Applications are now open for the programme which helped boost the success of some of New Zealand’s top fintech start-ups, including Sharesies, Hnry and Choice.
Now in its third year, the 2019 Kiwi Fintech Accelerator programme founded by Kiwibank, will be joined by New Zealand’s own international fintech success story, Xero, along with SBS Bank, Centrality, and Centrix – all of which have a proven commitment to growing New Zealand Inc.
The Kiwi Fintech Accelerator was established to provide New Zealand fintech start-ups with pathways and access to global markets. The programme, jointly delivered with Creative HQ, runs for 12 weeks and sees teams work intensively with expert support to innovate, build, launch and expand their business.
Kiwibank’s Fintech Lead, Anand Ranchord, says: “Previous ventures have created great products and through the accelerator programme were able to network and raise funds to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses.
“The diversity of Kiwi FinTech Accelerator sponsors provides amazing opportunities for start-ups to find partnerships to grow. There is access to expertise, tools to build products, as well as go-to-market support – invaluable assets to any start-up business,” Ranchord said.
The fintech sector in New Zealand is accelerating at a rate more than 10 percent faster than the global average, according to insight from Fintech New Zealand. In 2018, growth in New Zealand fintech rose to 48.5 percent, compared to the global average of 31 percent.
Recognising the opportunity to foster further growth, for the first time the 2019 programme will run from multiple sites. In addition to central Wellington, an Auckland contingent will be based out of Xero’s Rewired space and South Island teams will be based in the SBS Bank office in Invercargill.
Nicole Buisson, Xero’s Small Business Director, believes New Zealand can lead the world in financial technology, which will transform the financial services industry and lift the economy.
Highlighting why Xero offers the ideal space to host aspiring businesses looking to expand, Buisson says: “Rewired is an innovation hub for tech and fintech-focussed small businesses, so we saw it fitting to host the first Auckland based Kiwi FinTech Accelerator in our space. Having started as a small business ourselves, we know that it takes a community to develop, collaborate and scale together, which is why we are proud to be partnering with Kiwibank in this venture.”
Applications for the Kiwi FinTech Accelerator close on May 24, with the programme beginning on July 1. A Demo Day, where participants pitch to potential investors and the wider tech community, will take place in early October.
Media enquiries contact: Kara Tait, Kiwibank External Communications Manager - 027 475 3521
Xero contact: Natalie Benning - 021 026 19604
Note to editors
As the largest of the New Zealand-owned banks, Kiwibank is a proud supporter of innovation, solutions and the wider Fintech eco-system. It strives to go beyond what is currently available in the financial technology space for the future benefit of its personal and business customers, as well as everyday Kiwis and New Zealand Inc.
Born in the cloud, Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use platform for small businesses and their advisors. The company has 1.6 million subscribers in over 180 countries and a thriving ecosystem, seamlessly integrating with over 700 apps. On the inaugural 2018 Financial Times FT1000 High-Growth Companies Asia Pacific list, Xero was the fastest growing tech company in the $200 million+ segment. Xero won Technology Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards in 2016 and was rated by Canstar Blue as Australia’s best accounting software in four consecutive years from 2015 to 2018.
As New Zealand's member bank, we're with you. We're committed to helping Kiwis on their journey to financial independence by building mutual trust, mutual benefits and most of all mutual respect. SBS Bank – We’re with you.
Centrality is a Kiwi company and one of the leading, blockchain venture studios in the world. We exist to make a positive change in the word - to build an ecosystem where success can happen for businesses, start-ups and developers.
Centrix is the only New Zealand owned and operated consumer credit bureau, proudly recognised for our innovation. We leverage our experience and flexibility to deliver high value services to our business partners.
Creative HQ operates the Lightning Lab program that will power the Kiwi FinTech Accelerator. Lightning Lab is a three-month, mentor-intensive, business acceleration programme based on the best of breed accelerator model developed by TechStars in the US