Western Union and Techstars have partnered to spur the next generation of disruption in the fintech sector with a focus on payments and global money transfer.
Western Union will work with Techstars in the next three years to run a mentorship-driven accelerator program and provide seed funding for startups out of its new Denver-based headquarters.
Every year, 10 startups will be selected for a class which will take part in Techstars program, where Western Union executives will mentor the class.
Western Union president and CEO Hikmet Ersek said: “Through the accelerator program, we will mentor startups to test their ideas, focus their concepts, and help them bring-to-market innovative customer solutions to the ever-changing financial industry.
“By joining forces with Techstars, we will have access to entrepreneurial talent to help us identify cutting-edge technologies and approaches to solve customer pain points.”
Western Union quoted from a study conducted last year by PwC, which showed that small tech startups are the biggest engines of innovation, with more than $58.6bn in funding received by more than 4,500 startups in 2016.
The cross-border, cross-currency money movement services provider stated that the accelerator program will allow entrepreneurs to develop solutions to some of industry’s latest challenges including ML/AI, crypto and blockchain technologies, analytics and omni-channel platforms.
Techstars founder and co-CEO David Brown said: “We are excited to work with a global company like Western Union so we can foster the right connections for a multitude of startups and help them gain access to the mentorship and resources they need to succeed.
“Colorado is already one of the leading technology centers in the world, led by companies like Western Union. Working together will drive innovation and help change the fortunes of young innovators locally and globally by bringing their ideas to life for people around the world.”
The two companies are encouraging all fintech, payments and related field startups addressing digital customer experience, point-of-sale solutions, fraud prevention, global identification, cross-border transaction processing, digital wallets, and related technologies to apply for the accelerator program.
Applications for the program will open on 3 December 2018 and the program is expected to begin in next June.