The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has announced it is now accepting applications for its ‘FinTech Hive at DIFC’ accelerator program. The announcement comes after DIFC received registered interest from more than 200 companies since it opened its doors in January. The 12-week program is designed to help early and growth-stage Fintech firms quickly develop their business while gaining exposure to top financial institution executives.
DIFC says that successful applicants will be offered the opportunity to develop and test innovations in collaboration with representatives from DIFC Authority, Accenture, and financial institutions such as Citi, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Visa, Emirates NBD, and Mashreq.
The program will also provide access to mentorship from technology partners such as Facebook and Envestnet | Yodlee.
Facebook will run an independent mentorship workshop for startups, providing advice on monetization, growth and engagement, development and marketing tools, and analytics.
“FinTech Hive at DIFC will connect innovators in financial services technology with the banks, financial institutions and service providers within our dynamic ecosystem at DIFC. Aligned with the UAE National Innovation Strategy and Dubai Plan 2021, which will position Dubai among the smartest cities in the world, it is also in line with our DIFC 2024 Strategy, by providing a platform to develop solutions that meet the specific needs of and address the challenges faced by the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region,” commented Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer at DIFC Authority.
Omar Boulos, Regional Managing Director of Accenture in the Middle East and North Africa said, that emerging Fintech is playing a pivotal role in the transformation of financial services.
“As Dubai evolves towards its smart city vision, and the broader MEASA region looks to accelerate and connect through investment ventures, FinTech becomes critical. FinTech Hive at DIFC opens up opportunities for those who understand the regional challenges well, and offers a chance to those international entrepreneurs who are able to apply lessons from around the world.”
DIFC explains that selection will be based on maturity, life stage, market traction and financing profiles. Applicants will need to have a well-defined prototype or service implemented in at least one market and will be looking at growing into the MEASA region.
DIFC expects Fintech to grow to USD $150 billion globally in the next three to five years, and the UAE is currently only tapping into 1% of this investment. FinTech Hive at DIFC aims to address this deficit for the UAE and the wider region.
Information about the program and application criteria can be found fintechhive.difc.ae. Applications close on 28 May, 2017.