The Partnership Fund for New York City teamed up with consulting firm Accenture in 2010 to create the FinTech Innovation Lab. That early catalyst for the financial technology start-up boom an ecosystem bringing entrepreneurs together with major financial institutions and venture capital investors is today a microcosm of the growing wave of fintech investment, which last year amounted to $22.3 billion globally, according to Accenture data. Thirty-one graduates of what Partnership Fund president and CEO Maria Gotsch calls the premier program enabling the next generation of successful financial technology entrepreneurs in New York City have gone on to raise more than $300 million in financing. A member of the Class of 2015, distributed ledger company Digital Asset Holdings, raised $60 million this year. That may bode well for two blockchain companies in the 2016 lab: AlphaPoint, a provider of technology to digital asset exchanges, and Cambridge Blockchain, a developer of identity and know-your-customer applications. Four of the eight companies in this years class are in artificial intelligence and machine learning, including Quarule (risk controls and compliance certification) and untapt (talent recruiting). What rose to the top were companies getting to the core functions and activities within financial institutions, says Gotsch, 50, a Harvard Business School MBA who worked at investment bank BT Wolfensohn before joining the Partnership Fund in 1999. She notes that untapt changed course as a result of FinTech Innovation Lab mentoring to focus on recruiting technologists from within, rather than just outside, large financial institutions. The problem was different from what the start-up thought they had now there is an entirely new use case and potential market, Gotsch says. She shares credit for founding the lab with Robert Gach, global capital markets lead at Accenture, which has replicated the model in Dublin, Hong Kong, and London. The last is home to numerous other incubators and accelerators, as well as the Innovate Finance hub (see Lawrence Wintermeyer, No. 28). I see it as a very helpful contribution, Gotsch says. Our markets are different enough and far enough apart that, just as there are two financial capitals, there is certainly room for each of us to be fintech capitals, too.
The 2016 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles