Applications open for AWS global fintech accelerator

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 28 Jun 2023

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to launch its first Global Fintech Accelerator as fintech-focused businesses increase their reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

According to AWS, 91% of financial services institutions are using AI to drive business transformation and change, with 80% of fintechs leveraging ML in particular. This technology is used to enhance user on-boarding, workflow automation, risk management and customer experience, among other areas of business operation.

The AWS Global Fintech Accelerator will select 150 fintech start-ups harnessing the power of AI and ML from across North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Selected start-ups will join a six-week remote programme between September 18 and October 23, where they will receive 1:1 business and technical mentorship covering funding, scaling, and go-to-market strategies, as well as AWS technical fundamentals, cloud and AI/ML adoption.

Cohort members will also receive a package of tailored benefits, including up to US$25 000 in AWS Activate credits and other benefits provided by accelerator partners across fintech, venture capital (VC), and financial services.

At the end of the six weeks, the top 15 companies in the programme will be invited to participate in a demo day with VCs, financial services institutions, potential customers, and other key market players. They will receive up to US$75 000 in additional AWS Activate credits.

To launch this initiative, AWS partnered with NVIDIA, Bain Capital Ventures, and Vestbee, a leading European platform for start-ups, VC funds, accelerators, and corporates.

Fintech transformation

AWS says the need to transform financial services is being driven mainly by consumers, who increasingly expect a faster, more customised, and more convenient way to manage their financial lives. "Meeting these evolving expectations is critical to business success, and fintechs need to balance building innovative product experiences with continuing to manage risk and compliance effectively.”

The accelerator will provide fintech founders with the support and mentorship they need to bring smarter financial services solutions to the market by leveraging the power of AI/ML and the cloud.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning are key tools for accelerating success in this new space. We are already seeing successful applications in use cases such as consumer chatbots, digital identification verification, real-time fraud detection and prevention, and point of sale credit checks that enable new business models such as buy-now-pay-later,” AWS continues.

Howard Wright, VP and global head of start-ups at AWS, says, “We are making big bets on the potential of generative AI to significantly change every customer experience out there, especially as it relates to financial services. In the long term, we expect generative AI to usher in the era of self-driving money, when every consumer with a smartphone can have access to an affordable, trusted financial advisor that will help them improve their financial health. These solutions will leverage what the cloud does best: it democratises access for everyone.”

AWS says applications are open from 27 June to 14 August 2023 and start-ups are encouraged to review the terms and conditions and submit applications here.