Things are looking up for the Irish fintech sector, with more opportunities available than ever thanks to these Irish fintech accelerators and incubators funding the next revolution.
To paraphrase an old marketing slogan, ‘the future’s bright, the future’s fintech’, or at least going by recent figures charting the success of current Irish fintech accelerators and incubators.
Back in March of this year, Deloitte released a rather optimistic report, which said that by the time 2020 rolls around, Ireland could support a further 5,000 jobs in the fintech sector.
Of course, this depends on whether we meet the potential that Ireland has as one of Europe’s largest tech hubs with an increasing number of financial companies moving their operations here.
So who are the accelerators and incubators that will make this potential a reality?
FinTech Innovation Lab
Run by Accenture Ireland, the FinTech Innovation Lab includes mentors from some of the country’s largest financial and tech institutions, including Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, FEXCO, Google, PayPal, State Street, Citibank, Realex Payments and Ulster Bank.
The 12-week accelerator programme is now arguably the largest in the country following the non-renewal of the NDRC’s FinTech Accelerator for 2015, and takes six of the most exciting start-ups under its wing.
Dublin is only the fourth city in the world in which Accenture has run the FinTech Innovation Lab and last year marked its inaugural programme in the country, with six start-ups making the grade in January this year.
Accenture Ireland has confirmed that those looking to take part in the next edition can apply through its microsite from an as-yet-unknown date in October, with the closing date for applications the end of that month.
The selection and interview process is expected to begin in late-November/early-December and the programme will run from the beginning of January until the end of March 2016.
FinTech Innovation Lab London this week announced the opening of its application period, which will run until 18 September. This is the fourth year the programme has run in London.
Citi Accelerator Hub
Getting office space to run a start-up is always one of the biggest challenges, regardless of what sector you’re in.
Thankfully, Citi, based in the IFSC in Dublin, last June launched the Citi Accelerator Hub for fintech start-ups, based in its North Wall Quay building.
The start-up space will allow applicants from the sector to obtain a space within the Accelerator Hub based in its Irish headquarters.
Successful applicants will have access to all of the necessary facilities, including Wi-Fi, video conferencing and additional office space.
Also, fintech start-ups will have access to Citi’s mentoring network to help develop a business, while industry meet-ups will help strengthen their network in the fintech sector.
Those interested in applying for space in the hub can contact Citi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As far as start-up hubs go, there are fewer as visually appealing as Dogpatch Labs is in the chq Building in the IFSC in Dublin.
In terms of what’s on offer for applicants, there are 150 workstations on offer with five internal and two external meeting rooms, as well as a range of video and phone booths to cater for groups of people.
It also offers 10Gb fibre-speed broadband across its offices through wired connection, or 1Gbps over Wi-Fi across its 10 routers.
While catering to all types of tech start-ups, Dogpatch Labs’ big break into fintech came with the deal signed with Ulster Bank at the end of July to expand its hub to 8,000 sq ft.
The deal is part of the bank’s aim to develop its fintech arm, and it will move some of its staff into the facility, to not only offer help and advice to fintech start-ups, but to learn from their start-up mindset.
Fintech start-ups can apply on its website to see if space within the iconic building is available.
Updated 19 August 2015 at 5.20pm: This article has been updated to include information on FinTech Innovation Lab London.
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