The accelerator programme, launched in partnership with Accenture, brings together the next generation of technology leaders and entrepreneurs to address the needs of the region’s financial services industry. An intensive evaluation and shortlisting process will now commence. DIFC, Accenture, and partnering financial institutions will assess the applications based on whether the proposed innovation is unique, fills a gap in the market and meets industry needs. The top applicants will be shortlisted and interviewed. Up to 10 finalists will be selected on 11 July 2017. The programme will formally begin on 21 August 2017. Following 12 weeks of mentorship and co-working sessions with leading local and international financial institutions, successful applicants will get to present their work in the form of a demo day among potential investors.
Raja Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC, said: “We are delighted that Fintech Hive at DIFC has attracted applications from startups in the UAE and across the world. With more than US$23.2 billion invested in global FinTech deals in 2016, the programme is filling a considerable gap in the market by linking innovative tech thinkers to financial industry leaders in an ecosystem that accommodates the full supply chain. We are encouraged by the high calibre of applications, and remain confident that FinTech Hive at DIFC will accelerate innovation in the region and put us on par with other FinTech hubs around the world.”
From the financial services industry, the successfully shortlisted applicants will have the opportunity to be mentored by leading executives from Citi, Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, HSBC, Mashreq, RAKBANK, Standard Chartered, and Visa, as well as senior representatives from DIFC Authority and Accenture. Technology mentorship will also be available from Facebook and Envestnet | Yodlee. In addition, the finalists will be able to move around Dubai with ease, with Careem, the region’s leading app-based car booking service, participating as a transportation partner.
Speaking on the importance of partnerships, Sushil Saluja, Senior Managing Director for Financial Services in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America at Accenture, said: “Given the significant interest that this programme has garnered, it is evident that innovative thinkers and established industry leaders are eager to join hands and create strong synergies. Both have recognised that mutual collaboration is the key to unlocking a world of cutting-edge solutions that may otherwise not have been possible without critical mentorship. With the potential to create game changing technologies for the financial services industry in areas such as big data, blockchain, and wireless payments - this is an exciting space.”
Reinforcing its commitment to the FinTech community, DIFC last week hosted a FinTech R/Evolution event to engage members of the financial and technology industries. Raja Al Mazrouei opened the event with an overview of the Centre’s FinTech initiatives. In his keynote speech, Peter Smith, Managing Director, Head of Policy and Strategy, Dubai Financial Services Authority outlined the advantages of the DFSA’s recently launched Innovation Testing Licence. Following this, a panel discussion with leading industry experts that included Citi, Beehive, and RAKBANK focused on how banks can benefit from collaboration with FinTechs, and how technology is helping financial institutions and governments meet new regulatory obligations. The discussion also focused on what it will take for the FinTech ecosystem to collaborate for a more innovative future.
Information about the program and application criteria can be found at fintechhive.difc.ae.
About Dubai International Financial Centre
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, providing a world-class platform connecting the region’s markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas. It also facilitates the growth in South-South trade and investment. An onshore, international financial centre, DIFC provides a stable, mature and secure base for financial institutions to develop their wholesale businesses.
The Centre offers all the elements found in the world’s most successful financial industry ecosystems, including an independent regulator, an independent judicial system with a common-law framework, a global financial exchange, inspiring architecture, powerful, enabling support services and a vibrant business community. The infrastructure within the district features ultra-modern office space, retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, art galleries, residential apartments, public green areas and hotels.
Located midway between the global financial centres of New York, London in the West and Singapore, Hong Kong in the East, DIFC (GMT +4) fills a vital time-zone gap with a workday that bridges the market and business hours of financial centres in both Asia and North America.
In 2015, DIFC launched its 2024 growth strategy, a blueprint for the next decade of growth of the financial hub. This strategy aims to stimulate trade and investment flows along the South-South economic corridor encompassing Africa, Southern Asia and Latin America.
Currently, 1,648 active registered companies operate from the Centre, with a combined workforce of 21,611 professionals.
DIFC continues to pursue expansion into new services and sectors within the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, an area comprising over 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and nominal GDP of US$7.4 trillion.
For further information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on Twitter @DIFC.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 401,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
© Press Release 2017