Dubai to push FinTech with accelerator launch

The DIFC and Accenture have jointly launched a FinTech accelerator in an attempt to increase the region’s involvement in the FinTech space.
By Paul Walsh
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Accenture have launched the first FinTech accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

Due to launch in Q1 2017, FinTech Hive aims to provide a platform bringing financial and technology firms together to improve customer experiences and drive operational efficiencies.

The venture is also aimed at increasing the region’s involvement in the FinTech sector by enabling technology entrepreneurs and companies to develop, test and modify innovations alongside executives from the DIFC and other financial institutions.

“We are proud to be launching FinTech Hive at DIFC following the recent announcement of the world’s first government accelerator programmes,” said His Excellency Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC.

“With our founding membership in the Global Blockchain Council and today’s launch, DIFC is pioneering innovative developments in the MEASA’s financial services sector, while taking our economies to new horizons,” said Kazim.

FinTech Hive will start with a 12 week ‘accelerator programme’ intending to increase growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance and alternative finance

Emirates NBD and Mashreq will be the first local financial institutions to join the accelerator programme, while HSBC and VISA are the first international financial services providers.

“DIFC is uniquely positioned to become the regional hub for FinTech,” said Sushil Saluja, senior managing director for financial services for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America regions at Accenture.

“The accelerator programme will identify the best entrepreneurs within the financial services industry and grant them invaluable access to and feedback from potential customers and funders,” said Saluja.