The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is a start-up accelerator programme designed to champion and support new innovative companies in the FinTech space. It offers companies that make it through the selection process an amazing array of benefits including seed investment from Techstars, exclusive access to Barclays APIs & data and world class mentorship from leading experts over the 13-week programme. Barclays are currently taking applications for the 2nd cohort, which close on 9 January 2015. Here Barclays share 10 things you need to know about this opportunity and how your budding FinTech start-up can get involved.

1) It is a global programme

Although the programme is held in London, the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars invites FinTech start-ups from all over the world to apply. When our first programme kicked off in June 2014, five of the eleven finalists selected were from overseas, including North America and South Africa. The Barclays Accelerator is run in partnership with Techstars, one of the world’s leading start-up accelerators.

logo2) The key criteria for selection might surprise you

Greg Rogers, Managing Director at Techstars, states the most important criteria as being “team, team, team, market opportunity and traction”. Chief Design & Digital Officer for Barclays, Derek White, adds “it’s about reciprocity, we will co-create the future of money and technology.”

3) The programme is based in the heart of London’s Tech City

The London Escalator is home to the finalists for the 13-week programme. The site, located in East London offers incredible co-working space, meeting rooms, and ‘loft’ conference space. The Escalator also provides access to a powerful network of start-ups, VC’s, tech experts and events.

4) We are FinTech focused

We want to hear from applicants that are technology focused start-ups with an innovative FinTech proposition that can bring positive and forward-thinking disruption to financial services. From our last programme, finalists chosen included those developing a next generation credit scoring algorithm and wage-backed pay advances, an ethical and affordable alternative to payday loans.

5) Finalists will receive unprecedented access to a catalogue of Barclays APIs and data

Barclays understands that we need to innovate with the best entrepreneurs and start-ups to bring about disruptive innovation. To do this we will give the cohort access to a catalogue of API’s that will support their proposition in addition to access to data in order that their products and algorithms can be tested.

6) The power of two strong networks

The programme offers unprecedented access to expert mentoring from the Barclays and Techstars networks. We ensure that the finalists meet with relevant stakeholders from Barclays, ensuring start-ups are connected to the right people and the right potential opportunities. In our first cohort Barclays colleagues clocked up in excess of 400 hours of engagement with the start-ups. The Techstars network also brings in top FinTech entrepreneurs and finance specialists from across the industry.

7) IP rights and opportunities

Throughout the programme, all IP remains the property of the start-up. Neither Barclays or Techstars has any claim to the IP. Participating in the Barclays Accelerator does not in any way stop you from seeking opportunities with other Financial Services companies.

8) Finalists receive an enviable package of perks

These include up to $100,000 investment and $200,000 partner perks, mentorship from FinTech experts, the opportunity to pitch at Demo Days and membership to the Techstars alumni network.

9) There were a number of successes from our first programme

  • Three start-ups, Vieweet, Tryum and Market IQ,  were invited to join the Mayor of London’s trade delegation to Asia, demonstrating examples of disruptive innovations and technologies created in London
  • ClauseMatch won BBVA 2014 Open Talent Competition
  • Aire was featured in a speech by Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the FCA, at the Financial News Conference, London
  • Squirrel had a featured interview on Bloomberg and also won the prestigious 2014 Pitch@Palace competition

10) Applications close soon

The application process for the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars closes on 9 January 2015. If you are interested in applying then please visit the website.

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