Ohio fintech accelerator generating international interest

Columbus, Ohio-based fintech accelerator Fintech71 has been attracting interest from far beyond its borders since its April launch.

“We can monitor the applications in real time and are seeing a lot of fascinating ideas, particularly from abroad,” Fintech71 executive director Matt Amsted said. “We are very pleased with the interest we have seen so far and are looking forward to engaging with the applicants in the weeks to come.”

Corporate America likes what it sees so far. Visa, Capital One, Diebold Nixdorf, First Financial Bancorp and Apex Supply Chain Technologies are partnering, as are global innovation initiatives such as Holland Fintech and Singularity University, which is launching its first accelerator beyond the West Coast in a shared location with Fintech71 at 107 High St. in Columbus. Additional corporate backers include KeyBank, Progressive, The Kroger Co., Grange Insurance, Huntington, FifthThird, First Federal Lakewood, Root Insurance, Safelite and Silicon Valley Bank.

Collaborating with Fintech71 was a natural extension of Visa’s recent moves in the state, their SVP of risk and authentication products Mark Nelsen explained.

“Our interest in supporting Fintech71 is based on Visa’s newly-gained presence in the state with the acquisition of CardinalCommerce, a Mentor-based digital commerce authentication company. In working with the exceptional Cardinal team, we recognize first-hand the incredible value of the talent in the region. We want to be close to this innovation effort.”

Fintech makes sense in a state where financial services are the second-largest private sector industry by GDP, Fintech71 said in a release. Ohio’s 200 colleges graduate 35,000 direct candidates for fintech and financial services jobs every year and there is a strong engineering and advanced manufacturing presence. JobsOhio, a private, non-profit economic development corporation, is covering internal operations costs while JPMorgan Chase provides thought leadership and industry knowledge.

Applications for Fintech71 are accepted until Mon., Jul. 17. The initial class of 10-12 starts Sept. 10, with each member receiving a $100,000 equity-based startup-friendly stipend. International companies are encouraged to apply and Fintech71 said outstanding candidates will receive visa support.

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