Innovation Blog

What Makes MassChallenge FinTech Unique? All Your Questions Answered


Last month’s Boston FinTech Week feels like a dream. There was Eastern Bank and Roxbury Innovation Center’s FinTech for Good Trivia Night. And then a Fireside Chat with FMR, LLC Chairman and CEO Abigail Johnson and Sarah Biller, Co-Founder of FinTech Sandbox. By the end of the week, our MassChallenge FinTech team was delirious with that special summer camp type of exhaustion, the kind that only comes from being deeply entrenched in something you genuinely enjoy.

Having had conversations with many fellow attendees and organizers since then, we know that many share this feeling. There is a special sense of community in fintech, a collective understanding of the challenges, possibilities, and opportunities ahead—opportunities that have the potential to impact billions of people from across industries and backgrounds.

With that common understanding of massive opportunity, however, comes many differing ideas and approaches to innovation. At MassChallenge FinTech, for one, we’ve been getting many questions about our approach and what makes it different than your typical “accelerator.”

In short, we are simply: more. MassChallenge FinTech was founded on the belief that startups and large firms can accomplish so much more together than they can alone.

With a focus on established startups, we don’t operate on a set curriculum – our primary goal is to reduce friction between startups and large organizations so that you can work together to improve financial services. Over the course of 6 months, you’ll work directly with 1 or more of our partners to tackle complex business challenges, all while you continue to run your business.

Here are some of the most popular questions we’ve received lately.

What are the outcomes of MCFT?

MCFT sets you up with meaningful partnerships—we have done the work and research to work with only the most driven, informed changemakers in our partner organizations.

While we will work alongside you throughout the program to facilitate those relationships and hit your milestones, it is up to you to capitalize on product validation, co-development, customer connections, and strategic investments (and more). You’ll also have access to our partner FinTech Sandbox and their data resources. As a bonus, we have $250K in cash prizes and free office space.

Am I eligible? How do I know if this program is right for me?

It’s all about fit. General guidelines are 0-10MM in funding or revenue, but we know that startups that can solve these problems come in all forms – from bootstrapped to those who have raised more than 10MM in funding.

Do I need to be in Boston?

We encourage at least 1 team member to be accessible for travel to the Boston area throughout the program, but specific expectations will be defined by your partner and relationship (ie, virtual meetings, etc). All startups must have at least 1 representative in our MassChallenge office from December 5th-7th for match-making.

What does a day in the life look like for a MCFT startup?

Most of your time will be spent working with your partner(s) and running your business. That being said, we’re a firm believer in continual growth – so you have the opportunity to participate in enterprise-readiness training, office hours with legal, compliance, and regulatory experts, and UX workshops. If you don’t want to take advantage of these, that’s okay – we’re just trying to supplement your existing capabilities as much as possible.

What if we don’t see a challenge/ partner pitch that fits our business?

If you’re a startup solving issues in financial services (broadly defined), we encourage you to apply. We know that many of our partners are facing more challenges than they even realize, and that you, as innovators, are working to solve problems that they haven’t anticipated yet. This is the key to transforming financial services, and we want you involved.

APPLY HERE BY 10/12 (noon ET)!

We know that both firms and startups have the fundamental will to transform the wide spectrum of financial services. And as we saw from Boston FinTech Week, there’s so much opportunity for collaboration in bringing technologies, resources, and expertise together to drive this change. At MassChallenge FinTech, we’re here to make it easier.

New to MassChallenge?

Visit the Join section of our site to learn more about the organization and how you may benefit by getting involved.

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