Meet the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in NYC

Calling all FinTech founders!!

We’ve opened applications for our 2018 FinTech program, the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in New York. The application deadline is May 13th. Apply now!

After investing in over a hundred amazing FinTech companies, the Barclays Accelerator has never been stronger. Every entrepreneur learns that if you build it they won’t come. However, when leveraging the support of the global Techstars network and the deep expertise and distribution channels of Barclays, chances for success can skyrocket.

Our most recent class was the most diverse group of founders we’ve ever had and so it comes as no surprise that they were one of the strongest we’ve ever had. This year, we’re once again taking a wide view of FinTech to include enterprise technologies that help scale and reduce risk. We’re excited about nascent technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and blockchain that continue to represent tremendous opportunities for innovation.

Starting in March, we’ll be hosting a series of webinars, office hours, and AMA sessions to get to know the community and provide information on Techstars’ approach to entrepreneurship.

Do you have questions about the program and what we look for?

Register here for an upcoming interactive webinar & AMA session to learn more:

Request Office Hours if you want to meet us one on one, receive mentoring and advice on your startup, business model and product.  If we’re not coming to a city near you you can always select a virtual meeting when applying.

Office Hours

  • Boston, USA | March 10
  • San Francisco, USA | March 14
  • District of Columbia | March 23
  • Toronto, Canada | March 26
  • Vancouver, Canada | April 3-5
  • Chicago, USA | April 4
  • Indianapolis, USA | April 7
  • San Francisco, USA | April 9-11
  • Boston, USA | April 12
  • New York, USA | April 16
  • Charlotte, USA | April 20
  • Los Angeles | April 24
  • New York, USA | May 1
  • Dublin, Ireland | May 3
  • Atlanta, USA | May 8-9
  • Virtual Meetings | Anytime!







Announcing the 2017 Class of the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in NYC!

We are thrilled to unveil the nine companies that will be joining the 2017 Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in NYC. Over the next three months the companies will continue their ascent, redefining financial services as we know it. The class will forge new trails in FinTech by working closely with our partner, Barclays along with numerous other industry leaders.

Companies will refine and test their business models while leveraging a hand-selected group of over 150 FinTech mentors. As the third program in New York, we’re fortunate to have many of our 2015 and 2016 alumni on the ground as well. We’re grateful for the support from our mentors and alumni over the last couple of years and your continued time and guidance. We couldn’t do it without you.

This year’s class continues to affirm New York City as the undisputed FinTech capital of the world. Without further ado, here are the companies of the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in NYC:

7 Chord: Machine Learning for credit trading.

Bank Novo: Simple Bank + AI for SMBs.

Cogni: Banking services for the shared and freelancer economy.

Dwell City: Invest in the best real estate, and receive guaranteed returns.

Pathspark: The future of work is bright. Let us make it work for you.

Qanta: AI-driven agent that automates significant parts of the mortgage taking process.

Sigma Ratings: World’s first non-credit rating agency.

Sprout Wisely: AI-enabled investing marketplace for infrastructure assets that matter.

SynSwap: The future of OTC derivatives processing.

 








Meet the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in NYC

Hello startup founders!

The Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in New York has opened applications for its 2017 program with an application deadline of July 14th. Apply now!

We’re excited about everything FinTech and see tremendous opportunity in modern payments, investment banking, settlement and clearing, research, trading, and knowledge sharing products and companies.  Nascent technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and blockchain to de-risk institutions all represent unique opportunities for innovation.

Techstars is a Worldwide Network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Starting in June, we’ll be hosting a series of webinars, office hours, and Q&A sessions to get to know the community and provide information on Techstars’ approach to entrepreneurship.

Do you have questions about the program and what we look for?

Register below for an upcoming interactive webinar & AMA session to learn more:

Request Office Hours if you want to meet us one on one, receive mentoring and advice on your startup, business model and product.  If we’re not coming to a city near you you can always select a virtual meeting when applying.

Office Hours

  • Tel Aviv, Israel | June 13
  • San Francisco, USA | June 14
  • London, UK | June 16
  • New York, USA | June 19
  • Boston, USA | June 20
  • Mumbai, India | June 21
  • Toronto, Canada | June 27
  • District of Columbia, USA | June 29
  • Virtual Meetings | Anytime!







The New Era of Fintech Disruption in NYC

I’m thrilled to be joining Techstars as managing director for the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in New York City. I am taking the torch for this role from the talented Jenny Fielding, who is continuing her role of managing director of Techstars IoT.

Over the past five years, I’ve been fortunate to have helped nurture the largest community of Fintech entrepreneurs in the world through Empire Startups. My experience in Fintech started before the hashtag with product management and strategy leadership roles at Blackrock, Goldman Sachs, Instinet, and E*Trade. Most recently, I was the Entrepreneur in Residence for the Barclays Accelerator in NYC.

In my past Fintech experience, I’ve learned that building great companies is about throwing out the rulebook, not just creating a mobile friendly version of it.

As tweetable as that may sound, it’s a wild oversimplification. If you just build it, they won’t come. This is especially the case in Fintech, where even the greatest hustlers can fail to acquire customers and secure distribution partnerships.

My deep dark secret is that I’ve also been in the belly of the beast and lived to tell the tale. I’ve been on the inside of the largest and most successful investment banks and asset managers and have built the products that Fintech startups seek to disrupt today. I’ve been an agent of change and I’ve also been mired in the opposite. Now I’m ready to take that experience and help startups pave their way with new products and disruption.

While small, agile startups will always ship technology faster than larger teams, some say Fintech distribution, customer acquisition and trust can’t be accelerated. I disagree.

Here’s how we’ll do it:

  • Capitalize on the lessons learned by the global Techstars network on building products that instill trust in consumers in order to build great businesses.
  • Laser-focus product roadmaps by working with our “enterprise customer-in-residence,” Barclays.
  • Hone the story and test business models by leveraging the top community of Fintech mentors in the world.

Ready to knock the cover off Fintech? Apply here.

This blog post, and the million moving parts before it, would not have been possible without the mentorship, support, and 5am Slack messages of Greg Rogers and Jenny Fielding. I truly thank you and am honored and humbled to join the team.








Startups Will Save the Banks, Not Just Disrupt Them

Henry David Thoreau once said: “In entrepreneurship is the preservation of the world.”

Ok, maybe he didn’t say exactly that. But the spirit of distilling corporate structure into only what is essential to nurturing innovation is what has led me to Techstars. In 2014, when Greg Rogers kicked off the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in London, we discussed how the community can help tear down the barriers to entry in FinTech. In 2015, Jenny Fielding asked me to join a star-studded cast of mentors as she launched the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in NYC.  

In 2016, I joined the Techstars family as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in New York, and now in 2017, I’ve become the managing director of the program

Defending and distilling innovation is what first led Lockheed Martin to cordon off dev resources into skunkworks operations away from their primary roadmap. Accelerators and incubators are the modern and scalable skunkworks, and these programs and their startups will save the banks and not just disrupt them.

Are you a bank in need of innovation, courting and keeping top talent, and diversifying your product roadmap? The question to ask is: “How are you embracing the startup community?”

Innovation

Banks are wildly desperate for innovation, but moving fast is simply not their key focus or distinctive competency. Firstly, the comp model of traditional financial services rewards technologists for stability and continuity, which can compete with, if not discourage, innovation.  

That’s right, Wall Street technologists are essentially paid to shower customers in mediocrity.  

Secondly, traditional banks and asset managers with fiduciary responsibility simply can’t afford to “fail fast.” They don’t have the freedom to be cavalier and take chances by diverting their roadmaps away from longstanding competencies. The net result is that banks must look to the ecosystem to play a major role in building out new businesses, products and features.  

Talent Acquisition

Startups are helping to keep top technical talent in FinTech. Young developers demand more than just a strong base salary and the bragging rights of a bulge-bracket firm. They want transparency into the company’s overall strategy, the ability to influence the product roadmap, and a modern software framework to move quickly.  

It’s more common in traditional banking to see the decision-making centralized to a few, little optionality in projects to work on, and a frustrating pace dictated by older tools and legacy code. Startups keep employees happy by offering complete transparency, a seat at the table, and the ability to work with a modern stack. (You mean it’s not the hoodies and foosball? Nope.)  

Banks who forge close ties with the startup ecosystem can ensure the top technologists are still addressing their greatest challenges.

Product Diversification

Banks don’t always have the luxury of putting a minimally viable product in the wild and leveraging customers feedback to refine their offering. The dynamic regulatory environment and deep subject matter expertise involved in FinTech often results in only mature products being introduced.  

Startup companies are able to help banks diversify their product investments, offering the opportunity for the banks to explore and invest in a portfolio of new markets and nascent technologies such as blockchain, social sentiment, artificial intelligence, and gamification.

After 15 years building industry-leading FinTech products for some of the world’s largest investment banks and asset managers, I couldn’t be more excited for this latest challenge – to help entrepreneurs seek out and capitalize on subject matter experts to solve critical problems in finance. Ensuring the curse of the incumbent technologists does not paralyze innovation.  

I swear to never rarely launch PowerPoint and pledge to save the banks, not break the banks.