FinTech Hive at Dubai International Financial Center is now accepting applications for its 2018 cycle. The accelerator that was founded last year claims to be the first FinTech accelerator in the Middle East, Africa & South Asia and has run its first cycle in 2017, which had some very promising startups including Maliyya, Sarwa, and Smart Crowd. Maliyya went on to raise $1.3 million in funding after taking part in Fintech Hive. as part of the program.
Dubai International Finance Center runs the program in partnership with the leading global professional services company Accenture.
For those of you who don’t know, Dubai International Finance Center is a global financial center that has internationally recognized and independent regulation, common law framework, and tax-friendly regime. Its home to tens of local, regional and international financial institutions and that is what makes FinTech Hive different from some other accelerators of the region.
All the selected startups have access to senior-level executives at these financial institutions which includes names like Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citi, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Noor Bank, Mashreq, UAE Exchange, Visa, AIG, and Takaful Emarat. Not only can they pitch their products to them for potential collaboration or investment but also receive guidance and mentorship from these partners.
The 2018 edition of the program is expanding its scope to include insurtech, Islamic finance and regulatory technology (regtech) solutions, as well for the first time.
FinTech Hive’s website explains the benefits of the program as follows.
- Mentoring from the industry’s leading firms and senior financial services executives
- Insider knowledge and direct feedback from your target user groups
- Workshops and panel discussions on topics such as procurement, regulation and industry trends
- Opportunities to raise your profile amongst potential partners and investors
- A workspace in DIFC for two employees throughout the program
Yes, there’s no money (investment) involved at least according to the website as there’s no mention of it. That is why It is also safe to assume that FinTech Hive doesn’t take any equity in the startups it accepts. But we’re not certain as the information, unfortunately, is not available on their website or FAQs page.
To be eligible to apply, a startup must NOT be a well-known FinTech business. This leaves some room for confusion as we don’t know what exactly do they mean by well-known here but we’re going to assume that all the startups that have already raised a significant amount of funding ($1 million plus) fall into the ‘well-known’ category. Here’s the eligibility criteria, as explained on their website.
- You’re not already an established, public/listed or well-known financial technology (FinTech) business
- You have a minimum alpha or beta product to demonstrate and are prepared to share access to programme partners under NDA (and where reasonable, for no additional cost)
- Your senior team (e.g. Founder/CEO & CTO/Lead Developer) can commit to being based in Dubai throughout the 12-week programme
- You can show that access to senior-level executives in the financial services firms will have a meaningful impact on your growth prospects
“As FinTech continues to be a game-changer for the financial services industry, nurturing innovative talent is a fundamental priority because of the immense benefits it brings to the economy and society,” said Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC. “By connecting innovators in financial services technology with the banks, financial institutions and service providers, we are providing a world-class platform to develop solutions that meet the specific needs of, and address the challenges faced in, the region.”