Last week we met with the President and CEO of the FinTech Innovation Lab, Maria Gotsch, to learn more about the program. The Lab is currently accepting applications through December 19.
For those not familiar with the Lab, it is a program that connects early- and growth-stage financial technology companies to a group of 14 leading financial services firms:
- Ally Financial
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Credit Suisse
- Deutsche Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- JPMorgan Chase
- Morgan Stanley
- New York Life
- State Street
The program has two main goals:
1. Create a stronger fintech sector in New York City. Because many startups look to the West Coast for their headquarters, the lab aims to keep them in New York.
2. Expose its 14 financial institution partners to cutting edge technology. The Lab facilitates a dialogue between financial institutions and fintech companies, ensuring that their products and services are addressing real needs.
Companies find the biggest benefit of the Lab is the feedback and mentoring from senior executives (CTO/CIOs) from large financial services firms. The tech companies receive more direct feedback than what they would receive in a typical sales call.
The biggest challenge for participants is committing to the 12-week time requirement. Companies have to be prepared to spend 12 weeks on-site in New York and attend weekly panel discussion meetings. Because participants still need to run their business, they must balance the two.
Companies submit written descriptions of their product. About 20 of those are brought in to pitch to the financial institution representatives. Of those, six or seven are selected to go through the full program.
Ideally, the Lab receives a mix of early and growth stage companies that, at a minimum, have a well-developed and working beta. The Lab will even accept well-established companies for the program if they have a new and innovative product.
How to Apply
The Lab is accepting applications through December 19. Go to fintechinnovationlab.com to apply or learn more about the program.