13 FinTech Accelerators in Europe Taking Innovation From Ideation to the Real World

StartupBootcamp (SBC) is a global network of industry-focused accelerators. It helps startups to go global by giving them direct access to an international network of the most relevant partners, investors and mentors in their sector. Startupbootcamp started in 2010 and now operates globally with 11 accelerator programs and eight locations in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Istanbul, London, Barcelona, Miami, New York and Singapore.

The Startupbootcamp FinTech Accelerator has some notable sponsors for the local FinTech event: London (MasterCard, Lloyds Banking Group, Rabobank, PWC, Intesa Sanpaolo, Route 66 Ventures, Arvato Bertelsmann, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, MyOrder, Cognito, DLL Financial Solutions Partner and MJ Hudson), Singapore (MasterCard, Route 66 Ventures, Intesa Sanpaolo, Infocomm Investments, PWC, Jungle Ventures, Estellion, Pix Vine Capital and DBS).

Level39 is one of Europe’s largest technology accelerators for finance, retail, cybersecurity and future cities technology companies. It was launched in 2012 with the aim of being the largest accelerator for the FinTech space. Recently, UBS had opened an innovation lab at Level39 to focus on blockchain and FinTech innovations. It has 513 individual members, of which 52% are from the UK. The 122 company members in the FinTech space divided as follows: Data & Analytics: 42, Payments: 25, Crowdfunding: 25; Banking Solutions: 13; Trading: 9 and FX: 8.

Anthemis Foundry is a design-focused incubator of the Anthemis Group, an investment and advisory firm in the financial technology space. The incubator believes in focusing on some chosen projects at one time rather than selecting batches of startups and having a fixed schedule. Some of its portfolio companies are Atom, Azimo, Betterment, Currency Cloud, Fidor Bank, Moven, etc.

Tech City UK provides a platform for digital technology businesses to be established in the UK. They provide support for startups, established businesses and budding entrepreneurs. As part of its goal to support new business idea/entrepreneurs, they have a program called Digital Business Academy in partnership with Cambridge University Judge Business School, University College London and digital skills experts Founder Centric. They provide the know-how for a digital business that helps one to start, grow or join a digital business. Another program, Future Fifty, supports 50 UK-based companies to scale their business.

The Barclays Accelerator Program is a 13-week program in partnership with Techstars. Barclays provides tools, equipment and facilities for startups. In conjunction with Techstars, they provide dedicated mentorship for select startups and entrepreneurs. The accelerator program was initially launched in London and is now being run at London & New York.

FinTech Innovation Lab provides 12-week mentorship programs at New York, London, Dublin and Asia-Pacific (in Hong Kong). The global program is run in partnership with Accenture and Partnership Fund for New York City as a sponsor while they also have region-specific sponsors.

Its regional financial firm partnerships are present in:

- New York (Ally Financial, American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Guardian Life, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, New York Life, UBS and Wells Fargo)

- London (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, RBS Group, UBS, Nationwide, Santander, Societe Generale and Intesa)

- Dublin (Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Citi, Fexco, PayPal, RealEx, State Street, Ulster Bank)

- Asia-Pacific (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, China Citic Bank International, China Construction Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Maybank, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and UBS)

Main Incubator was formed in 2013 and is run in partnership with Commerzbank in Germany. The program works by accepting invitations from startups. Upon selection, the terms and conditions are set for the startups to enter the program. After four to five months of the initial phase where the team starts building their product with the support (VC funding, office space, and expert know-how) from the incubator, the investment committee reviews the status and decides on further funding.

Seedcamp is a UK-based venture-capital accelerator that offers seed-funding to innovative European FinTech startups. Founded in 2007, Seedcamp holds onto its leadership position and helps startups to grow into high-value global companies. The accelerator team believes that even the best founders will increase their chances by drawing on Seedcamp’s Network of expertise across Europe, the US and beyond. Seedcamp network is over 1,000 strong and covers the key functions of product, branding, marketing, sales, biz dev, technology, legal, HR and finance. In addition, they have a network of over 500 Investors consisting of Angels, VCs, corporates and crowdfunding platforms.

SIX Group FinTech Accelerator F10 in Zurich was launched in collaboration with FinTech startups to enrich the innovative FinTech ecosystem with dedicated staff, know-how, infrastructure and communities whose task is to drive further developments on Switzerland’s FinTech front and develop new technologies for SIX. SIX Group is demonstrating its commitment to innovation with the Swiss FinTech Award. Award applicants have a chance at a cash prize and access to a complete FinTech ecosystem including boot camp, training and networking opportunities.

Launched in 2012, LAUNCHub has invested and committed 7.5 million euros in 60 startups from 10 countries in the SEE region, including Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Croatia, Greece, Slovenia, Ukraine, Austria and Switzerland. The LAUNCHub team works with the founders to provide assistance in many ways other than the investments granted. The fund offers startup teams access to a network consisting of experts, tech vendors, successful entrepreneurs and investors. On a strategic level, LAUNCHub is partnering with Seedcamp and Mozilla WebFWD. LAUNCHub operates under the Entrepreneurship Acceleration and Seed Financial Instrument of the JEREMIE initiative of the EIF and EC.

The 3D FinTech Challenge is a seven-week, immersive accelerator program designed to empower and accelerate technological innovation within financial services. It is a key element of Dassault Systèmes' drive to bring accelerated technological, customer-centric innovation to the Financial Services industry. Dassault Systèmes and Deutsche Börse do not take equity from the startups. Senior executives from Dassault Systèmes' and leading figures from financial services provide on-going mentoring throughout the program whilst master classes are given by domain experts.

Based out of Geneva, FUSION is Switzerland’s FinTech accelerator. FUSION capitalizes on Switzerland’s position as a global hub for financial services as well as its world-beating reputation for innovation to drive the FinTech agenda. FUSION’s aim is to fuse the best of Switzerland with the most promising FinTech talent to lead innovation in financial services. Mentors are drawn from all areas of financial services, such as banking, insurance and commodity trading. The accelerator has an academic sponsorship from some of world’s top engineering research institutes and involvement from venture capital funds, which will syndicate funding.

Launched in 2013, the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator is a Berlin-based accelerator looking for trailblazing digital entrepreneurs. The accelerator claims to provide global opportunities from day one through their international network in Europe and Silicon Valley. Three times a year, they run a three-month-long program in which startups are provided with office space in the heart of Berlin, coaching, workshops, networking, 25,000 euros, events and more. The program ends with the Demo Day, where startups will have the opportunity to pitch in front of an elite audience of local and international venture capital firms for additional seed and Series A funding. In addition, startups have the chance to meet Silicon Valley investors as well as go to Silicon Valley.