Inaugural partnership’s success leads to additional Accelerator program, with ICBA and The Venture Center calling for entries from early-stage and startup fintech companies
Washington, D.C (Aug. 12, 2019)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today announced plans for a second ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator in partnership with The Venture Center, based in Little Rock, Ark. The program will accept applications from early-stage and startup fintech hopefuls from Aug. 12 to Sept. 30.
ICBA ThinkTECH 2.0 will build upon the success and momentum of the 2019 program, which accelerated a number of award-winning fintech companies. ICBA and The Venture Center’s inaugural accelerator program mentored eight fintech companies providing solutions specifically tailored for community banks. Notable program alumni include MK Decision, now partnered with ICBA Bancard; Teslar Software, winner of the Bankers Choice Award at ICBA LIVE® 2019; and Invest Sou Sou, winner of a FinovateSpring Best of Show award.
“We’ve had tremendous success cultivating community bank-fintech partnerships that marry high-tech, high-touch solutions to eliminate market-entry barriers and address community bank business needs,” ICBA Services Network Chief Operating Officer Kevin Tweddle said. “The second ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator marks the next phase in community banking’s innovation journey and positions our industry as leaders in fintech. We are excited to continue breaking through conventional banking limitations.”
As part of today’s announcement, ICBA also released the names of the ThinkTECH Accelerator selection committee members. These industry leaders include ICBA staff, ICBA leadership community bankers and member community bank executives—each of whom will help evaluate the companies for need, relevance and potential for community banks. The chosen companies will receive ICBA investments and undergo a rigorous 12-week bootcamp program at The Venture Center scheduled from January through March 2020.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with ICBA to deliver next-generation innovation to match consumers’ evolving digital expectations,” Venture Center Executive Director Wayne Miller said. “Community banks are the backbone of financial access for thousands of communities, and the ICBA ThinkTech Accelerator enhances community bank customer relationships. We look forward to working with the Accelerator participants in Little Rock, the birthplace of fintech.”
“I commend ICBA and The Venture Center for their work in launching what was the very first fintech accelerator program for community banks and building on that milestone with today’s announcement of their second program,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “We are pleased to welcome ICBA and early-stage companies once again to Little Rock. Arkansas is open for business and proud to serve as a center of fintech innovation.”
For more information about the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator, or to apply or nominate a fintech for entry into the program, visit www.icba.org/solutions/thinktech/accelerator
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 52,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 760,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in five U.S. counties. Holding more than $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.
About The Venture Center
The Venture Center’s immersive accelerator programs are designed to accelerate the growth of early-stage companies and help them validate their solutions for real-world problems. Our methodology provides a unique opportunity to connect with community bank executives, receive seed investment and learn from a comprehensive curriculum that will aid in strategically addressing go-to-market, business, and finance challenges.