Accenture FinTech Lab ups female participation

The eighth iteration of Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab London has named its latest cohort of 20 startups, noting a doubling of the number of female founders from the previous year.

During the three-month accelerator programme - which runs from 6 January to 27 March - FinTechs will be partnered with senior executives from over 40 financial institutions to develop their technologies and business models.

This year, the lab worked with FinTech platform F6S to proactively scout female-led companies to apply. Additionally, Accenture leveraged its network of FinTech Innovation Lab alumni, as well as female business mentors to bring women closer to the venture capital community.

The 2020 programme will also see the introduction of female chief executive-led masterclass sessions, and female founder focused events, specifically tailored to women in financial technology.

Those selected to participate in the 2020 lab are:

Capital markets
• BITA
• Globacap
• Invisage
• ResonanceX

Enterprise tech
• ChAI
• FinTech Sandpit
• Hazy
• USEncryption

InsurTech
• Bewica
• Caura
• PORTABL.co
• ThePensionLab

Open Data
• ApTap
• Cerebreon
• Ducit AI
• LendFlo

RegTech
• Apiax
• Cybsafe
• Norbloc
• Swidch

Tom Graham, managing director and executive sponsor for Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab London, commented: “It’s encouraging to see the UK FinTech landscape continuing to thrive, and particularly good to this year see an increase in female-led companies participating in Accenture’s lab.”

Caroline Hughes, co-founder and chief executive of Lifetise, a participant in last year’s lab, said: “As a participant in the programme in 2019, I have first-hand experience of how valuable these accelerator programmes can be for new businesses.

“I think it’s extremely important that female founders, of FinTechs in particular, are encouraged to take part in these programmes as there is still plenty to be done to narrow the gender gap in the industry.”

A subset of the firms selected will present to venture capitalists and financial-industry executives at the programme’s graduation day in March. Accenture and a dozen banks launched the London lab in 2012, with support from the city’s mayor and other government bodies. Since its launch, 94 start-ups have participated in the London Lab, securing circa $500 million of funding.

The London lab is modelled on a similar programme that Accenture co-founded in 2010 with the Partnership Fund for New York City. In 2014, Accenture then launched the Asia-Pacific FinTech Innovation Lab. Globally, the labs’ alumni companies have raised over $2 billion in venture capital financing after participating in the programme.

Sam Riordan, director of partnerships and innovation for Lloyd’s Banking Group, added: “The value the programme provides is evidenced by Lloyd’s Banking Group’s ongoing collaboration with Xelix, a fintech from the 2019 Accenture Innovation Lab cohort, as well as the companies themselves continuing to learn and develop upon graduating from the programme.”

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