Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab applications open for Asia Pacific

08 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

With over half a billion dollars raised by its alumni to date, Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab is back for another round in the Asia-Pacific.

Applications have now opened for the Asia Pacific edition of Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab, a 12-week accelerator programme for promising fintech start-ups which has seen over $1.5 billion raised in venture financing globally for its graduating alumni to date – a third of that for just 41 participating companies in the Asia Pacific. Both early and growth-stage fintechs are eligible to apply, with submission closing in May.

Launched in New York in 2010 before spreading to London and Hong Kong, the FinTech Innovation Lab is described as a collaborative, non-sales environment which brings execs from leading financial institutions together with aspiring fintech start-ups for mentorship, guidance and advice – augmented by a series of workshops and panel discussions covering areas such as procurement, technology architecture, and industry trends.

This year’s principal participating financial institutions include BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse among many more leading names from the banking and investment realm, while Elzio Barreto, Accenture’s Financial Services Media & Analyst Relations Lead for APAC will serve as a mentor alongside experts from Deutsch Bank, Stott Advisory and CBA International among others.Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab applications open for Asia Pacific

“There’s now widespread acceptance that the best way forward for banks and fintech startups is to collaborate where possible, creating big ecosystems that will help unlock huge value for all stakeholders, particularly consumers,” said Piyush Singh, Accenture Managing Director for Financial Services in the Asia Pacific and MENAT, with the firm noting a shift in focus between fintechs and traditional firms over the past 18 months, “from competition to collaboration.”

“We’ve already seen banks, insurers and wealth managers partner with fintechs here in Asia, but the outlook for further collaboration and the resulting value creation is what’s making investors more comfortable to spread their bets more widely,” Singh continues. “That’s a big focus for the Innovation Lab, instigating this sense of partnership between well-established financial firms looking for the next breakthrough technology and nimble startups eager to test their solutions and push them to market.”

With the APAC Innovation Lab now entering its sixth cycle, Accenture also notes the recent global surge in fintech investments, which doubled in 2018 to over $55 billion, led by a wave of funding to mainland China. “The Lab’s geographical proximity to the mainland makes it particularly suitable for Chinese start-ups, especially for those like ours looking to expand abroad,” said Li Hao, co-founder of Chinese unicorn Wecash – which was among the Lab’s first intake in 2014.

For the 2019 edition, senior business and operations executives from the Lab’s participating financial partners will select up to ten applicants to take part in the programme, with fintech entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge products, services and technologies invited to apply. Kicking off in August, the 12-week programme will culminate in an Investor Day where particpants can showcase their technology to finance executives, investors and the media.