FinTech Innovation Lab: A Resource for Fintech Start-ups

Co-founded in 2010 by Accenture and Partnership for New York City, the FinTech Innovation Lab, offers newly-emerging financial technology companies the opportunity to participate in a 12-week mentorship program.  During the program, participants are invited to engage in a multitude of events including workshops, panels, and meetings with leaders in the financial technology industry.  Designed to provide its participants critical feed-back, mentoring, and business and product development advice from senior financial executives and venture capitalists, the FinTech Innovation Lab is currently sponsored by 16 different financial institutions including AIG, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs.[1]

At the end of the three months, the program culminates with the annual New York FinTech Innovation Demo Day, which allows participates to present their products to executives from the world’s leading banks, capital venture firms, and technology companies.[2]  As co-founder Maria Gotsch stated, the FinTech Innovation Lab is advantageous for newly-emerging financial technology companies because it “brings entrepreneurs into the room with financial services decision-makers, who not only give critical feedback but also potentially become customers.”  She elaborated, “with most of the world’s largest financial institutions located in New York, there is no better place for a fintech company to develop its product.”[3] Many of the top executives from the financial institutions that sponsor the FinTech Innovation Lab not only agree with Gotsch’s sentiment, but are also very pleased with their association with the FinTech Innovation Lab.  Larry Feinsmith, Managing Director, Global Technology Strategy & Partnerships, JPMorgan Chase & Co. echoed Gotsch when he said, “the innovation ecosystem built by larger financial services companies like ours and fintech startups working together is invaluable – it creates opportunities for all parties involved.”[2]

Although The FinTech Innovation Lab welcomes applications from any company, they are particularly interested in start-ups with non-hardware financial technology.  In order to qualify for the program, companies are required to demonstrate that their prospective growth is dependent on gaining access to top executives within the financial sector.  Moreover, companies applying to the program must, at the very least, have a beta version of their product and also must be willing to relocate to New York City for the duration of the program.  Additionally, in order to be eligible for the program, companies may not be well-known or well-established within the financial technology industry.  However, both established non-fintech businesses looking to expand into financial technology and financial technology professionals who want to commercialize their IP are encouraged to apply.[4]    

            While the primary objective of the FinTech Innovation Lab program is to promote collaboration and mentorships between participants and financial institutions, new business sales is another possible outcome of participating in the FinTech Innovation Lab.[4]  Since its inception, 38 different companies have participated in the FinTech Innovation Lab program, who after completing it, collectively raised a total of $296 million.  Four past participants have also been acquired.[2]  

[1] "The Program." FinTech Innovation Lab. http://www.fintechinnovationlabnyc.com/about/the-program.aspx

[2] "Eight Innovative Startups Showcase Cutting-Edge Financial Technologies at Sixth Annual FinTech Innovation Lab Demo Day in New York City." Bussiness Wire. 23 June 2016.

[3] Tepper, Fitz. "NYC’s FinTech Innovation Lab Exposes FinTech Startups To Wall Street." Tech Crunch. 11 Nov. 2015.

[4] "Eligibility." FinTech Innovation Lab. http://www.fintechinnovationlabnyc.com/about/eligibility.asp