DIFC, Accenture announce region’s first FinTech accelerator program

Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and Accenture have announced the region’s first FinTech accelerator in Dubai.

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FinTech Hive launch

Set to launch in the Q1, 2017, FinTech Hive at DIFC will bring cutting-edge financial services technology to MEASA markets, while providing a platform that brings financial and technology firms together. Its goal is to increase access to, and improve customer experience and drive operational efficiencies in the financial services sector.

The global FinTech sector has attracted more than $50 billion in investment since 2010 but currently the Middle East and North Africa only attract around 1% of that investment. The DIFC Accelerator intends to bridge the gap by creating a platform that drives innovation and showcases success – identifying leading technology entrepreneurs and companies through a competitive process.

Pioneering initiative

Essa Kazim

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC and chairman of the DIFC Authority Board of Directors, said: “We are proud to be launching Fintech Hive at DIFC. DIFC is pioneering innovative developments in the MEASA’s financial services sector, while taking our economies to new horizons.”

Sushil Saluja, Accenture’s senior managing director for financial services in the company’s Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America region, said: “DIFC is uniquely positioned to become the regional hub for FinTech. By putting together local banks and FinTech firms to ideate, collaborate and partner, DIFC is helping both sectors be at the forefront of the financial services industry.”

Accelerator program

fintech

FinTech Hive at DIFC will start with a 12-week ‘accelerator program’, which will bring together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region’s financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. It intends to catalyze the growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance such as P2P payments and Shariah-based services.

Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and North Africa, said: “The digital era will define the region’s future in terms of liquidity and growth. The FinTech market, with a global investment of $22.3 billion in 2015, has already begun revolutionizing the banking industry by offering new ways of unlocking resources and capital, while driving efficiency and creating new partnerships”

 

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