Investing in the Future of Community Banking

Nov 02, 2018

RRR_200pxICBA Accelerator Promotes Fintech Partnerships

By Rebeca Romero Rainey

It’s been another great week for community banking! ICBA this week kicked off the next chapter in our journey to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish with the launch of the ICBA ThinkTech Accelerator.

A partnership with The Venture Center in Little Rock, Ark., this first-of-its-kind accelerator will help community banks directly engage fintech companies focusing exclusively on community bank product development and solutions. By bringing stakeholders to the table to identify industry challenges and solve problems, we will ultimately provide more opportunities for community banks to thrive.

Under the program, a selection committee made up of ICBA staff and member bank executives will mentor early-stage companies vying to be selected for the accelerator. They will select eight to 10 candidates to receive ICBA investments, with finalists presenting their solutions at the ThinkTech showcase at ICBA LIVE® 2019 in Nashville.

I was fortunate to join Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.)—a former community banker—and my innovative colleagues, ICBA Group EVP Kevin Tweddle and SVP of Communications Aleis Stokes, in Little Rock to unveil this new project. (A recording of the press conference and a full rundown of the accelerator are available on ICBA’s website.) The enthusiasm at the event was palpable, and for good reason.

Community bankers who know a good candidate for the accelerator are encouraged to send them to our ThinkTech webpage to apply. The deadline for startup applications is Nov. 18, but ICBA members can refer candidates to the program for consideration through Nov. 30. The on-site boot camp runs Jan. 7-March 29.

Community banks have always been nimble innovators and creative problem solvers, and the ICBA ThinkTech Accelerator is the next chapter in our future. ICBA is proud to be leading this great initiative on behalf of community banks across the nation.

Learn More About the Accelerator

Rebeca Romero Rainey is president and CEO of ICBA.