Following previous accelerator programmes with Nike and Microsoft, Techstars has partnered with Barclays to create one in the banking sector.
The Barclays Accelerator will be offering the chance for ten successful companies to be part of an ‘intensive’ three month start-up programme designed to help with growth.
Successful companies will receive a £12,500 seed investment, in exchange for a six per cent equity stake, and will be focused on improving the banking experience for consumers.
Derek White, chief design officer at Barclays, says that the bank has identified technology as a key driver of innovation and ‘paramount’ to the future of Barclays.
‘We’ve already had great successes using an entrepreneurial approach to future design, including the launch of our innovative Barclays Pingit app, and we’re keen to ensure we build upon these by supporting entrepreneurs and putting them in an ecosystem where they can grow and develop,’ he adds.
Companies involved with Barclays Accelerator will be based at custom-built facilities in Mile End, London and will receive mentoring from individuals at Barclays and Techstars. The launch is part of a package of initiatives Barclays and Techstars will be undertaking in the coming three years, with the aim of helping sixty ventures.
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David Cohen, founder and CEO of Techstars, comments, ‘We are excited to partner with Barclays on the next wave in fintech.
‘It’s a great opportunity for those entrepreneurs who have the right ideas that will make a difference in banking, whether it’s a new payment solution or a financial management tool.’
Applications for the accelerator close on 21 March 2014, after which the scheme will begin following a series of demo days in September.
The move by Barclays to align itself next to UK entrepreneurs follows it support and sponsorship of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which ran from 17 November till 23 November.
Founded in 2006, Techstars runs 90-day accelerators for entrepreneurs around the world in cities such as Boston and Seattle.