#VCNews: ICBA and The Venture Center Showcase Community Bank Innovation

Posted on April 9, 2020
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ICBA and The Venture Center Showcase Community Bank Innovation

ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator participants pledge support for COVID-19 relief efforts

Little Rock Ark. (April 8, 2020)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) and The Venture Center, in partnership with the State of Arkansas, today hosted the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator Virtual Demo Day, for its second cohort. The program drives community bank innovation through the introduction of high-tech, high-touch solutions aimed at enhancing customer experiences.

ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator participants are also offering community banks free services, deferred payments, or accelerated deployments of their digital products to support community banks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the Demo Day, fintech participant Lendsmart was named “MVP” for its extraordinary effort, spirit of collaboration, and platform’s potential to solve for community bankers’ business challenges and opportunities. Griffin Technologies was also recognized as the 2020 Banker’s Choice Award winner at ICBA’s national convention, ICBA LIVE® last month in Orlando, Fla. 

Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), Little Rock, Ark. Mayor Frank Scott Jr., ICBA Chairman Noah Wilcox, ICBA Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Charles Potts, and The Venture Center Executive Director Wayne Miller spoke at the live-streamed event.  

“ICBA launched the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program, in partnership with The Venture Center and the State of Arkansas, so that community banks can continue making a positive economic impact in the communities we serve day in and day out, especially during difficult times like these,” said Wilcox who also serves as president, CEO and chairman of Grand Rapids State Bank and its holding company, Wilcox Bancshares Inc., both based in Grand Rapids, Minn.

“Community banks are, and always have been, nimble innovators and creative problem solvers, particularly during challenging times like these,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said.  “We’re proud to support these efforts through the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program, as we strive to create and promote an environment where community banks and their customers flourish.”

“The ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator is the launchpad for community bank and early-stage fintech partnerships,” The Venture Center’s Miller said. “Now, more than ever, we see the critical need for expedient innovation, and we are grateful to play a role in ICBA’s mission to support community banks working to meet the needs of their consumers in times of certainty and in times of crisis.”

After completing the rigorous bootcamp, the nine selected companies are primed to usher innovation in the areas of lending, customer acquisition and retention, data analytics and fraud mitigation, and financial well-being.

The 2020 ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator alumni are:

·       FinscendTel Aviv, Israel

·       Fintel Connect, Vancouver, B.C.

·       Finzly, Charlotte, N.C.

·       FI Works, Little Rock, Ark.

·       Fraud.net, New York, N.Y.

·       Griffin Technologies, Overland Park, Kan.

·       Hexanika, New York, N.Y. and Pune, India

·       Lendsmart, Hoboken, N.J.

·       Wallit, Portland, Maine

To view a recording of ICBA ThinkTECH Virtual Demo Day, please visit www.venturecenter.co/icbademo.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 750,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, nearly $4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.


About The Venture Center

The Venture Center’s immersive accelerator programs are designed to accelerate the growth of early-stage companies and help them validate their solutions for real-world problems. Our methodology provides a unique opportunity to connect with community bank executives, receive seed investment and learn from a comprehensive curriculum that will aid in strategically addressing go-to-market, business, and finance challenges.