$100,000 Grants Being Offered to UK Smart Fintechs
British entrepreneurs are being offered the chance to develop financial services ideas in one of the top financial regions in the US, with a $100,000 (£77,000) equity-based grant and a package of support for growing businesses.
The initiative aims to bring up to twelve of the most promising emerging financial companies in the world to Ohio and help them boost their growth beyond the start-up stage. Equity-based grants of $100,000 per firm plus coaching, office space, visa support and a strong business network are all being provided through the accelerator Fintech71.
Valentina Isakina, Managing Director for Financial Services and Select HQ Operations at JobsOhio, said: “Ohio looks ahead to the future by investing in technologies of the next generation. Our financial services sector is one of the strongest in the world, and it is always actively seeking innovative ideas and partnerships. Here people are more approachable and doing business is easier, so these innovative companies will have a better chance to blossom into the financial stars of tomorrow. JobsOhio is happy to support this innovative industry effort.
“Getting beyond the start-up phase is always difficult even when entrepreneurs have a great idea and have managed to get their business going, so the financial services industry wants to give them a helping hand by creating Fintech71. By bringing them here to enjoy Ohio’s support and hospitality, they will make contacts that will last a lifetime and benefit everyone.”
Fintech71 is aimed at start-up and scale-up businesses from all over the world which have matured enough to present a well-thought-out concept to test with a corporate partner or a market-ready business model. The application deadline is July 17 via www.fintech71.com.
The accelerator has a not-for-profit model and will negotiate a customised, entrepreneur-friendly equity-based participation in exchange for a grant of US $100,000 and access to the accelerator program for each of the selected companies. The finalists will be invited to the state capital Columbus to receive coaching from leading experts of the industry from mid-September to mid-November, in order to further develop their business ideas.
Additionally, the selected start-ups will get the opportunity to build relationships with the sponsor businesses, which are well established in Ohio and throughout the USA, and to network with mentors, partners, and customers. The selected start-ups will have access to free office space in the city centre of Columbus, with foreign businesses will be supported with their visa application.
Some 270.000 people, nearly the size of NYC’s workforce, work in the financial industry in Ohio, one of the largest in the USA. Ohio is also an innovative and successful hub for a large number of other industries, including automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, and chemicals. The state is among the top five US states for Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 headquarters.
Fintech71, named as a nod to the cross-state highway I-71 connecting Ohio via its three largest cities, is backed by leading enterprises, banks and insurers from Ohio, like KeyBank, Huntington Bank, Grange Insurance, Progressive Insurance and Kroger, the largest food chain in the USA. JPMChase is also supporting the program, leveraging its large technology presence in Ohio. JobsOhio, the innovative non-profit economic development corporation, is supporting Fintech71’s operations along with its industry expertise, state and national contacts.
“Fintech71 and Ohio are ready to compete on a global scale given the alignment of the state, the private sector and its entrepreneurial ecosystem,” added Matt Armstead, the executive director for the accelerator.
(Source: JobsOhio and Fintech71)