Fin Tech Innovation Lab, launched in October last year in Dublin. It announced six early stage start-ups to take part in the inaugural lab in Dublin. Accenture in partnership with Enterprise Ireland are looking for Ireland’s best early stage tech companies to join their FinTech Innovation Lab Accelerator programme which is aimed at bringing early stage Irish companies to the next level and, for those who are ready to scale and go global, link them with leading financial services and technology companies.

“The FinTech Innovation Lab Dublin offers an exciting opportunity for the technology and financial services communities and young Irish companies to collaborate and together contribute to the success of Ireland’s digital economy,” said Alastair Blair, Country Managing Director of Accenture in Ireland.

Leading up to the two investor pitch days in Dublin and London is a 12- week mentoring program where the selected entrepreneurs will develop their products under the mentorship of senior financial and technology sector executives. They will get to develop and road-test their innovations under the guidance of mentors from Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, FEXCO, Google, PayPal, State Street, Citibank, Realex Payments, and Ulster Bank.

The large number of the ‘mentors’ it offers aren’t just altruistic denizens of the technology or investor community here: they’re banks who want to buy the products.

“There’s very much a business use here where we introduce potential customers to these startups,” says Graham Healy, the director at Accenture responsible for setting up the accelerator in Dublin.

The six companies selected are- biometric security player B-Secure; app optimization player XtremePush; video platform VideoBot; mobile commerce player Trip Crystal; banking software player Antuar; and blockchain technology player Signatur Labs. There is no cash prize, but they will get office space in the city centre, as well as access to senior ‘mentors’ and customers.

This particular accelerator model has already been used in New York and London by Accenture. In those cities, most of the startups accepted have either signed contracts with the banks that have spent time with them, raised further funding or both.

With a 47% rise in Irish tech start-ups Healy said- “This country is a hot bed for entrepreneurship and innovation so we were keen to bring the Accenture FinTech Innovation Lab to Dublin, and hopefully replicate the success of the programme in other markets.” He added “This is only possible because of the high level commitment and support we’ve received from Enterprise Ireland and some of Ireland’s leading companies. The finalists stand to benefit an inordinate amount from direct access to these senior individuals.”

After London, New York and Hong Kong, Dublin is the fourth city where the Fin Tech Innovation lab has been launched. Previous investments have ranged up to seven figures, and since 2012, early-stage companies have won over US$86 million in investment funding.

The programme is not aimed at complete startups, says Healy. “Dublin already has some of the best incubators around,” says Healy. “But many of them are looking at pre-accelerator mode and ideation stage companies. We’re at a stage beyond that. We’re looking for startups that are about to bring their products to a commercial mode. That means startups that probably have already had beta products and seed funding and want to see whether those products hold up in a customer environment.” (independent.ie)

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