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88 International Startup Accelerators, Incubators & Innovation Labs Nurturing Innovators in Financial Services

As the startup ecosystem grows in complexity and enrichment with technological advancements, banks and corporations rush to seize the opportunity to harvest the best solutions available. Innovation hunters have been looking for opportunities in different ways, one of which is to set an accelerator/incubator, innovation lab or some sort of a startup program. Let’s look at some of the interesting accelerators/incubators/innovation labs focused on financial and other types of technological innovations worldwide.

1864 Accelerator

Flat6Labs, in cooperation with Barclays Bank Egypt, has opened the doors for participation in its one-of-a-kind 1864 Accelerator Program launched for the first time in the Egyptian market. 1864 Accelerator aims to qualify a new generation of entrepreneurs in Egypt through the adoption of creative ideas that can open up new opportunities in financial technology.

3D FinTech Challenge

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 ongoing mentoring throughout the program whilst master classes are given by domain experts.

500 Startups

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.

Academpark Incubator

Academpark Incubator is a business incubator based in Siberia, Russia, offering supportive ecosystem for startups working in areas of IT technology, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies and more. Aside from providing space in the state-of-art facility, Academpark Incubator offers services at an 80% discount for resident startups including HR, product development and prototyping, knowledge support and mentorship with IP, business planning, team development, marketing and funding. Residents also gain access to support in technical documentation development, creation of graphic materials, website, UX/UI prototyping and more.

Accelerator Frankfurt

Accelerator Frankfurt is an independent accelerator that gets startups investment-ready by finding cooperation partners, customers and investors. Accelerator Frankfurt is an international four-month program offering startups mentoring, coaching, office space and professional services in excess of 40,000€ per startup. The accelerator accepts web entrepreneurs past the idea stage and the potential to scale internationally. The program focuses on startups from FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech, Cybersecurity and WebTech.

ActivSpaces

ActivSpaces is a tech hub that runs centers aimed at providing resources to technology startups. ActivSpaces runs two programs, an incubation program and an acceleration program. The incubator supports startups by providing them with an office space, Internet connection, business coaching and a community of likeminded individuals and experts. The accelerator program helps startups to secure investments by aligning them with mentors, assisting them in incorporation, assisting them in driving growth, and providing seed funding for their operations. Startups are also being introduced to a network of investors.

Alchemist Accelerator

The Alchemist Accelerator is an accelerator exclusively for startups whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers. The organization is passionate about the needs of enterprise seed ventures and believes they are different enough to warrant a program specifically for them.

The accelerator focuses on enterprise customer development, sales (direct and online), market validation, and a structured path to fundraising. The Alchemist Accelerator claims to have the most sought after advisor faculty, guest lecturers, venture capitalists and Fortune 100 customers primed to be resources for startups. The backers of Alchemist are Cisco Systems, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foundation Capital, Mayfield, Khosla Ventures, Salesforce.com, Sapphire Ventures, Siemens, Tyco, and US Venture Partners.

AlphaCode Club

AlphaCode is a collaborative club for entrepreneurs in next-generation financial services based in Sandton, South Africa. Fully funded by the RMI, AlphaCode doesn’t charge entrepreneurs for membership. However, there are four membership models for startups of various sizes and stages of development. The memberships range from green entry level up to diamond. The hub provides a platform for members to engage and work alongside experienced entrepreneurs, technology investors and industry experts, resulting in accelerated growth and access to market. It offers office space and a clubhouse for entrepreneurs, an active online community and regular networking opportunities. The AlphaCode concept is modeled on Level39, London’s Canary Wharf FinTech development hub, which is one of the world’s leading FinTech hubs.

AlphaLab

The AlphaLab accelerator programs are designed to help startup technology companies accelerate their progress through early stages of customer discovery and product development through a rapid, iterative lean approach. Started in 2008, AlphaLab provides critical resources to help startups launch successfully – including funding, mentorship, an extended alumni network, free office space, and the collective expertise of the Innovation Works team.

AlphaLab Gear was launched in 2013 as the hardware accelerator program based on the AlphaLab model to provide additional resources and expertise in areas specific to physical product companies including product design, manufacturing, supply chain and retail distribution. AlphaLab Gear companies also benefit from being part of the extended AlphaLab network, leveraging the alumni and mentor networks, software/Internet expertise built over prior AlphaLab program cycles.

Anthemis Foundry

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.

ATDC FinTech Program

In 2015, Worldpay US made a $1 million gift to the Georgia Institute of Technology to create a financial technology (FinTech) Program at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). This initiative creates a unique program between a non-profit, university-based incubator and a major financial services company. The ATDC FinTech Program powered by Worldpay US is focused on building and growing companies in the state of Georgia. ATDC FinTech Program operates with goals to make Georgia the capital of FinTech startups, screen and accelerate a dedicated FinTech pipeline and accelerate innovation by bringing together startups, corporations and investors.

Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator

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 we ...

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