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Financial Technology Ventures Line up


Participants Announced: Financial Technology Ventures Line up for Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator 2018

Whether you’re a freelancer wanting an easier way to do your taxes, you’re wanting to make informed financial decisions, or you’re looking for a whānau-based P2P lender, the companies taking part in the second Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator have you covered. These three ideas are just some of the ten ventures taking part in the upcoming accelerator, aiming to make Kiwis’ lives better through FinTech.

The programme follows on from the inaugural 2017 Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator with its cohort of eight teams, including the investment platform Sharesies. “Being part of the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator helped us turn our idea into a business and provided us with the momentum, tools, and support we needed along the way,” Sharesies co-founder Sonya Williams says.

Beginning 12 February in Wellington, this year’s cohort promises to be just as disruptive as the first. Alongside the three ideas mentioned above, there are companies using blockchain technologies, asset management solutions for young people, and chatbots all in the mix. The ten teams were selected through a competitive application process that saw 66 teams apply.

“We’re thrilled with the high quality of ventures that are taking part this year,” says Laura Reitel, the Programme Director. “Each of them represents a very different approach to FinTech and shows the enormous scope of the industry. We’re looking forward to helping them validate and launch new products to market.”

Alongside eight New Zealand teams there will also be two international teams taking part, one from Singapore and the other from China. Both ventures are coming into the programme for the opportunity to validate their business offerings and to test their products within New Zealand’s progressive economy. They will also offer New Zealand teams in-depth knowledge into the Asian markets.

Kiwibank spokesperson Peter Fletcher-Dobson says of the programme:
“We’re blown away by the quality and breadth of teams that applied for Kiwibank’s second FinTech Accelerator. We’ve seen a step-up in the maturity of teams, and the strong international interest and calibre of entrepreneurs, bodes well for growing FinTech in New Zealand.

We have a great mix of teams and ideas covering technologies like blockchain, AI, bots, and robo-advice, and also truly progressive FinTech themes like, insuretech, digital ID, financial inclusion, and payments innovations. We’re excited to be helping these firms establish themselves and stamp their mark on the global stage.”

Callaghan Innovation's Startup Manager, Elena Higgison, says with a significant amount of R&D going into financial technology, Kiwi FinTech startups are enjoying a wealth of opportunity.

"Growth for New Zealand's 11 big FinTech companies in 2017 was an impressive 48.5%. That's 4-times faster than agritech and 16-times faster than heavy manufacturing,” says Ms Higgison.
“People and businesses are desperate for technology that makes financial management smarter, quicker, and cheaper – whether it be monotonous accounting tasks, getting complex systems working together, or improved customer service. As you can see with this group, there is no shortage of potential for new ideas in this space.”
Confirmed teams are:
BOT THE BUILDER
By utilising artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces, Bot the Builder is changing the way financial services companies communicate and develop relationships with customers. They integrate systems, services, business logic, and APIs into a natural, conversational interface (i.e chatbot).

CENTRALITY
The rise of crypto currencies and the use of blockchain are opening up new opportunities and challenges for the world of finance. A key challenge is the ability to link digital identity to real world identity in a way that meets regulatory hurdles. Together, Centrality and Kiwibank are exploring this opportunity by developing a proof-of-concept for a digital identity on the blockchain that meets these regulatory thresholds.

CHOICE
Choice is a new way to pay in New Zealand that reduces and redistributes transaction fees for businesses, giving those savings to Kiwi charities of your choice.

FLOWCOIN
Developing a new way of paying for recurring services and subscriptions, and for receiving recurring income. Flowcoin lets you set up and manage these payments/receipts, and enables you to visualise at a glance who your money is flowing to and how quickly.

HITKEY
With HitKey's intelligent smartphone-keyboard technology, consumers can make payments and access other financial services functions within any social or chat applications such as Gmail, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, and Slack.

HNRY
Hnry is an online service that automates all tax and compliance activities for freelancers, contractors, and the self-employed. They pay and file Income Taxes, Sales Tax (GST/VAT), and levies (ACC), as well as provide professional insurances on a pay-as-you-go basis.

ILUMONY
Ilumony is a robo-advice platform helping more people access quality advice and make better financial decisions about KiwiSaver, investment portfolios and cryptocurrency portfolios.

STASH
Stash is a simple visual management platform for valuable items that offers millenials a customised, fuss-free insurance solution. Easy as.

TĀ KOHA
Tā Koha is a crowdlending platform for Māori entrepreneurs to raise capital by involving their whānau, their communities, and those who want to see an equitable and inclusive funding landscape in Aotearoa.

Run by startup and innovation agency Creative HQ alongside Callaghan Innovation and Kiwibank, the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator is also sponsored by a group of innovation-focused NZ and multinational companies – Mastercard, Ando Insurance, Deloitte, and Simmonds Stewart.

Ends
Creative HQ is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WREDA, Wellington’s Regional Economic Development Agency. We believe Entrepreneurs are Everywhere.

WHAT IS LIGHTNING LAB?
Lightning Lab is New Zealand’s premier business acceleration programme. Lightning Lab gives young ventures access to some of the world’s top coaches, mentors, and business minds. Ventures get a period of intense, focused attention that will provide them with the opportunity to learn at a rapid pace. Lightning Lab has been running since 2013. ends

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