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2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator Demo Day: On Progress and Possibility

Guest blog post by Wayne Miller, executive director of The Venture Center

2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator Demo Day will be held on Wednesday, July 17, from 4 - 7:30 p.m., at the Arkansas Repertory Theater, and the excitement leading up to the big event is palpable. Demo Day is the culminating event of the 2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator and showcases the partnership between Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), the State of Arkansas and The Venture Center. Together, we continue to make significant contributions with a global impact in the financial technology space.

Out of 225 applicants from around the world, this year’s cohort consists of ten portfolio companies carefully vetted by FIS and The Venture Center leadership. Selected for their leadership skills and the promise in their products, this year’s cohort seized the opportunity to further refine their solutions and their relevance to enabling banks and FIS to serve their customers better. The company founders have poured everything into the 12-week program, and on Demo Day they will demonstrate their solutions to the world in the city where fintech began.

During the event, the 2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator Program cohort will present their further validated and improved financial technology solutions to dozens of bank executives, fintech investors, financial industry and community leaders. Then the company founders will be available to meet attendees at the event or during office hours the following Thursday and Friday at the Venture Center offices.

For me, Demo Day is the best part of every accelerator we produce. It’s an emotional day for me because it represents the effort of so many people on our team and beyond. It’s a celebration of our community and corporate partners, our founders, our staff members and more as they embraced entrepreneurs working on solutions that continue to usher the rapid pace by which this industry is changing.

As the industry evolves, we’re honored to be part of the hard work that’s made Arkansas a central force in the fintech revolution. Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission have been wonderful partners to The Venture Center in our shared effort to make Arkansas an important Fintech and Entrepreneurial Support Organization (ESO) hub. The Governor and the AEDC have always fostered a culture of innovation across the state and it truly shows.

Our founder companies have meaningful financial solutions that touch every walk of life, and for 12 weeks, they’ve interacted with over 60 bank executives who helped validate that their solutions are solving genuine problems in the financial industry. Their work will help banks, of course, but will also help countless people achieve greater financial health as they save and plan better. Our company founders are helping banks and merchants, employees, investors, as well as servicing the unbanked and the underbanked – bringing meaningful possibility and opportunity to people from all walks of life.

After Demo Day, many of our founders will return to their homes and families. While we’ll miss seeing them in the office every day, we see it as a beginning and not an end. Their companies will make life better for everyone for years to come, and we’ll proudly continue to mentor and support them as they scale their businesses to new heights.

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