ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0 kicks off at The Venture Center

 January 16, 2020

The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and The Venture Center, in partnership with the State of Arkansas, announced the ten companies selected for the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0 at a kickoff event on January 8. The accelerator is a 12-week program that focuses on driving innovation of the nation’s 5,000 community banks.

The ICBA is contributing $1 million for the second year in a row to support the accelerator. Each of the ten participating companies receives $75,000 in seed capital, and The Venture Center receives $250,000 to facilitate the program. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) contributes an additional $250,000 for the accelerator.

"This is an incredibly important program for the state of Arkansas," said Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. "It helps get the word out there that we are a financial hub in the middle of the country. A program like this helps to raise the profile of our state in the entrepreneur and tech communities."

Each finalist has developed a product or service that addresses the needs of community banks. "We make sure from the beginning of the recruiting process that we're bringing the right solutions to the table to address the problems the ICBA and their community of banks are trying to resolve," said Wayne Miller, executive director of the Venture Center.

The 2020 companies include:

  • Finscend of Tel Aviv, Israel, uses artificial intelligence to process payment disputes.
  • Fintel Connect of Vancouver, British Columbia, offers a customer acquisition product for banks.
  • Finzly of Charlotte, North Carolina, created an app that improves the digital banking experience.
  • FI Works of Little Rock, Arkansas, adapts marketing and sales technology for community banks.
  • Fraud.net of New York City provides fraud detection and prevention using machine learning.
  • Griffin Technologies of Kansas City, Kansas, connects customers with relevant banking products.
  • Hexanika of India and New York offers regulatory compliance and reporting systems for banks.
  • Lendsmart of Hoboken, New Jersey, is a lending platform and home buying marketplace.
  • Pay It Better of Sacramento, California, is a cloud-based platform for money management
  • Wallit of Portland, Maine, is a rewards-based platform that improves customer engagement.

Executives from more than 40 community banks will participate in the program by mentoring companies and molding products to meet the specific needs of community banks.

Tina Giorgio, president and CEO of ICBA Bancard, will spend five of the twelve weeks in Little Rock as a mentor. Clark Cogbill, Director of Digital Marketing at AEDC, discussed the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program with Giorgio on the Arkansas Inc. Podcast. Listen to the episode here.

To conclude the accelerator program, companies will demonstrate their community banking solutions at ICBA LIVE 2020 in Orlando, Florida, on March 9. In addition, companies will demonstrate their solutions for industry leaders and potential investors at ICBA ThinkTECH Demo Day in Little Rock, Arkansas, on March 25.