6 Corporate Fintech Accelerators and Incubators in Asia to Knowby Fintech News Singapore October 12, 2023
Corporate accelerators and incubators are specialized initiatives set up by established corporations to foster innovation. These programs typically provide startups with resources including mentorship, office space, financial support and access to a corporation’s network and customer base. In return, these firms get a firsthand look at cutting-edge solutions that can be integrated into their existing operations or spun off into new business ventures.
With the fintech sector rapidly evolving and new solutions emerging constantly, corporate accelerators allow firms to engage with bright minds and entrepreneurial talents in the fintech space, develop and test innovations promptly, and identify promising startups early on, potentially leading to lucrative returns if these startups succeed and ensuring that they remain at the forefront of industry advancements.
In this article, we look at some of the most prominent corporate accelerators and incubators in Asia-Pacific (APAC) which are providing fintech startups with the resources they need to grow and build meaningful business connections.
Visa Accelerator Program Asia-Pacific
The Visa Accelerator Program is designed for growth stage companies looking to expand their market reach, with a focus on product solutioning, technical integration and fast-tracked commercialization.
The program was created to help promising startups unlock their growth potential and scale across APAC region by collaborating on joint solutions that address the biggest opportunities in digital payments.
Together with Visa’s payment experts, product architects and business development teams, startups part of the Visa Accelerator Program get to rapidly co-develop, test, and iterate new solutions, while pursuing tangible go-to-market opportunities with the firm’s extensive network of financial institutions, merchants and digital partners over a course of six months.
The program, which is now in its third year, has supported some of APAC’s most prominent startups, including Brankas, an open banking technology provider headquartered in Singapore, Open, a neobanking platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India, and Curlec, a full-stack payments solution provider from Malaysia.
The FinLab, a joint venture between the United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Infocomm Investments, a unit of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, is an innovation accelerator that assists businesses on their digitalization journey with proprietary business tools, webinars, curated events and contents.
In addition to its support to businesses across Southeast Asia, the FinLab also teams up with other industry stakeholders to launch specialized startup acceleration programs.
In 2016, it launched a 100-day accelerator that provided 30 startups with up to S$440,000 in cash and benefits each, in addition to S$30,000 in seed money in return for 6% equity stake.
Currently, the FinLab runs the GreenTech Accelerator, a three-month regional and global program designed to grow and transform innovative greentech solutions to meet the economic and environmental needs of businesses. The program targets startups in the areas of energy efficiency, zero-waste supply chain, carbon management and reporting.
Fintech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific
The Fintech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific is an equity-free annual accelerator program run by Accenture in collaboration with Hong Kong Cyberport and the world’s top financial institutions. It’s a highly competitive 12-week challenge-based growth program that aims to help early to growth stage startups refine and test their value proposition with the support of the world’s leading financial institutions.
Now in its tenth year, Fintech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific brings together innovators, leaders from financial institutions, regulators, investors and many other stakeholders, providing selected startups with the opportunity to gain access to senior executives at top financial institutions, work with potential future customers to test their product market fit, gain unique insights into the financial services industries, and build strong relationships.
Startups that went through the program include BetterTradeOff, a Singapore-based startup providing a holistic life-planning solution, Blocko, a South Korean blockchain infrastructure provider, and Tookitaki, a Singapore-based regtech company providing enterprise software solutions.
Google for Startups Accelerator: Southeast Asia
Google for Startups Accelerator: Southeast Asia is a three-month, equity-free accelerator program that aims to support startups working on social, economic and health problems across the region.
Launched in 2020, the program is tailored specifically for startups in the Seed to Series A stages and is designed to connect them with the vast resources of Google, including top-tier products, an unparalleled network, and the expertise that only Google can provide.
The program runs under a hybrid model, blending in-person and virtual engagements. Participants can expect a combination of 1:1 mentoring sessions and group learning experiences, ensuring both personalized guidance and the benefits of collaborative growth. Participants also get to participate in deep-dive workshops on critical areas of startup growth, such as business models, product design, business expansion, and leadership development.
To be eligible, startups must be based in Southeast Asia and should be developing a scalable solution that’s addressing a significant challenge with a vast total addressable market. While ventures from all sectors are welcome, the program does have a preference for those in fields like fintech, education, healthcare, agriculture, environment, retail, and smart cities.
Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator
In June 2021, Alibaba Cloud announced its new Project AsiaForward initiative to bring digital transformation to local enterprises in Asia and nurture fresh talent.
As part of Project AsiaForward, Alibaba Cloud launched the Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator, a program consisting of a series of Demo Days designed to identify startups that are compatible with Alibaba’s ecosystem.
Through the program, participants get the opportunity to develop connections with top venture capitalists (VCs) in Southeast Asia and China, as well as become the subject of coverage on KrASIA, 36Kr, and more. The program is open to startup from all stages and industries, and offers selected startups up to US$60,000 in Alibaba Cloud credits, one-to-one technical support for setting up and migration, and networking opportunities.
Bringing together Asia’s VCs and entrepreneurs, the Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator claims it has attracted more than 1,000 applicants in 2022 alone.
SCB 10X is the venture investment arm of SCBX Group and a subsidiary of Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank. The company was set up to create a new future for Thai startups, and has the mission to build new “moonshot” ventures that go beyond and further than the norms and expectations.
SCB 10X also run specialized startup programs in partnership with other industry stakeholders, such as the Bangkok Blockathon 2023, which ran in April and May of this year, and welcomed aspiring and experienced builders to create innovative, robust and scalable decentralized applications. The winners got to take home a total of US$18,000 in prizes and had the opportunity for incubation and mentorship by SCB 10X and partners.
SCB 10X also operates the Hacker House, a Web3 flexible six-month incubation program which provides tailored supports for fast-paced product building from ideation to company spin-off. Participants of the SCX 10X Hacker House can expect access to key resources such as product design and strategy, business models, technical mentorship, community building, fundraising and more.