The Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator is a three-month business growth programme powered by New Zealand’s premier startup accelerator brand, Lightning Lab, that will run in Wellington, New Zealand. This programme is designed to help financial technology companies compete on a global scale.
Eight teams will be accepted, gaining access to NZ’s largest network of financial services experts and a high-quality pool of startup mentors. Teams will work directly with Kiwibank, Xero and other financial industry partners. They’ll practice market validation and product development approaches used by companies like Google, IDEO, and Tesla. At the end of the three months, each team will have the opportunity to pitch for investment at Demo Day, in front of New Zealand's top angel investors and early stage venture funds.
WHAT IS AN ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME?
An accelerator is a full-time, in-residence, fast-paced and time constrained business-growth programme. It helps entrepreneurs build great businesses in a short timeframe.
WHY THE KIWIBANK FINTECH ACCELERATOR?
With the first FinTech accelerator in New Zealand comes direct access to the country's financial industry. Tap into established supply chains, partner models and deep sector expertise. Gain mentorship from the best business and technical minds in the country.
RAPID GROWTH ENVIRONMENT
The accelerator programme offers you the chance to surround yourself with like-minded founders who are experiencing the same challenges and opportunities as you are. Put your team to the test, work in brand new ways and focus your full attention on your venture. Quickly determine how to gain product-market fit and grow your base of customers.
ACCESS TO INVESTMENT
The accelerator programme positions you to attract critical seed funding from top investors in order to propel your company’s growth. Lightning Lab companies have raised over $12m in collective funding over the last 3 years.
BECOME A GREAT FOUNDER
Get the chance to surround yourself with like-minded founders who are experiencing the same challenges and opportunities as you are. Gain access to some of the brightest leaders in NZ business and use those connections to learn how to fast track your business to succeed both within New Zealand and internationally.
Why is Kiwibank getting behind a FinTech accelerator?
As the financial industry continues to get massively disrupted by innovation and technology, Kiwibank is committed to continuing our core mission of driving real, positive change in New Zealand’s banking sector. We believe the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator can achieve this while establishing Wellington as a new, globally-recognised FinTech hub and, most importantly, backing the innovation and ingenuity of local tech businesses.
Lightning Lab is New Zealand’s premier business accelerator programme and a member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN). Each programme runs for 3 months and takes in up to 10 high growth startup businesses, giving them access to a network of more than 250 mentors, interns and advisors. Lightning Lab runs digital, manufacturing and XX (female founder) programmes across the country and provides participating teams with structure, startup methodologies, business skills and focused support so they can prove, build and launch their ideas into market with speed. The programme concludes with a Demo Day pitch event, which has generated more than $12 million NZD to date from New Zealand’s leading investors.
$12min collective funding has been raised to date by 63 Lightning Lab companies
300+ accredited investors on our Demo Day invite list
88% of all funded companies are all still active after their time at Lightning Lab
WHAT YOU NEED TO APPLY FOR THE KIWIBANK FINTECH ACCELERATOR
Your company will be focused on solving problems within the Financial Sector in ways that make Kiwi’s better off. Here’s a non-definitive guide to areas we’d be interested in having teams explore:
Initiatives that are working with data and digital to change consumer behaviour in a habitual way, particularly around financial literacy.
Ideas that are looking to innovate in digital banking solutions in lending; investing; payments; insurance; wealth management and more
Innovations in data analytics; digital identity and cyber security Using new technologies like Blockchain; AI; machine learning; bots, cryptocurrencies and more
RegTech and other ideas that create innovative enterprise solutions for financial services companies in the areas of risk, fraud and security
We give preference to ventures that have a product developed and have achieved some user traction in the market. Be prepared to demonstrate this.
#3 HIGH GROWTH POTENTIAL
Participating ventures must have a scalable business model and high growth potential - this is important! We’re looking for high-growth ventures that have potential to completely disrupt the financial sector and change the landscape permanently.
We are looking for extraordinary people leading companies tied to their deep and personal passions. You must apply as a team and you must demonstrate that you are a rock star unit.
20 OUT OF 20 SPOTS STILL AVAILABLE
APPLY NOW TO GET INTO OUR FREE MARKET VALIDATION COURSE!
We want to help you better understand your customers’ pain and product/market fit before you are interviewed for the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator programme. Apply for the programme, and we'll be selecting the top 20 applicants to go through our Market Validation Course. This means you'll want to get your application in before November 1 to increase your chance of being selected.
How the Market Validation Course Works
The course will kick off on November 7, 8 and 9th and you'll be required to physically attend at least one of these days in either Auckland or Wellington. This is a five-week course that includes 6-10 hours per week of online content, challenges and check-ins with market validation experts. You’ll have access to some of the top mentors from the Lightning Lab mentor pool, learn best practices and show your hustle to the selection panel for the accelerator. Going through the course will significantly increase your chances of being selected for the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator.