Venture Center announces companies for 2017 ‘Accelerator’, one Little Rock startup makes the cut

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 894 views 

The VC FinTech Accelerator for financial technology startups on Wednesday (May 10) announced 10 companies chosen to participate in the 2017 program.

The Venture Center President and CEO Lee Watson made the announcement at The Venture Center in Little Rock, at a kickoff event attended by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Rep. J. French Hill and Fidelity Information Services President and CEO Gary Norcross.

Selected businesses include: eGiftify of Little Rock, Alpharank of San Francisco, Alto IRA of Nashville, Tenn., of New York City, Hedge Hog of Detroit, HTC Mobile Apps of Austin, Texas, Omnetrium of Chicago, Quotanda of Mexico City, WalletFi of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Xplanr of New York City

Backed by the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Fortune 500 financial tech firm FIS and run by the nonprofit The Venture Center, FinTech received this round close to 300 applications from early-stage financial tech companies in 40 countries, according to a FIS press release.

“We are excited to continue this collaboration with FIS to facilitate the development and potential growth of these companies,” Watson said in the release. “Together, we provide FinTech startups with proven go-to-market training, C-suite level mentorship and access to top financial institutions.”

The chosen companies each are given $50,000, with a potential to earn an additional $100,000 to $300,000, and will participate in a 12-week program that includes “in-depth mentoring and training” from FIS and The Venture Center, according to FIS.

The program will conclude with a Demo Day on July 26 at the Clinton Presidential Library.

“FIS has always been about applying advanced technology to the real-world challenges facing our clients,” Gary Norcross, FIS president and CEO, said. “This program is a great example of how we are harnessing the spirit of entrepreneurship with the power of applied innovation to bring breakthrough products and services to our clients.

“Together with the state of Arkansas and The Venture Center, we are helping to develop and foster innovations that will make a difference for financial institutions around the world,” Norcross said.

The program was introduced last year. As result of the first round, six companies were selected to join the FIS HiPo Network — “HiPo” stands for “high potential” — and two companies moved their headquarters to Little Rock, according to the release.

Talk Business & Politics’ Roby Brock sat down with FIS’ Norcross to discuss the VC FinTech Accelerator. Watch the full interview below.