The FINANCIAL — Applications are now being accepted for the FinTech Innovation Lab New York, a 12-week program co-founded by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and the Partnership Fund for New York City that helps early- and growth-stage financial technology companies accelerate product and business development through in-depth collaboration with top financial services and venture capital firms.
The FinTech Innovation Lab is designed for entrepreneurs developing disruptive enterprise technologies for the financial services industry, including the banking, insurance and asset management sectors. Now in its 11th year, the Lab has helped establish New York City as a fintech hub for enterprise technology innovation.
Based on feedback from senior executives at participating financial institutions, this year’s Lab is seeking companies leveraging innovative technologies in seven major areas:
- Cloud – cloud management and migration at speed, security, multi-cloud, and cloud user interface / user experience;
- Cyber-Tech – cyber resiliency, security, and fraud detection;
- Data – predictive analytics, synthetic data, and alternative sources to inform business decision making, governance, visualization, enhancements and automation;
- Digital Engagement – digital client and partner engagement including customer acquisition and experience, and product customization;
- Enterprise IT – solutions addressing information technology and engineering needs including DevOps, engineering efficiencies and automation, and application portfolio rationalization and management;
- Future of Work – collaboration among stakeholders in the remote work environment, including virtual deal management, talent development and organizational management; and
- Sustainability – environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG); financial health and inclusion; organizational culture; and diversity and inclusion programs.
“The fintech sector will be critical to the city’s economic recovery, driving innovation and growth that will create high-quality jobs,” said Maria Gotsch, co-founder of the FinTech Innovation Lab and president and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. “The Lab continues to play a major role in supporting this important industry, shepherding startups into maturity. During these unprecedented times, the support from our corporate partners has been an invaluable asset in sustaining the Lab and ensuring that New York remains a leader in all aspects of financial services.”
Through a competitive process, chief technology officers and senior technology executives from the 43 participating financial and insurance institutions will select companies to participate in the 2021 Lab, which begins in April 2021. In recent years, financial institutions have selected a mix of early-stage and more-mature companies, with average capital raised for the 2020 Lab companies reaching approximately US$10 million.
Applicants must have at least a working beta version of their technology that is ready to be tested for either the institutional or retail market. The Lab will partner the selected fintech entrepreneurs with senior-level bank, insurance and wealth management executives, who will help them develop and refine their technologies and business strategies through a series of one-on-one meetings, panel discussions, user-group sessions and networking opportunities.
The Lab culminates in June 2021 with Demo Day, where participants will present to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 FinTech Innovation Lab was conducted virtually, with participating financial institutions and venture capitalist firms continuing to deliver the mentoring and feedback that has made the Lab unique. The 2021 Lab is expected to be conducted virtually again.
“COVID-19 has made clear that financial institutions have to accelerate their innovation and digitization efforts; firms that made strides in cloud, data and analytics and security have shown a higher-level of operational resilience and were able to move faster to meet their customers’ evolving needs,” said David Treat, a managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services practice. “We see this acceleration and re-platforming of legacy technology continuing in financial services and believe that collaboration with fintech and insurtechs holds immense value. We look forward to selecting this year’s class at this critical time for the industry and New York City at large.”
Since its founding in 2010, the New York FinTech Innovation Lab has provided entrepreneurs from 79 technology companies with mentoring and access to CEOs, chief technology officers and chief information officers from more than 40 financial and insurance institutions, as well as leading venture capitalists and technology luminaries.
Previous participants include Digital Asset Holdings, a provider of distributed ledger technology-based solutions; Enigma, which transforms disparate data into applicable intelligence; and Pymetrics, which applies proven neuroscience games and cutting-edge artificial intelligence to reinvent the way companies attract and retain talent. Program graduates have created more than 1,200 jobs and raised more than US$1.3 billion in venture financing after participating in the program, and 14 participating companies have been acquired.
Steve Petrevski, senior vice president and general manager of Data & Analytic Services for Aon, said: “Aon’s collaboration with the FinTech Innovation Lab is a great source of innovative ideas and capabilities. By bringing together an ecosystem with our senior business leaders, catalyzed by NYC entrepreneurs, we will identify solutions to fulfill our clients’ strategic goals across risk, retirement and health.”
“Over the past several years we have provided mentorship to brilliant innovators in the fintech space and in return we’ve had insight into some of the most outstanding ideas and talent in the country. We are delighted to continue our partnership with FinTech Innovation Lab New York to support the future of our industry,” said Donna Nadeau, chief underwriting officer for AXA XL, Americas.
“Now more than ever, in light of the current environment in New York City and around the globe, it’s critically important for our startup community to have access to and the input of Wall Street’s leadership,” said David Reilly, Bank of America Global Banking & Markets, Enterprise Risk and Finance Technology & Core Technology Infrastructure executive. “The Lab’s one-of-a-kind platform provides the necessary personal connections to ensure sustained success, and that’s why Bank of America is proud to have been an active participant since the Lab’s inception.”
“We’re excited to be part of the FinTech Innovation Lab again and mentor tech innovators,” said Denise Menelly, CIT’s executive vice president and head of Technology and Operations. “We know many businesses are looking to invest in the same areas of technology that the Lab is focused on, including cyber-tech and remote work solutions. We’re pleased to share more insights and our expertise with entrepreneurs developing these cutting-edge technologies.”
“As an advocate of innovative problem solving with an entrepreneurial mindset, Credit Suisse is pleased to partner with the FinTech Innovation Lab to support early- and growth-stage fintech companies. We value the partnership and engagement with the Lab and its ecosystem of promising young companies developing innovative, technology-based solutions for our industry,” said Adrianne Dicker Kadzinski, global innovation lead at Credit Suisse.
“COVID-19 is a catalyst bringing forward a decade of progress into the next few years. The FinTech Innovation Lab creates a bridge between the disruptive innovation of NYC startups and incumbent institutions. The deep connectivity to the largest firms in finance cannot be improvised in a COVID-19 world, making the FinTech Innovation Lab’s 2021 class a unique venue for advancement,” commented Brooks Gibbins, managing partner, FinTech Collective.
“At U.S. Bank, our customers are digitally interacting with us more and more and we want to work to make our customer experiences the best they can be. Our partnership with the 2021 FinTech Innovation Lab is one way we learn about new and innovative technology that will help optimize those digital customer experiences,” said Daniel Terrasi, business information officer for U.S. Bank. “I highly encourage innovative tech entrepreneurs to get involved in the 2021 FinTech Innovation Lab New York,” said Jeffrey Gallimore, chief operations officer, U.S. Commercial Insurance at Zurich North America. “When mentorship is undertaken as a growth opportunity by both parties, the payoff can be substantial. The ultimate goal is a win-win for everybody.”
Among the 43 participating institutions providing mentoring and guidance for this year’s applicants are:
AIG; AllianceBernstein; Ally Financial; American Express; Aon; AQR Capital Management; AXA XL; Bank of America; Barclays; BlackRock; BNP Paribas; BNY Mellon; Capital One; CIT; Citi; Credit Suisse; Deutsche Bank; Fidelity Investments; Global Atlantic; Goldman Sachs; Guardian Life; JPMorgan Chase; KeyBank; Marsh & McLennan; Mastercard; Mizuho Americas; Morgan Stanley; New York Life; NFP; Rabobank; RBC Capital Markets; Société Générale; Synchrony; The D. E. Shaw group; The Hartford; The Travelers Companies, Inc.; TIAA; U.S. Bank; UBS; USAA; Wells Fargo; and Zurich North America. Supporting venture-capital firms include: Anthemis; Bain Capital Ventures; Canaan; Canapi Ventures; Contour Venture Partners; FinTech Collective; Nyca Partners; Oak HC/FT; Rho Ventures; RRE Ventures; and Warburg Pincus.