Applications now open for second Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab

8 Oct 2015

Pictured at the launch of the Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab Dublin are Minister Richard Bruton, TD, Sinead Barry from Accenture, and Minister Ged Nash, TD. Photo by Colm Mahady/Fennells

Consider yourself a fintech entrepreneur with cutting-edge technology to develop? Then get your application together for Accenture’s latest Fintech Innovation Lab by 30 October.

Announced today, 8 October, during the Startup Gathering, online applications are now open for the second Fintech Innovation Lab Dublin.

The fintech start-up accelerator is led by Accenture and supported by major finance players Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Citi, Fexco, State Street, Realex Payments, Ulster Bank and Credit Suisse, as well as tech giant Google.

Early-stage start-ups from Ireland developing leading-edge technologies for the financial services sector are invited to apply online for a place on this 12-week mentoring programme commencing in January 2016.

Only six companies will be selected for the programme, which will accelerate product development and give these start-ups exposure to C-level financial industry executives.

The accelerator will culminate with two ‘investor days’ – one in Dublin and one in London – where the entrepreneurs will get the chance to pitch to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.

Why focus on fintech start-ups?

“This programme aims to bring early-stage Irish fintech companies to the next level and, for those that are ready to scale and go global, connect them with leading financial services and technology companies internationally,” said Sinead Barry, programme lead for Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab Dublin.

‘For start-ups that are ready to scale and go global, this programme will connect them with leading financial services and technology companies internationally’

Accenture sees the lab as a catalyst to develop Ireland’s wider financial services industry significantly, in line with the national IFS2020 strategy, and just the fact that Dublin is the fourth location chosen for an Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab – after New York, London and Hong Kong – has given the Government something to shout about.

“[This] is a great endorsement of the environment that exists here for start-up businesses,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD. “I look forward to seeing the results – in terms of new businesses and jobs – in the coming years.”

Indeed, Minister Bruton cites Central Bank data that shows that two-thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups in the first five years of existence, which is why support for entrepreneurs and start-ups has become part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.

What will a start-up get out of Fintech Innovation Lab?

Globally, the Accenture labs’ alumni companies have raised more than US$240m in financing after participating in the programme.

This is the second Fintech Innovation Lab to be hosted in Dublin, and 2014 participants Videobot say the experience was hugely beneficial.

“From continuous mentoring and advice to access to senior executives from some of the largest banks in the world, the support we received was invaluable,” said Videobot CEO Frédéric Herrera.

‘Participating in the programme was a definite springboard to our development, and our profile has increased significantly as a result’

“Participating in the programme was a definite springboard to our development, and our profile has increased significantly as a result. We now have relationships with key companies, both here in Ireland and abroad, and have set up a part-time base in London. We’re now exploring partnership opportunities with industry-leading businesses, and this is directly on the back of the connections we made at the Fintech Innovation Lab.”

What kind of fintech start-ups should apply?

Applications for the second Fintech Innovation Lab Dublin are open from now until 30 October.

The programme leaders are particularly interested in working with start-ups in mobile, data management, analytics, security, risk management and social media technologies.

To be accepted, applicants should have a beta version of their technology available, and must demonstrate how access to senior-level executives from the technology and financial services industry would have a meaningful impact on the company’s growth prospects.

Stay tuned for Fintech Focus, a week of fresh fintech-focused content coming to from 19 October.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.