13 FinTech Accelerators in the US to Embrace Innovation in 2016

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

QC FinTech Lab provides a 12-week intensive accelerator program with mentors from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Experian, etc. in addition to 12 months of free office space. The lab is based out of Charlotte.

Techstars provides location-specific and function-specific accelerator programs. It also partners with other global accelerators to provide its expertise (e.g. Barclays London Accelerator). While it is not a pure play FinTech accelerator, they do host a lot of FinTech companies as part of their larger portfolio. (e.g. The Gone App, AppInside, Stagelink, Localytics, etc.). Some of its local sponsors are SAP, TaylorWessing, Lowe’s, Todd Walsh, TriNet, Baird, Kurtz Fargo LLP, Bryan Cave, Kendall Koenig & Oelsner PC, Foley & Ladner LLP, CBRE, Pritzker Group, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Lakewest Venture Partners, Fried Frank Technology, Google Cloud Platform, Orrick, Foley Hoag LLP, etc.

Y Combinator is a seed funding organization which invests small amounts in selected startups. They run two cycles every year, once from January-March and once from June-August. The three-month event ends with the Demo Day where startups present to an audience of global startup investors. While this is not a pure play FinTech accelerator, among the more than 800 startups that it has funded since 2005, around 7-8% (~60 companies) are from the FinTech space.

Citibank launched its first accelerator program in Tel Aviv in 2013. The four-month program was run three times and a total of 333 startups have participated in it till date. In December 2014, Citi Ventures partnered as the first Platinum-level Global Anchor Partner for Plug and Play to expand its FinTech Accelerator program to the US, Germany, Singapore and Spain. Citi has also launched Citi Mobile Challenge, a virtual accelerator program that combines a virtual hackathon with an incubator and is focused on the APAC region. Participants of the Citi Mobile Challenge are provided with a FinTech accelerator program that includes mentorship and a virtual and on-site boot camp curriculum.

Founder Institute (FI) is an early-stage incubator that has established its presence in 45 countries. It runs its incubator programs in multiple cities in the 45 countries. It also claims an 80% success rate for its startup graduates. Unlike many other incubators, FI takes a fee from applying graduates, profiles them and upon selection for the program, the founder needs to further pay some fees to attend the four-month program. The founders are required to contribute warrants of a certain percentage to the Shared Liquidity Pool, 30% of which is shared with the graduates of the particular program. Some of the FinTech startups from this program are Peerby, RealtyMogul and Zipmark.

Yodlee provides Ynext as a six-month incubator for startups. The features that it provides are access to the Yodlee platform, guidance & assistance, participation in Silicon Valley boot camps, and a demo day to present the startup to select investors. Accredify, DRAFT, Evolved Bookkeeping, Fidor US, Roostify, Telito, Voatz are eight startups that were unveiled in their May 2015 demo day.

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 with a fixed schedule. Some of its portfolio companies are Atom, Azimo, Betterment, Currency Cloud, Fidor Bank, Moven, etc.

Innotribe is supported by SWIFT and was launched in 2009. It organizes startup challenges every year spanning EMEA, the Americas and APAC. The 2015 Startup Challenge event was held in London, New York, Cape Town and Singapore. The event was open for both early-stage and growth-stage startups at each location. Winners at each location would be hosted at Sibos, Singapore for the Startup Challenge 2015 Finale. Early-stage startups would be required to pitch their idea to a large audience of decision-makers of the financial services world while growth-stage startups would host exhibition booths and provide live demos for their products. The number of startups that participated at these events has been increasing YoY.

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 in London & New York.

The Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator is a six-month program which is run twice a year. The 2015 event witnessed over 300 applications out of which three startups were selected: Bracket Computing, Context360 and MotionSavvy. Startups who have previously participated in the program include EyeVerify, Kasisto and Zumigo.

Plug and Play is one of the world’s largest global technology accelerator and venture funds. Since inception in 2006, the program has expanded worldwide to include entrepreneurs from 24 countries, providing necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley. With over 350 startups and 300 corporate partners, the accelerator has created the ultimate startup ecosystem. Plug and Play provides active investments with 180 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in their community have raised over $3.5 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk.

500 Startups is one of the world’s leading global venture capital seed funds and startup accelerators managing $200 million in assets having invested in 1300+ technology startups. In January, the accelerator launched a FinTech-exclusive batch comprised of eight companies. 500 Startups has actively been investing in financial services startups such as Credit Karma, WePay, Simple (acquired by BBVA), ReadyForZero, FeeFighters (acquired by Groupon), Recurly, CoinPip etc. They have also invested in eight bitcoin-related startups to date and they plan to invest in another 10–20 per year going forward.