Two Arkansas organizations won big at the 2020 Finovate Awards this week. The Venture Center and Teslar Software both received awards during the second-annual fintech awards.
The Venture Center received the Best Fintech Accelerator/Incubator award, while Teslar was recognized for Best Fintech Partnership as part of its collaboration with Citizens Bank of Edmond on PPP.bank.
In the accelerator/incubator category, the Venture Center won out over notable programs, including Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program, Mastercard Start Path, QC Fintech and FinTech Innovation Lab. This category recognized programs that “consistently nurtures quality fintech companies and helps them on their journey,” factoring in cohort companies’ performance and testimonials.
The Venture Center operates two fintech accelerator programs: the FIS Fintech Accelerator and the ICBA ThinkTECH Acclerator. To date, the Venture Center has graduated five cohort classes in the FIS accelerator and two in the ICBA accelerator.
“Words could never adequately convey our excitement. Our incredible partners from the state of Arkansas, FIS, and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)made this win possible and demonstrates what can happen when people, organizations, and entrepreneurs collaborate. Together, we’re showing the world that Little Rock, Arkansas, continues to build on its esteemed fintech history,” Venture Center executive director Wayne Miller said in a statement. “Previously known as the birthplace of fintech, today Little Rock is the epi-center of fintech innovation.”
Springdale-based Teslar Software received the Best Fintech Partnership award alongside Citizens Bank of Edmond for its work on PPP.bank. This award recognizes financial institution and fintech company who collaborate on a “new and groundbreaking” project.
Teslar also participated in the Venture Center’s 2019 ICBA accelerator. Another company, Finzly, which participated in the 2020 ICBA ThinkTECH accelerator, won in the Best Enterprise Solution category.
In total, there were 23 categories at the 2020 Finovate Awards, which highlighted innovation in the fintech space.