April 17, 2017
Dubai International Financial Centre Calls on Applicants for FinTech Hive at DIFC

Online application process goes live on 17 April 2017
 
Applications will be evaluated by Dubai International Financial Centre, Accenture and participating Financial Institutions

DUBAI, UAE; Apr. 17, 2017 – Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has today announced that applications for its ‘FinTech Hive at DIFC’ accelerator program will open on 17 April 2017, following registered interest from over 200 companies since its launch in January. The 12-week program helps early and growth-stage financial technology (FinTech) companies accelerate product and business development by gaining exposure to top financial institution executives.
 
Successful applicants will be offered the opportunity to develop, test and modify their innovations in collaboration with senior representatives from DIFC Authority, Accenture, and financial institutions such as Citi, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Visa, Emirates NBD, and Mashreq.
 
The program will also provide access to mentorship from leading technology partners such as Facebook and Envestnet | Yodlee. Facebook will run an independent mentorship workshop for startups, providing advice on monetization, growth and engagement, development and marketing tools, and analytics. Envestnet | Yodlee will provide developers with access to Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to build innovative financial applications and services.
 
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer at DIFC Authority commented: “FinTech Hive at DIFC will connect innovators in financial services technology with the banks, financial institutions and service providers within our dynamic ecosystem at DIFC. Aligned with the UAE National Innovation Strategy and Dubai Plan 2021, which will position Dubai among the smartest cities in the world, it is also in line with our DIFC 2024 Strategy, by providing a platform to develop solutions that meet the specific needs of and address the challenges faced by the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.”
 
Omar Boulos, Regional Managing Director of Accenture in the Middle East and North Africa said, “Emerging technologies are playing a pivotal role in the transformation of financial services. As Dubai evolves towards its smart city vision, and the broader MEASA region looks to accelerate and connect through investment ventures, FinTech becomes critical. FinTech Hive at DIFC opens up opportunities for those who understand the regional challenges well, and offers a chance to those international entrepreneurs who are able to apply lessons from around the world.”
 
Initial selection will be based on maturity, life stage, market traction and financing profiles. Applicants will need to have a well-defined prototype or service implemented in at least one market and will be looking at growing into the MEASA region.  The program will culminate in up to ten participants presenting their solutions at a Demo Day to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.
 
FinTech is set to grow to US$150 billion globally in the next three to five years, and the UAE is currently only tapping into 1% of this investment, FinTech Hive at DIFC aims to address this deficit for the UAE and the wider region, by identifying the world’s best and brightest technology entrepreneurs and companies through a competitive process.
 
FinTech Hive at DIFC will build on DIFC’s existing FinTech ecosystem, positioning the Centre alongside London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. DIFC has partnered with Accenture, a leading global professional services company that specializes in digital transformation, and that has successfully implemented FinTech innovation hubs globally.  Its lab participants have raised a total of US$386 million in venture financing after participating in the programs.
 
Information about the program and application criteria can be found fintechhive.difc.ae.  Applications close on 28 May, 2017.
 
About Dubai International Financial Centre
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, providing a world-class platform connecting the region’s markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas. It also facilitates the growth in South-South trade and investment. An onshore, international financial centre, DIFC provides a stable, mature and secure base for financial institutions to develop their wholesale businesses.
 
The Centre offers all the elements found in the world’s most successful financial industry ecosystems, including an independent regulator, an independent judicial system with a common-law framework, a global financial exchange, inspiring architecture, powerful, enabling support services and a vibrant business community. The infrastructure within the district features ultra-modern office space, retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, art galleries, residential apartments, public green areas and hotels.
 
Located midway between the global financial centres of New York, London in the West and Singapore, Hong Kong in the East, DIFC (GMT +4) fills a vital time-zone gap with a workday that bridges the market and business hours of financial centres in both Asia and North America.
 
In 2015, DIFC launched its 2024 growth strategy, a blueprint for the next decade of growth of the financial hub. This strategy aims to stimulate trade and investment flows along the South-South economic corridor encompassing Africa, Southern Asia and Latin America.
 
Currently, 1,648 active registered companies operate from the Centre, with a combined workforce of 21,611 professionals.
 
DIFC continues to pursue expansion into new services and sectors within the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, an area comprising over 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and nominal GDP of US$7.4 trillion.
 
For further information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on Twitter @DIFC.
 
About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 401,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
 
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Contacts:
 
Hajar Al Ketbi
DIFC
+ 971 4 362 2440
hajar.alketbi@difc.ae
 
Theodore Halabi
Accenture
+ 971 50 662 7053
theodore.halabi@accenture.com