In just a few short years New York City has become a hub for financial technology startups. The corresponding rise in "FinTech" focused events have been well attended, often drawing in top players in the capital markets and banking world seeking to stay ahead of the technology curve and rev up their innovation cycles.
Even so, early-stage investments are inherently risky, and even the largest institutions are often hesitant to divert funding to anything less than a proven business model. But the demand for innovation is growing, causing some firms to take the leap into the less-established waters.
In an effort to foster further innovation in financial technologies, Scivantage, a Global FinTech 100 technology provider of information-enabled software, and Stevens Institute of Technology are partnering to launch the Scivantage FinTech Incubator Program. Entrepreneurs and early-stage startups from Steven's student body, faculty and alumni are encouraged to apply for the 12-week incubator program which will involve mentoring from a diverse group of financial technology executives, sales and marketing support, seed funding and office space.
"Every university that I know of in the New York City area has already developed or are developing incubator programs to commercialize ideas coming out of the academic community," says Scivantageâs CIO Andrew Haines, a Stevens Institute alum. "But we see the financial technology area as underserved and that's why we're doing this."
At the end of the 12-week Incubator Program, each of the selected entrepreneurs will present at the Scivantage Incubator Demo Day, where leading FinTech executives and investors will be in attendance, according to the press release.
According to Christos Christodoulatos, Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Stevens, this partnership is part of a larger effort to bring about a cultural change in the way academia and Wall Street enterprises collaborate.
"There's no limit on ideas," adds Haines. The program is looking at projects ranging from mobile FinTech apps to crowd funding and collaboration platforms. "NYC is really the center of Financial Services and FinTech but we see that there's still a need for more innovation. There's a gap, and we're looking to close that gap with an incubator program."