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ICBA and The Venture Center Announce Finalists for ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator

finalists

The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) and The Venture Center have announced the 10 startup companies that have been selected to participate in the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator. The first-of-its-kind program exclusively focuses on community bank product development for the benefit of community banks and the customers they serve.

ICBA Chairman-Elect and community banker Preston Kennedy, ICBA Services Network Chief Operating Officer Kevin Tweddle, Venture Center Executive Director Wayne Miller, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) Executive Director Mike Preston, and other community leaders will be in attendance today during a kickoff event at The Venture Center in Little Rock, Ark.

“ICBA puts its mission into action with our partnership with The Venture Center,” says Preston Kennedy, president and CEO of Zachary Bancshares Inc. of Zachary, La. “This partnership is a particularly favorable environment from which community banks and financial technology companies will sharpen our shared vision to create products, cultivate solutions, and eliminate barriers to delivering the superior experience that our customers have come to expect.”

“The ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator is focused on identifying and accelerating the development and growth of early-stage financial technology ventures that will spur the most innovative and beneficial community bank-fintech partnerships,” ICBA Services Network COO Kevin Tweddle says. “The companies selected as finalists have all shown great possibility to fulfill current community banking needs while creating opportunities for the future. It’s all about creating that high-tech, high-touch future of community banking.”

“The Venture Center is honored to produce this program,” The Venture Center’s Executive Director Wayne Miller says. “We’re delighted that these companies have chosen to participate in this opportunity, and over the next 12 weeks, I’m confident that we will create some remarkable solutions to address genuine challenges that community banks are facing.”

The 2019 program received 190 applications from early-stage financial technology companies across the U.S. and 39 other countries. The 10 chosen startups are:

The selected companies will participate in a rigorous 12-week bootcamp program at The Venture Center in Little Rock, which is designed to accelerate the development of their financial innovations. The chosen companies will gain direct exposure to thousands of community banks and receive initial investments, along with mentoring and training from ICBA and The Venture Center’s network of mentors and leaders.

“Arkansas is the birthplace of fintech, and the hub of a strong community bank presence. The state continues to make its mark on fintech through our accelerator programs,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says. “We are pleased to welcome these 10 startups to Little Rock and look forward to the impact they will have on community banks.”

“Community banks have a significant impact on the U.S. economy,” AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston says. “The State of Arkansas is pleased to serve a role in shaping the future of community banking and supporting fintech startups from across the world through the accelerator.”

The 2019 program will culminate with a live demonstration to an audience of community bankers at ICBA LIVE® in Nashville on March 18.  A similar event will also be held at The Venture Center on March 27 for community banking leaders, potential investors and entrepreneurs.

For more information about the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator, visit www.icba.org/fintech.

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