Middle East, News

DIFC opens FinTech Hive applications

arif-amiri-ceo-difcDubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has opened applications for its FinTech Hive accelerator programme, following registered interest from over 200 companies since its launch in January.

The 12-week programme aims to help early and growth-stage FinTech companies accelerate product and business development by gaining exposure to top financial institution executives.

Successful applicants will be offered the opportunity to develop, test and modify their innovations in collaboration with senior representatives from DIFC Authority, Accenture, and financial institutions such as Citi, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Visa, Emirates NBD, and Mashreq.

The programme will also provide access to mentorship from technology partners such as Facebook and Envestnet | Yodlee. Facebook will run an independent mentorship workshop for startups, providing advice on monetisation, growth and engagement, development and marketing tools, and analytics. Envestnet | Yodlee will provide developers with access to application program interfaces (APIs) to build financial applications and services.

Arif Amiri, DIFC Authority CEO said, “FinTech Hive at DIFC will connect innovators in financial services technology with the banks, financial institutions and service providers within our dynamic ecosystem at DIFC. Aligned with the UAE National Innovation Strategy and Dubai Plan 2021, which will position Dubai among the smartest cities in the world, it is also in line with our DIFC 2024 Strategy, by providing a platform to develop solutions that meet the specific needs of and address the challenges faced by the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region (MEASA).”

Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture Middle East and North Africa said, “Emerging technologies are playing a pivotal role in the transformation of financial services. As Dubai evolves towards its smart city vision, and the broader MEASA region looks to accelerate and connect through investment ventures, FinTech becomes critical. FinTech Hive at DIFC opens up opportunities for those who understand the regional challenges well, and offers a chance to those international entrepreneurs who are able to apply lessons from around the world.”

Initial selection will be based on maturity, life stage, market traction and financing profiles, according to DIFC. Applicants will need to have a well-defined prototype or service implemented in at least one market and will be looking at growing into the MEASA region. The programme will culminate in up to ten participants presenting their solutions at a demo day to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.

Applications close on 28th May, 2017.

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