The Latest FinTech Innovation Labs and Accelerators Launched Around the World

As the FinTech 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, innovation lab or some sort of a startup program. Let’s look at some of the latest programs launched by businesses across segments:

Mambu partners with accelerators and incubators to launch FinTech Startup Program

Mambu, the SaaS banking platform provider, on Wednesday announced the launch of its FinTech Startup Program, allowing companies to bring their innovative vision to market faster by leveraging the Mambu platform.

The program is designed for startups that are part of selected accelerators and incubators that Mambu has partnered with. Mambu will enable these organizations to build their innovative consumer- or business-focused financing products (like lending and deposits) much faster and cheaper than building the technology fully in-house.

The banking industry is being disrupted with innovative FinTech startups who are digitally integrated, customer-centric, simple and agile, said Eugene Danilkis, CEO of Mambu. Mambu wants to enable these digital disruptors to get to market quicker by utilizing our platform and building their vision on top of it. With startups around the world competing with traditional financial institutions to try and win customer trust, we hope our program will give these companies the additional boost they are looking for.

Mambu will allow startups to be lean, fast and agile while focusing their resources on innovation. By participating in the program, startups can benefit from cost savings and faster time to market, allowing for the quick launch of new loan and deposit products with market opportunities being approached with minimal risk. The startups will be able to re-focus their engineering efforts on what differentiates them from the competition, better positioning them for growth and funding through the support of Mambu’s scalable core banking platform.

Flat6Labs in cooperation with Barclays Bank Egypt launch 1864 Accelerator Programme

Flat6Labs in cooperation with Barclays Bank Egypt has opened the doors for participation in its one-of-a-kind 1864 Accelerator Programme 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.

Soha El Turky, Business Development Director at Barclays Bank Egypt, stated, Our decision to collaborate with Flat6Labs in this program was a result of what we recently witnessed in terms of creative capabilities inherent within a wide range of innovators, startups and entrepreneurs in the financial technology field in Egypt. Through this unique opportunity, we seek to introduce a new concept for the future of financial services in Egypt; we even aspire to reach the global banking market through exceptional ideas and innovative visions.

As Ramez Mohamed, CEO of Flat6Labs, also commented, The program aims to support entrepreneurs in transforming their ideas into successful businesses by providing all the necessary mentorship and training as per the latest international standards. Those who excel during the selection process qualify for seed funding from Flat6Labs to establish a strong foundation for their projects and will be mentored by a team of experts to ensure the success and sustainability of their startup companies.

Ryerson Futures launches Rise Mumbai Accelerator with Barclays

On Wednesday, Ryerson Futures announced the launch of Rise Mumbai Accelerator, a partnership with Barclays that will focus on FinTech startups.

The partnership with Barclays reflects the growing success of our acceleration program, said Matt Saunders, Ryerson Futures President. As corporations look to become more innovative and entrepreneurial, our acceleration model gives them an effective way to connect with the startup ecosystem.

Globally, we’ve been working with the corporate partners such as GE, IBM, and Deloitte. This is a great opportunity for us to work with an international bank. We’ve been impressed with the quality of startups we have been working with in India since 2013. This program we will be operating for Barclays will be a great platform for FinTech startups.

The Rise Mumbai program will launch with about 10 startups but will admit new companies to the program on an ongoing basis. The accelerator is looking for startups with disruptive ideas that could revolutionize banking and financial services. Rise will work with Indian FinTech startups, as well as serve as a launchpad for foreign startups looking to establish a foothold in India.

IBM Watson Centre in Singapore launched to incubate innovative solutions in financial services and beyond

Less than a week ago, IBM opened The Watson Centre at Marina Bay in Singapore, an incubator designed to bring together organizations of all sizes, business partners and IBM experts to co-create business solutions that leverage IBM's cognitive, blockchain and design capabilities.

Watson Centre at Marina Bay will act as a center of expertise for almost 5,000 IBM cognitive solutions professionals in the Asia-Pacific region alone, including researchers, IBM Watson specialists, data scientists, software engineers, agile developers and analytics experts. It will also offer education, hackathons, and customized workshops for a broader ecosystem of innovators including software companies, startups, developers and systems integrators.

DBS Bank, a leading financial services group in Asia, will work with Watson Centre at Marina Bay to develop new use cases based on disruptive technologies, and to assist in its strategy to support FinTech startups in the region.

IBM will also help accelerate the design, development and commercialization of Singapore blockchain applications through the IBM Garage and the IBM Global Entrepreneur program. At the IBM Garage, experts collaborate with clients, developers and entrepreneurs to test-drive tools, processes, and procedures to make blockchain real. The garage creates a bridge between the scale of enterprise and culture of startups and supports the development of an Open Standards-based blockchain ecosystem and creates new work opportunities in Singapore.

The Watson Centre at Marina Bay will also host IBM Studios – Singapore, a new center that will blend experience design and digital expertise to support customer innovation. With this Studio, IBM will help Asia-Pacific clients analyze business challenges and develop solutions grounded in more individualized digital experiences through a combination of IBM’s research technology, cognitive capabilities and experience design.

Intel and The Floor to collaborate on the new FinTech Innovation Lab in Tel Aviv

At the end of May, Intel announced that it would launch a FinTech Innovation lab in collaboration with The Floor, a FinTech hub based at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

As reported by the Jerusalem Post, the venture is aimed at identifying and developing technological innovations to upend and advance the global financial industry. Some of the technological focus will be devoted to blockchain (the technology behind crypto-currency Bitcoin), the Internet of Things (IoT) and biometrics.

Sharon Puterman-Zafrir, Intel Israel’s Manager of IoT, commented to the source, Through this collaboration, Intel will be able to lead, alongside The Floor, the development of this field in Israel and to widen the influence of technology on the financial field, from the user to the cloud.

Capital One launches Capital One Growth Labs in the UK

In mid-May, Capital One unveiled the news on launching Capital One Growth Labs, an accelerator program for early-stage startups and high-growth companies.

The initiative, in partnership with corporate innovation specialist and tech investor L Marks, aims to discover innovative new businesses and give them cutting-edge support to develop technologies for the financial sector.

Chris Owen, Programme Leader, commented in the official press release, One of the key aims of the programme is to discover and partner with some of the most promising new technology startups and unlock the truly leading-edge and innovative ideas of tomorrow. Having early access to startups, and the products they build, will enable Capital One to continue expanding its technological capabilities, as well as maintain a strong view on the customer needs of tomorrow while at the same time turbo-boosting those businesses by giving them unrivaled support.

Canada's RBC Bank eyes Silicon Valley talent for its innovation lab

As reported by the Reuters a week ago, RBC wants to team up with Silicon Valley's brightest talent to position itself at the forefront of new financial technologies.

According to the source, RBC set aside $78 million as "seed money" to invest in startups and talent. Further, as the Vice President of Innovation Gabriel Woo shared, the bank will look to open more labs around the world.

Woo commented, "We're certainly looking beyond Canada and even beyond North America. There is always really interesting stuff that's happening out in the (San Francisco) Bay Area, in Silicon Valley."

RBC has also established a partnership with C100, a group of Canadian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, to set up Canada House in Silicon Valley, which Canadian startups will be able to use to meet potential investors and customers.

But startups should beware of what they are signing up for, as one of the sources that reported the news mentions that the bank wants to work with local "FinTech" startups to steal technology from unsuspecting young Americans who will sign away their rights for $50,000 helping RBC Bank become more corrupt with the theft that they are conspiring to steal from American and other nationals.