A partnership of New York City businesses has put out a call for innovative financial technologies.
Sponsored by The Partnership for New York City Fund and Accenture, the FinTech Innovation Lab seeks novel technologies that would benefit the financial services sector. The six winners of the annual contest will have the opportunity to present their technologies to top executives at some of the city's most powerful financial firms.
The goal is to spark "a new financial technology sector in New York," as well as to "find interesting technologies for the financial institutions," said Maria Gotsch, president and CEO of The Partnership for New York City Fund, an organization funded by New York businesses to bring more jobs to the city.
Gotsch said that New York financial firms often have to seek expertise in Silicon Valley or other locales outside New York to find competitive new technologies. So the partnership wants to bring more financial technology firms to the city. "The program is explicitly set up with a New York-centric focus for that reason. It would put the banks closer to innovation. We're a center of financial services so we should be the center of financial technology," Gotsch said.
The 2013 contest, the third annual iteration, will focus on finding new capabilities in data and analytics, mobile and wireless, payments, risk management, security, social media, and collaboration. Companies with innovative financial technologies in other realms are encouraged to apply as well.
Winning companies will participate in a 12-week program that provides access to venture capitalists and top-level financial industry executives. "It really is a mentoring relationship. The banks bring in the right people for the product and give [the winners] feedback," Gotsch said.
"It is difficult to find the right person to talk to, and get their attention. This program tries to solve that problem," Gotsch said.
Businesses applying do not need to be headquartered in New York City. Should a business win, however, its senior staff should be prepared to spend 12 weeks in New York. The partnership is hoping that the winners will eventually set up offices in the Big Apple, where they can continue to enjoy close proximity to their customer base.
There is no size restriction on the companies that can apply. Companies can either be in the early stage with a prototype or already have a product on the market. Even established software companies can enter the contest if they wish to expand the use of an established technology into the financial sector.
Financial firms participating in the lab include American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Participating venture capital firms include Bain Capital Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, Rho Ventures and Warburg Pincus.
Applications must be submitted by Dec. 19. Winners will be announced in April.