FinTech Supercharger Looking for Bright Sparks
The deadline for applications for the inaugural Supercharger FinTech accelerator is just days away. FinTech entrepreneurs have until 20 November to put forward their credentials to be part of the 12-week program. Those selected are promised assistance “…with company building, mentorship and advice in areas such as market entry, regulatory obligations and joint ventures opportunities.”
The selectors are encouraging entries from every corner of the industry, simply stating that they are looking for “innovation”. They will select a shortlist from the entries and then call these companies in for interview. From this process, the finalists will be selected.
Applicants can be based anywhere in the world, but will need to be in the SAR for the duration of the program. The finalists will continue to garner support even if they choose not to stay in Hong Kong once the Supercharger has finished. Early stage startups will be given $30,000 in return for 5% of their equity, whilst established startups are being offered help getting their ICP license, an office space for four months and introductions to joint ventures in China for a fee of US$ 20,000 among other benefits.
The accelerator is a collaboration between Standard Chartered bank, Chinese search engine Baidu and TusPark Global Network, which started out as part of Tsinghua University. The network now runs technology parks and has incubated more than 1500 companies.
The Supercharger has also won the backing of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx). "Harnessing the vibrant creativity that Hong Kong's start-up community offers is hugely important to our future," said Charles Li, Chief Executive of HKEx.
This is another opportunity for those who missed out on the two accelerators that have run this year. Earlier this month, the ten companies selected for the DBS accelerator program showcased their work at a demo day to mark the end of the program. Accentures’ FinTech Innovation Lab, which lists financial heavyweights HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs amongst its backers, also held a demo day at the beginning of November. Bitcoin exchange Bitspark and digital security firm Uniken were amongst the startups who met potential investors at the event.
These events say a lot about the health of the FinTech industry, says Janos Barberis, founder of the hub, Fintech.hk, which is also backing the Supercharger: “The fact that there are now three accelerators shows how the corporate world is willing to engage with the startups.”