Screenshot of FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific 2015's twitter account
Accenture and a group of 10 banks have begun their hunt for top financial technology (fintech) innovators in the region by calling for applicants for the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific 2015 programme.
According to Accenture, FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific 2015 aims to help early- and growth-stage fintech innovators accelerate product development and gain exposure to top-level financial industry executives. "The programme also enables financial services organisations in the region to embrace, mentor and advise startups looking to become the digital disruptors of the future," said Jon Allaway, Accenture's Group Technology Officer for Financial Services, who oversees the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific.
Entrepreneurs developing innovative technologies for financial services - particularly in the areas of alternative currencies, Big Data and analytics, mobile and wireless payments, risk management and compliance, as well as social media and collaboration technologies - are invited to apply from now till 31 May 2015.
How the programme works
Seven applicants will be selected by senior executives from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, China Construction Bank (Asia), China CITIC Bank International, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Maybank, Morgan Stanley and UBS by mid-July.
These senior executives will then mentor the selected applicants for 12 weeks, starting from August, in Hong Kong. Through a series of workshops, panel discussions, user-group sessions, networking opportunities, one-on-one meetings and presentations, the senior executives will help fine-tune and develop the participants' technologies and business strategies.
The programme will conclude in early November with an Investor Day presentation by participants in front of an audience of potential investors.
Commenting on the programme, Thomas J. DeLuca, CEO of AMP Credit Technologies - a winner of last year's FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific - said that it has "helped crystalise his firm's business plan". "Since graduating from the programme, we have attracted additional investors and expanded beyond Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines, recently entering the U.K. market," he added.
Strong support for fintech
"Fintech can lead to innovations in financial services that help make customers' lives easier and banking less costly," said Allaway. Understanding this, financial institutions and investors are supporting the growth of fintech startups. According to Accenture, global investment in fintech ventures tripled over the past year, from US$4.05 billion in 2013 to US$12.2 billion in 2014. During the same period, investments in Asia-Pacific fintech ventures have also more than tripled, from US$245 million in 2013 to US$767 million in 2014.
"Fintech is unquestionably going to play a big role in disrupting the industry, and we are keen to help support entrepreneurs who are thinking dynamically about ways to challenge the status quo," said Andrew Farmer, CIO of International Financial Services of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Hong Kong.
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