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Despite a proliferation of accelerators for inclusive tech startups the sector has yet to land on a standard recipe for effective acceleration. Four accelerator programs, with over 10 years of collective experience supporting early-stage startups share best practices in startup acceleration. It is the collaborative effort of three accelerators supported by JPMorgan Chase & Co. – the Financial Solutions Lab at Financial Health Network (US), Catalyst Fund at BFA Global (emerging markets), and the Financial Inclusion Lab at Bharat Inclusion Initiative (India); with input from the Resolution Foundation (UK & Europe), which is exploring inclusive fintech in the UK. These accelerators have together supported over 100 startups providing fintech solutions to underserved populations to improve their financial health.
This mission is especially critical today as vulnerable families and small businesses have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and need tailored financial services to build their savings and resources. The brief uncovers best practices for programs providing direct support to inclusive fintech startups or for funders developing accelerator programs in the future. More precisely, the brief explores the three core elements of acceleration programs:
1. Sourcing & selection of inclusive fintech startups
2. Support for startups, which includes funding & investment, diagnosis & planning, technical assistance/venture building, training, mentorship, and events & networking
3. Ecosystem building, which includes gathering and sharing insights, policy engagement, measuring and monitoring impact, and engaging alumni post-program.