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Fintech Accelerator Launches in St. Pete

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Tampa Bay Wave and the University of South Florida Muma College of Business announced that St. Petersburg will be the site of the FinTech|X 2022 Accelerator program cohort consisting of 16 high-growth fintech startups from across the United States and abroad, including companies from Israel, England, Saudi Arabia, and Germany.

Of the 16 startups, three are led by women entrepreneurs, and there is significant representation from military veterans, LBGTQ+ founders, and minority founders.

Reputation as an Innovative Tech Hub

The FinTech|X 2022 Accelerator program represents a multi-year partnership between Tampa Bay Wave and the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. It will showcase USF’s strategic entry into financial technology, which includes establishing a new FinTech Center and offering degree programs at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance on the St. Petersburg campus. Ultimately, the Accelerator seeks to advance the reputation of St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay region as an innovative FinTech hub, thanks to a strategic community partnership with the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation.

“Tampa Bay Wave is proud to launch this new Accelerator program that will not only provide support to innovative fintech startups throughout the U.S. and beyond, but also showcase the talent and growing network of innovators and capital resources already in the Tampa Bay region,” said Linda Olson, President and Founder of Tampa Bay Wave.

The  FinTech|X 2022 Accelerator is a three-month tech business accelerator program and offers companies access to key resources such as a dedicated accelerator managing director, mentoring with notable tech founders and fintech industry giants, sales training, pitch coaching and investor coaching and introductions in an environment designed to support high-scale growth. Companies in the accelerator program will also participate in Wave’s Demo Day at the conclusion of the program on June 29th to pitch their companies to an audience of accredited investors, venture capitalists and other FinTech industry leaders.

Link Between Startup Community and Fintech Workforce Development

The FinTech|X 2022 Accelerator program will also serve as a link between the region’s tech startup community and other fintech workforce development efforts.  It is modeled on Tampa Bay Wave’s highly successful 2021 and 2022 CyberTech|X Accelerators.

“The USF Muma College of Business, and particularly the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, is becoming known as a place where fintech leaders come to learn and launch businesses,” said Moez Limayem, the Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business.  “Partnerships like this, with Tampa Bay Wave, will help entrepreneurs do just that.”

Early Stage to Series A

The 16 startups selected for the 2022 cohort are geographically diverse, with 15 companies headquartered outside of Florida, including 5 from outside the United States. While some of the startups are in the early revenue stages, others are currently generating more than $1 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).  The cohort has collectively raised over $15 million in early-stage financing from top tier venture capital firms, and nearly all are currently raising between seed and Series A funding.

The inaugural FinTech|X cohort includes many serial entrepreneurs, some with prior exits, as well as many former finance professionals and executives from names such as Huntington Bank, Cognizant, Kabbage, Techstars, Deutsche Bank, Oracle, Wells Fargo, UBS, Truist, CIBC, Accel-KKR, Comerica, PNC, and more. They and their companies have been recognized by the world’s top technology organizations such as Google, Symantec, and Techstars, and one is the recent winner of 2022 SXSW Pitch Social Entrepreneurship Speed Pitch. Several founders hold doctorates and are graduates from top universities, including Harvard, Cornell, Cal-Berkeley and Notre Dame.

The cohort companies have landed partnerships and have contracts with some of the world's top brands including Visa, DoorDash, Lyft, Freddie Mac, Paypal, Experian, and more. They are solving a multitude of problems ranging from student loan debt, expanding lending opportunities, small to medium business e-commerce, centralizing crypto exchanges, accelerating the home buying process, and more.

High-Growth Fintech Startups

The sixteen companies participating in the 2022 FinTech|X Accelerator cohort include:

Aquablocks: Established institutions lack the infrastructure and knowledge to buy digital assets. A lack of support from their financial providers results in their going to alternative sources to trade crypto. Aquablocks is an asset portfolio manager for financial institutions to purchase, trade and secure digital assets.

CashQ: CashQ embeds a cross-border payment platform for fintech and non-fintech companies.

College Cash: College Cash uses everyday behavior to reduce student loan debt, and does so in a unique manner, including user generated content campaigns, to engage with brands in a way that allows funds to be earned as early as the first year of high school.

DUKAPAQ: DUKAPAQ is a community-wide rewards program and digital marketplace for Africa's merchants.

Element DeFi: ElementDeFi is the first multidimensional all-in-one stable coin hub for decentralized finance.

FINBOA: Over 100 banks and credit unions use the FINBOA process automation SaaS platform to streamline compliance, reduce staffing challenges and improve the customer experience.

Homey Technology LTD: For all home buyers and sellers, who are fed up with the arduous conveyancing process, Homey Technology’s digital platform allows the transaction parties to complete conveyancing faster, with more certainty and ease.

inbanx: inbanx is a complete spend management solution for small and middle market businesses, which will revolutionize the way businesses spend and the credit they can access. The inbanx solution enables businesses to create and maintain budgets and sub-budgets, monetizes payables, extend corporate credit cards with spend controls, automate expense reporting, achieve real-time visibility into spending and budget consumption and allows businesses to achieve better credit lines from financial institutions.

myEGO: myEGO delivers the next generation of digital identity: decentralized & self-sovereign.

OnlineApplication: OnlineApplication is a mortgage and insurance fintech platform that delivers products easier, faster and better for lenders and advisors alike.

Paperstack: Paperstack provides e-commerce sellers with micro-loans and financial insights to help purchase inventory, invest in advertising, and hire more talent. They are focusing on the underserved 84% of the market, offering “Subscription capital” for everyday business needs, frequently acting as a “first lender cheque” for their clients.

Rabeh: Rabeh is a crowdfunding platform and virtual accelerator with built-in features, including a share equity marketplace.

RiskSmith: Risksmith helps retail investors create market-beating portfolios using modern portfolio theory and behavioral analytics.

Sole Capital: Sole Capital is providing liquidity to the culture at scale, starting with sneakers.

SueApp: SueApp is an intuitive legal tech solution for small claims filing. By harnessing technology and leveraging public data to improve the current filing process, SueApp makes filing small claims both efficient & accessible, helping to achieve effective personal and social justice for all.

VIVA Finance: VIVA Finance's lending platform offers loans based on employment information rather than credit history, expanding access to affordable credit for individuals with damaged credit histories.

Participating companies will benefit from access to and engagement from the Tampa Bay Wave’s FinTech|X Advisory Council, made up of financial tech experts from Wave’s Mentor Network, as well as representatives from the program’s funding partners and other fintech experts.

To learn more about the 2022 FinTech|X Accelerator Program, visit: https://www.tampabaywave.org/fintech/.

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