Gov. Asa Hutchinson and a host of local business and community leaders will get a chance to preview the 2018 class of financial technology startups that have for the past 12 weeks participated in an intensive business bootcamp at the downtown Little Rock Technology Park.
On Wednesday (July 18), top executives from Fintech startups across the U.S. and Europe will make their final “Demo Day” presentations at the third annual gathering of Little Rock Venture Center’s Fintech Accelerator program at the city’s newly-refurbished Robinson Auditorium.
During tomorrow’s event, top executives from each company will make 15-minute “pitches” to dozens of investors, financial services executives and business leaders — hoping to attract new venture capital or partnerships with larger banks or investment groups.
This year, the Fintech Accelerators companies were chosen from a pool of 281 applicants from 47 countries, 26 states and six continents to participate in the 12-week program that includes “in-depth mentoring and training” from Venture Center and Fortune 500 financial technology firm Fidelity Information Services (FIS), the Jacksonville, Fla.-based sponsor.
Arcanum Technology (Athens, GA)
Billon Group (London, UK; Warsaw, Poland)
Bucket Technologies (Santa Ana, CA; Bentonville, AR)
FinVoice (San Francisco, CA)
Gas POS (Birmingham, AL)
LexAlign (Austin, TX)
Pay Your Tuition Funds (Washington, D.C.)
Sonect AG (Zurich, Switzerland)
UpperRoom Technology (Green Bay, WI)
Verikai (San Francisco, CA)
Before the companies were introduced at the Little Rock Tech Park in early May, Gov. Hutchinson made his annual promotional pitch concerning the state’s strong business climate and invited all the companies to consider re-locating their companies to the state after the 12-week competition is completed.
“We are not a partner, we are an investor in this,” Hutchinson said. “We wanted to support this accelerator program, and we support it because we believe it is a good return for the state. It’s a good return in terms of reputation, nationally and globally, that we can be a national leader in innovation in the financial sector and technology. But also we hope that the return on that investment is that some of you will say, ‘Wow, what a great place Arkansas is.’”
Companies from the 2016 and 2017 accelerator program have gained impressive traction since last year, receiving Series A capital investments, endorsements from the American Bankers Association, and partnerships with FIS and other banks, including Arvest and the former Bear State Bank of Little Rock.