a key that protects your digital life.
- Kasisto, New York: The builder of state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology that improves the consumer experience on mobile devices through intelligent conversation.
Successful companies may become vendors to the bank.