USF Muma College of Business’s new FinTech | X Accelerator Program aims to promote innovation in the field of financial technology or fintech by providing resources, mentorship and investment advice to a group of 16 national and international startup companies.
FinTech | X Accelerator Presented April 11, Tampa, St. Michael Dimer, director of Fintech, said:
“What is happening in Tampa Bay right now is historic … there is no shortage of companies and thought leaders moving here because of the hyperdrive load of creativity, innovation and collaboration,” Dimer said.
“With a strategic focus on helping students, teachers, the business community and Fintech entrepreneurs … we lead with success and positively affect the rapidly growing and growing Fintech-led market areas.”
Fintech includes the transition to finance automation Corporate Finance Institute. This includes learning about blockchain and the distribution of traditional banking services through technology.
The companies selected for the accelerator will have 90 days of experience, where they will have access to advice from industry leaders, sales, pitch training and meetings with venture capitalists, Dimer said.
Applicants were initially selected by Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. However, Deemer said the priority requirement recommended by the USF is diversity. The three selected startups are led by women, and many others include members of the LGBTQ community, minorities and military experts.
Many of the startups selected for the program are outside of Florida, with five in various regions abroad, including Ireland, England, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Israel.
Participants will conclude the program with a cooperative group session on June 29, reflecting the lessons they have learned during their time and presenting their companies to investors. Diemer says those selected from the session will have the opportunity to receive extensive support from Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. through the Virtual Core program.
The mentorship and resources provided to participants in the virtual core program will be similar to those offered during Accelerator. However, Dimer said members will continue to receive annual support from the university and affiliate sponsors.
According to Dimer, it is essential for the College of Business to suggest opportunities to students when envisioning a future for fintech in Tampa. He added that with the Accelerator, he plans to offer extensive course offers for graduate business students and to set up a Fintech Center on the St. Pete’s campus.
“It’s totally unthinkable for a student to get a business degree without a basic understanding of financial technology,” he said.
“We are looking to recruit world-class staff, offer internship opportunities at a FinTech institution, bring FinTech experts into the classroom and incorporate the curriculum in a number of other ways to engage students’ experience.”
The first group will include various entrepreneurs from the finance and corporate sectors, including businesses such as Wells Fargo, Huntington Bank and PNC. They also won brand deals with various fintech industry giants, including Lift, Dordash and PayPal.
Given the rapidly evolving nature of the FinTech industry on an international and local scale, the FinTech | X Accelerator program is essential to promote diversity and representation among companies, creators and the student community.
“FinTech includes multidimensional and multidisciplinary challenges, and it requires people from all walks of life to succeed and be partners in these areas,” he said. “It takes a great thoughtful approach to include all the people who want to be in these places … that’s where we see the value of our students and their ability to make a difference.”