Wed 03-04-2019 11:44 AM
DUBAI, 3rd April, 2019 (WAM) -- The DIFC FinTech Hive, the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region, announced it has begun accepting applications for the third cycle of its hugely successful accelerator programme.
The third cycle will kick off in September, welcoming select FinTech start-ups to an intensive three-month programme, which will include guidance and mentorship from 21 partners, comprising financial institutions, insurance firms and strategic partners. As in previous years, the start-ups will be presented with the opportunity to engage with executives from their respective fields at an early stage of their development and will be given the chance to advance and test innovative technologies that address the sector’s ongoing challenges.
During a dedicated launch event, the participating partners identified and outlined key challenges faced by the regional financial industry to serve as a framework for the types of concepts they would like to see amongst this year’s finalists. There was significant interest in FinTech technologies that address credit scoring, customer acquisition and onboarding, as well as cyber security and data analytics. InsurTech-focused finalists are invited to provide technologies that focus on data aggregation, connectivity and customer journey.
On this occasion, Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of DIFC FinTech Hive, said, "We are excited to begin accepting and reviewing applications for the third cycle of the programme. FinTech Hive plays a crucial role in DIFC’s efforts to shape the future of the regional financial landscape. It is part of an ecosystem that includes an enabling infrastructure, fit-for-purpose-regulation, subsidised licensing and most importantly, access to some of the world’s pioneering financial institutions.
Al Mazrouei added, "This year, we have continued to work closely with our programme partners to identify the challenges from the very beginning and benefit from their insights at an early stage. These valuable insights help our finalists develop technological solutions that are relevant and impactful in today’s financial world."
FinTech start-ups this year will receive mentorship from principal financial institution partners including Finablr, Standard Chartered, Visa, National Bank of Fujairah, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, Noor Bank, HSBC, Riyad Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, as well as the associate financial institution partners Arab Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank.
InsurTech start-ups will work closely with DIFC’s FinTech Hive insurance partners, AXA Gulf, Noor Takaful (Ethical Insurance), Zurich Insurance Company (DIFC), AIG, Insurance House, Cigna Insurance Middle East S.A.L. and MetLife, to help them develop game-changing solutions that address the growing requirements of the industry.
In addition, this year’s FinTech and InsurTech finalists will be supported by strategic partner Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and digital transformation partner Etisalat.
Last year’s edition saw over 80 mentorship pairings established between executives from leading financial organisations and programme start-ups. In addition, the accelerator initiated 20 proof of concepts (POCs), of which four were executed during the 12-week programme. DIFC also announced a further AED10 million commitment towards the expansion of the FinTech Hive workspace, further enhancing the collaborative enabling environment available to start-ups and entrepreneurs within the Centre.