2021 ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator continues industry’s digital transformation
Washington, D.C. (March 24, 2021) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and The Venture Center, in partnership with the State of Arkansas, today hosted the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator Virtual Demo Day. The third cohort brought high-tech, high-touch solutions to hundreds of community bankers taking the lead on community bank innovation.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey, The Venture Center Executive Director Wayne Miller, ICBA Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Charles Potts, and The Venture Center’s Managing Director of Accelerator Programs Daniel Schutte spoke at the live-streamed event.
During the Demo Day, fintech participant Beauceron was named “MVP” for its extraordinary effort, spirit of collaboration, and the platform’s potential to solve for community bankers’ business challenges and opportunities. Harness was the 2021 Banker’s Choice Award recipient at ICBA’s national convention, ICBA Connect, earlier this month.
The 2021 program was held entirely virtually. More than 100 community banks, policymakers from the major regulatory agencies, and dozens of venture capital firms offered critical feedback to this year’s cohort in advance of their showcase to present their refined solutions to more than 500 individual decision makers.
“ICBA's mission is to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish, and innovation is an important component to that work," ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. "This program has already produced tangible, workable solutions for our members. I’m excited to see how these progressive partnerships continue to grow and mature to combine the best of technology and personalized service for the ultimate consumer experience."
“One look at this year’s group will confirm that the state of fintech is solid gold, and that Arkansas retains its crown as the leader in financial technology, entrepreneurship, and high-tech leadership,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Congratulations to this years’ participants. We’re eager to see what you accomplish as you spread out around the world.”
“The ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator is the premier program for community banks and growth-stage fintechs to explore innovation, test solutions in real-world scenarios, and iterate together to shape the future of community banking,” The Venture Center’s Miller said. “Thanks to the virtual format, more bankers than ever were able to participate, which speaks to their deep commitment and drive for innovation.”
After completing a four-week incubator followed by a rigorous 12-week bootcamp, the selected companies are primed to usher innovation in the areas of cybersecurity, digital customer engagement, automated loan origination, customer acquisition and retention, and financial well-being.
The 2021 ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator alumni are:
- Agent.IQ in San Francisco, Calif., digital customer engagement
- Artis in Atlanta, Ga., embedded lending at the point of sale
- Beauceron Security in New Brunswick, Canada, cybersecurity training
- Finosec in Alpharetta, Ga., cyber preparedness and governance
- Harness in Tampa, Fla., card-linked fundraising
- Shastic in Berkeley, Calif., automated loan origination
- UPSWOT in Charlotte, N.C., App data aggregation for small businesses insights
- Zogo Finance in Durham, N.C., financial wellness education
- Z Suite Technologies in Burlington, Mass., digital escrow tools
A recording of the ICBA ThinkTECH Virtual Demo Day will be available tomorrow at www.venturecenter.co/icbathinktech.
The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 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-to-late-stage companies and help 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 aiding in strategically addressing go-to-market, business, and finance challenges. Learn more at www.venturecenter.co. Follow The Venture Center on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter(@VentureCenter), and Instagram.