Silicon Valley is taking a lot of credit as the location of choice for innovation and entrepreneurship. You can’t really blame it – Google (News - Alert), Facebook, Zynga, Pinterest and Instagram are just a few of many well-known names that have sprouted from the area. However, New York City is gearing to give the Valley some competition, especially in the financial services sector.
The FinTech Innovation Lab is an annual program run by the Partnership for New York City Fund and Accenture (News - Alert) for early and growth stage companies that have developed cutting edge technology products targeted at financial services customers. The six winners of the annual contest will have the opportunity to present their technologies to top executives at some of New York City’s most powerful financial firms, refine and beta test their financial technology products in NYC and participate in panel discussions on relevant topics, as well as mentoring sessions with the Lab’s Entrepreneurs Network. Each winner can opt to receive $25,000 in equity financing from FinTech Lab.
Businesses applying do not need to be headquartered in NYC, but their senior staff should be prepared to spend 12 weeks in the Big Apple (News - Alert) if selected.
The goal is to spark "a new financial technology sector in New York," as well as to "find interesting technologies for the financial institutions," said Maria Gotsch, president and CEO of The Partnership for New York City Fund, an organization funded by New York businesses to bring more jobs to the city.
The program aims to not only create jobs and turn New York into a leading innovation center, but also usher in a new era of security and technology in the nation's financial hub. Instead of waiting for tech entrepreneurs to bootstrap themselves into relevancy, the banks are using FinTech Lab to cherry pick the most promising ideas and turn them into functioning companies, faster.
"The program is explicitly set up with a New York-centric focus for that reason. It would put the banks closer to innovation. We're a center of financial services so we should be the center of financial technology," Gotsch said.
The 2012 winners include BillGuard, a free service that operates as a virus checker for financial transactions or a spam blocker for overcharges and fraud, EidoSearch, which allows financial professionals to generate new trade ideas and find relationships spontaneously by using data as search query, True Office, an app that takes a usually drab corporate training session and turns it into a fun, iPad-based game, complete with challenges, hidden surprises and multiple goals to encourage replay, Visible Market, a stock-market monitoring software for people wanting a look beyond the usual flow charts and bar graphs, and more.
With technologies such as social media continuing to grow, there are constantly new opportunities for financial services. The 2013 contest, the third annual iteration, will focus on finding new capabilities in data and analytics, mobile and wireless, payments, risk management, security, social media and collaboration. Companies with innovative financial technologies in other realms are encouraged to apply as well.
Applications must be submitted by Dec. 19, and winners will be announced in April. For companies interested, there is a FinTech Innovation Lab Info Session on Monday, Dec. 3 to find out more about the Lab and meet senior bank executives and venture capitalists who are participating in the Lab.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Brooke Neuman