Accenture, top Asian banks launch 'FinTech' tilt

Selected companies will participate in the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific, a 12-week program that helps early- and growth-stage financial technology innovators accelerate product development and gain exposure to top-level financial industry executives.

This region-wide competitive search for top financial technology innovators was launched by a group of 10 financial institutions and Accenture.

Entrepreneurs developing 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 – are invited to apply.

Senior executives from 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 select the winning applicants and provide mentoring to entrepreneurs from across Asia-Pacific who attend the program in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s role as a regional hub for the banking industry and the gateway for China investment made it an ideal location to launch our new Asia-Pacific Lab,” said Sushil Saluja, senior managing director of Accenture’s Asia-Pacific Financial Services practice. “By fostering the development of the next generation of financial technology companies, the Lab will further strengthen Hong Kong’s status as one of the world’s leading financial capitals.”

Through a competitive process, the banks will select up to seven startups to participate in the program, which begins at the end of September 2014. Chosen entrepreneurs will be mentored for 12 weeks by leading financial services industry executives who will help them fine-tune and develop their technologies and business strategies through a series of workshops, panel discussions, user-group sessions, networking opportunities, one-on-one meetings and presentations.

The program culminates in December with an Investor Day presentation by participants in front of an audience of financial industry executives and potential investors.

“Financial institutions recognize more clearly than ever the importance of technology innovation but often lack hands-on exposure and engagement with promising ventures,” said Saluja.

“On the other hand, startups often lack the resources and capital to endure the typical two-to-three year sales cycle for selling solutions to financial institutions. This program helps close the gap through a proven accelerator program,” added Saluja.