FinTech Hive, the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, announced today the commencement of the 2018 edition of its accelerator programme, in partnership with Accenture. The second edition received an overwhelming response of over 300 applications that were created from all around the world, of which 22 finalists were selected.
The accelerator programme consists of a 12-week curriculum in which a group of selected finalists work closely with financial institutions and other stakeholders to create innovative and forward-looking solutions that aim to address the evolving needs of the region’s financial services industry. Applicants were evaluated by the programme’s 21 partners. The partners assessed the applications through a set of criteria, including business proposition viability, applicability of technology to the region, potential to benefit from the programme mentorship and the entrepreneurs behind the companies, followed by extensive one-on-one interviews.
The 2018 edition of FinTech Hive will feature a larger pool of startups, which doubled to 22 this year, along with a broader scope that covers FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech and Islamic FinTech. Out of the 300 applications received, 50% were for FinTech solutions, while the remaining 50% were divided amongst InsurTech (20%), Islamic FinTech (15%) and RegTech (15%). With its expanded remit, FinTech Hive continues to lead the region’s efforts in providing an enabling environment for innovative solutions to contribute to the development of the financial services industry, in line with Dubai Plan 2021 and DIFC’s 2024 Strategy.
“The extraordinary quality and overwhelming quantity of proposals we received this year is testament to the growing interest in FinTech Hive and the industry’s trust in its collaborative platform. As the region’s FinTech industry continues to provide unique solutions that address the evolving needs, we are committed to providing the FinTech space with invaluable access to, and feedback from, an international network of strategic partners and well-established financial institutions looking for innovative solutions to their everyday challenges,” said Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC.
This year’s programme partners include:
-- Strategic partners: Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC)
-- Principal Financial institution partners: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Noor Bank, Riyad Bank, Standard Chartered, UAE Exchange, and Visa
-- Financial institution partners: Arab Bank, Citi, Mashreq, MasterCard, National Bank of Fujairah
-- Insurance partners: ADNIC, AIG, Noor Takaful, Takaful Emarat Insurance PSC and Zurich Insurance
In the first phase of the 12-week programme, the finalists will present to executives from FinTech Hive’s partners to introduce their technology offerings, obtain preliminary feedback and discuss potential mentorship opportunities.
The subsequent phase will revolve around engagement and mentorship between the finalists and partners, whilst gearing up for their pitch preparations for Investor Day, set to conclude the programme by the end of November. On Investor Day, each start-up will promote its concept to a host of investors, bankers, government officials and members of the media. Senior executives from DIFC Authority and Accenture will also be available throughout the programme to provide clarity around business procedures and the regulatory framework in the Centre.
FinTech Hive’s alumni who choose to join DIFC’s thriving community will benefit from a world-class ecosystem that offers an Innovation Testing License (ITL) if needed, a FinTech license, an interactive and collaborative workspace, along with access to the largest financial community in the region.
Earlier this year, FinTech Hive announced that it is collaborating with Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Labs globally to further cement the accelerator’s position amongst the most reputable financial hubs in the world. The move will bring about countless opportunities for innovators in the region by connecting them to Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Labs in New York, Hong Kong and London.
The finalists selected for the 2018 cycle of the FinTech Hive at DIFC accelerator programme are:
Enterprise solutions for social banking, chat commerce and frontline productivity, enabling "Social banking" and "Social Selling" to allow banks to embed their brand and services such as payments, e-commerce into any social and messaging applications.
Card-less and bank-less payment method that incorporates machine learning and consumer lending to provide the most seamless and secure means of transaction between retailers and emerging market customers.
Smart contract development company on blockchain technology, leveraging the latest innovations in cryptography, distributed ledger and smart contract technology to build the financial networks of the future.
Haseed (Saudi Arabia)
Robo-advisor that combines proven wealth management advancements with the crucial infrastructure to enable Islamic investments and address the underserved GCC region.
Fully-automated KYC and on-boarding tool that will transform the on-boarding processes, eliminate noncompliance and create a KYC audit and reporting trail, whilst improving customer experience and reducing costs.
Artificial Intelligence and blockchain-powered platform that merges multiple touchpoints into a single contact point and combines multiple administrative processes into sets of algorithmic modules embedded into a chatbot.