Two leading financial industry innovation programs announced new developments.
The FinTech Innovation Lab New York, which to date has selected young fintech firms to be sponsored by its program and mentored by participating financial institutions, has announced a new “insurtech” track. The lab, sponsored by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City, will accept applications by Dec. 1. An information session about the new track will be held Nov. 8.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo & Co. announced the selection of four young fintech companies for its Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator program. The three-year old program picks companies with concepts that have at least been through a beta stage that relate to Wells Fargo’s product and service lines. The bank reports that 17 companies have been chosen since inception, and that more will be selected in the near future. The deadline for the latest round of applications is Dec. 6.
Insurtech demand growing
The New York lab, which sponsors an annual “Demo Day” for graduates of its mentoring program, started the new insurance-oriented track in recognition of increasing investment and interest in technology for insurance operations.
The lab stated in an announcement that North America is the largest market for insurtech investment, accounting for 83% of global volume in dollars. In the first half, the lab stated, North America saw insurtech investments of more than $600 million spread over 46 deals.
The insurtech track will consider candidates developing solutions in predictive and visualization tools driven by artificial intelligence; alternative data sources; credit underwriting; digital client and employee engagement; regtech; security; blockchain for smart contracts; virtual and augmented reality; and wealth management.
Wells: Education, gig work, palm ID, and cybersecurity
The four latest firms picked for Accelerator—which brings guidance from Wells Fargo business and tech leaders as well as the potential for funding from the bank—are:
• Edquity offers a college financial planning app for high school and college students. The app helps identify both short-term and long-term financial implications of a college choice.
• Hurdlr provides application programming interfaces and mobile apps that provide financial, tax, and performance insights for the “1099 economy,” including consumers, freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed business owners.
• Redrock Biometrics developed the first practical palm-print-based authentication software. Wells says that palm prints are considered more unique than fingerprints.
• SimSpace is a cybersecurity company that builds on decades of experience with U.S military and Department of Defense testing, training, and risk assessments.