Officially announced in June, the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific program by Accenture and 10 leading global and regional financial powerhouses, has now entered the second week of its call for applications from financial tech (fintech) startups in the region which are currently working on "potentially game-changing technologies for financial services-particularly in the areas of Big Data and analytics, mobile and wireless, payments, risk management, security, compliance, and social media and collaboration technologies."
If you're a fledgling developer in Asia with innovative ideas and technologies for the financial services sector, Accenture would have you know that as of Thursday (July 10, 2014) there were only 20 days left for the region's most innovative fintech startups to make their way to www.fintechinnovationlabapac.com, to register and apply, as the period for applications runs through till the end of this month (July 31, 2014).
Companies that make the cut by the standards of the selection committee comprising senior executives from the partnering institutions--Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China (Hong Kong), Barclays, China Construction Bank (Asia), DBS, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Ping An and UBS--will then proceed to participate in the 12-week program in Hong Kong specifically crafted to help early- and growth-stage fintech innovators accelerate their product development work and give them maximum exposure to top-level financial industry executives.
Considering the value of the burgeoning fintech ventures market--which, according to an Accenture report released earlier this year, "has more than tripled from US$928 million in 2008 to US$2.97 billion in 2013, worldwide, [and] increased nearly fourfold to US$104 million" in Asia-Pacific--the growth potential of startups that complete the program successfully looks to be enormous.
FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific is one of three programs across the world set up by Accenture with partners in banking and finance. The original program was co-founded by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City and has been running since 2010.
The 18 companies (to date) that have come out of the New York Lab's program "have raised more than US$76 million in venture financing and created approximately 150 jobs after participating in the program [and] one participant [so far has been] acquired for US$175 million."
The second program--FinTech Innovation Lab London--was launched in 2012 by Accenture and 12 major banks in London, with the support of the city's mayor Boris Johnson and several government bodies. The startups that have grown out of that program have since inked deals with key banks and racked up a total of US$10 million in new financing.
The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific site began accepting applications on July 1, and filings appear to be brisk as we approach July 31. "We have spoken to potential applicants across the region and are excited that more global financial tech innovation will be driven from Asia-Pacific," said Sushil Saluja, Senior Managing Director of Accenture's Asia-Pacific financial services practice.
Senior executives from Accenture's partners appear to be just as excited at the prospect of working with some of the region's brightest minds. "China Construction Bank (Asia) is excited to help lead the way in fintech innovation," said Head of IT for CCB (Asia), Arthur Wong. "We recognise that innovation is the way forward for the industry and it plays a key part in the growth journey of the bank, which is committed to keep on enhancing customer experience and bringing added value to our client."
"We have a significant technology footprint in Asia and a long history of working with our technology bankers in support of [US] West Coast start-ups," said Morgan Stanley's Asia CIO Jim McGill. "It is very exciting that we now bring some of those practices into Hong Kong."
"Innovation is a core value of Bank of China (Hong Kong) and we take great pleasure to be part of this meaningful program that shares the same belief," said BoC HK's COO Alex Lee. "The FinTech program provides an effective platform for financial technology innovators to better understand our needs, which helps drive banking innovation to transform the customer experience. Financial services companies are the largest buyers of technology-enabled solutions and we are delighted to be at the forefront of innovation."
"As Asia continues to emerge as a source of business creativity and innovation, we're excited to have an opportunity to work with some of the region's newest entrepreneurs and businesses and help them find their own path to success," said AP technology head for JP Morgan's corporate and investment bank, Alan Goldstein.