Citi Ventures has announced a partnership with Plug and Play Tech Center to expand its accelerator efforts in the US, Germany, Singapore, Brazil and Spain.
This program will utilize Citi’s global lab network while building on its first FinTech accelerator, launched in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2013.
"Our team is committed to accelerating emerging technologies that have the potential to transform financial services experiences for Citi’s customers," said Debby Hopkins, Chief Innovation Officer of Citi and Chief Executive Officer of Citi Ventures. "Collaborating with Plug and Play adds to our internal innovation efforts and increases our ability to work with startups on disruptive new ideas around the world."
The program offers startups mentorship, feedback on product ideas and roadmaps, and introductions across the global networks of Citi Ventures, Plug and Play and other sponsoring partners. Over a 12-week period, the U.S. accelerator program will accept 20-30 startups in each of two classes in its 2015 inaugural program.
The accelerator is seeking applications from startups focused on mobile payments and banking, as well as security and authentication. As Plug and Play’s first Platinum-level Global Anchor Partner, Citi Ventures has secured Intuit as a sponsor, and Plug and Play will announce more partners over the coming weeks.
"Citi was one of the first banks to launch a FinTech accelerator, and Citi Ventures brings to this program deep financial services expertise, global reach and a demonstrated record of championing entrepreneurs," said Plug and Play Chief Executive Officer and founder Saeed Amidi. "The Citi Ventures team already coordinates activities across seven global labs, adding highly complementary networks to our program."
With investments in Paypal, Lending Club and Credit Sesame, Plug and Play’s network includes more than 300 tech startups, 180 investors, and a community of leading universities and corporate partners in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
"Citi Ventures actively seeks partnerships that marry entrepreneurial speed with corporate scale to successfully accelerate new solutions," said Debbie Brackeen, Managing Director and Global Head, Innovation Network at Citi Ventures. "Working with Plug and Play enables us to deepen our relationships with companies, investors and entrepreneurs that are passionate about the future of financial services."
Through its global network of innovation labs, strategic partnerships and an active venture investing practice, Citi Ventures drives pilots and commercializes emerging technologies across Citi.