ICBA, Venture Center partner to support community bank innovation amid COVID-19 pandemic
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 12, 2020) — The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today officially opened the application period for its third ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program in partnership with The Venture Center, based in Little Rock, Ark. The latest iteration of the successful global fintech accelerator continues ICBA’s mission to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish—especially during this time when COVID-19 impacts community banks and their communities. Interested fintechs are invited to submit an application by Sept. 15, 2020.
“The unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are driving innovation and leading to successful collaborations between fintechs and community banks to benefit those most in need,” ICBA Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Charles Potts said. “Community banks have already made a significant impact to aid our nation’s economic recovery—funding more than 2.8 million Paycheck Protection Program loans to help save 33.7 million jobs—and as they consider additional measures in support of their customers, ICBA will be there to facilitate key connections with promising fintechs through our ThinkTECH initiatives.”
Through the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program, originally launched in 2018, alumni have met with hundreds of bankers and industry leaders to collaborate and tailor their solutions, speeding their development and go-to-market strategies.
ICBA ThinkTECH alumni include ICBA preferred service provider TESLAR by 3E; MK Decision, an ICBA Bancard partner; Griffin Technologies, winner of the Bankers Choice Award at ICBA LIVE® 2020; and Invest Sou Sou, winner of a Finovate Spring Best of Show award.
“The past several months have been monumentally challenging for our country, and community banks have been at the heart of mitigating the pandemic’s financial fallout,” The Venture Center Executive Director Wayne Miller said. “Community banks have carried the U.S. economy through the biggest financial crisis of our time, and technology has undoubtedly played an important role. We are honored to continue working with the ICBA to deliver greater innovation at this critical moment.”
A selection committee consisting of ICBA and The Venture Center leadership and community bank executives will evaluate candidates for overall sustainability, including the team’s strength, product maturity and product-market fit.
Selected companies will receive ICBA investments and be immersed in a rigorous 12-week bootcamp program, where they will be mentored during one-on-one meetings with community banking influencers and industry leaders. The ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program will kick off its third year beginning Jan. 4, 2021 and conclude with a showcase at ICBA’s annual convention, ICBA LIVE and a Demo Day in March.
For more information about the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator, or to apply or nominate a fintech for entry into the program, visit www.icba.org/thinktech.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 750,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, nearly $4 trillion in deposits, and more than $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.