The Venture Center has opened applications for the 2021 FIS Fintech Accelerator. Now in its sixth year, the accelerator aims to accelerate growth-stage fintech companies and the solutions they are offering to the financial services sector.
In total, 10 fintech companies will be selected to participate in the FIS Fintech Accelerator, with each company receiving a monetary investment. During the accelerator, cohort participants receive access, in many cases one-on-one access, to banking and financial services executives. Workshops with the Venture Center and FIS officials, as well as meetings with financial executives, will help refine the participants’ product offerings. At the end of the accelerator, cohort members will have the opportunity to pitch their company to potential investors, financial institutions, and industry figures during the 2021 FIS Demo Day on August 26
“This year’s FIS Fintech Accelerator program will introduce fintech entrepreneurs to more decision-makers within FIS than ever before,” said Wayne Miller, Executive Director of The Venture Center. “As the opportunity for visionaries to speed their solutions to market continues on a trajectory of exponential growth, The Venture Center is ready to guide them through the experience.”
The accelerator will run for 12 weeks, beginning June 7 There will be a four-week incubator preceding the accelerator to prepare the cohort for working with FIS.
In a 2020 interview with Tearsheet, FIS Banking Product Officer Spencer Jones described the accelerator as a way to bring new solutions to financial partners. “One is that the accelerator is about us bringing solution sets to our clients that we may not have at the moment, we may not be investing in or may not invest to build on our own. And we recognize that these accelerators are solving whitespace solutions for our clients. So, we choose to work with early stage companies to try to help them mature their companies and also expose them to our client set to get real time feedback, go-to-market problem solving, pricing — those types of things to help them be better companies and also help our clients at the same time.”
While the accelerator is typically held in LittleRock, the 2021 FIS Fintech Accelerator will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 FIS Fintech Accelerator was the first accelerator the Venture Center held completely virtually. The second ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator was initially held in-person but shifted to virtual due to the pandemic. The third ICBA accelerator was also held virtually.
“The pandemic has only heightened the need among financial institutions for innovative digital solutions to better serve their customers and enhance efficiency,” said Ariel Mendiola, head of FIS Ventures. “Through our virtual program in 2020, we saw a significant increase in participation by banks and other institutions that provided input to the startup companies. We are looking forward to another exciting FIS Fintech Accelerator in 2021.”
Applications will be accepted through April 9. Program officials are encouraging applications from companies owned or operated by women and underrepresented minorities.