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Dubai International Financial Centre opens applications for FinTech Hive accelerator programme

The online application process for Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) ‘FinTech Hive at DIFC’ is now open and will close on 28 May 2017, DIFC said recently.

According to the official release, DIFC has partnered with leading global professional services company Accenture. FinTech Hive at DIFC will build on DIFC’s existing FinTech ecosystem, positioning the centre alongside London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Emerging technologies are 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”, Omar Boulos, Regional Managing Director of Accenture in the Middle East and North Africa said.

By offering exposure to top financial institution executives, the 12-week programme aims to help early and growth-stage FinTech companies accelerate product and business development. Successful applicants will get an opportunity to develop, test and modify their innovations in collaboration with senior representatives from DIFC Authority, Accenture, and financial institutions such as Citi, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Visa, Emirates NBD, and Mashreq.

In addition, the programme will also provide access to mentorship from leading technology partners such as Facebook and Envestnet | Yodlee. Facebook will run an independent mentorship workshop for startups, providing advice on monetisation, growth and engagement, development and marketing tools, and analytics. Envestnet | Yodlee will provide developers with access to Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to build innovative financial applications and services, the release said.

“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”, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer at DIFC Authority said.

Initial selection will be based on a number of criteria including maturity, life stage, market traction and financing profiles. Importantly, 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.

The programme will culminate in a Demo Day, which will feature up to ten participants presenting their solutions to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.

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