ThinkTECH Accelerator FAQ

When are applications open and other key dates? 

Applications are open now through November 15, 2018

Applicants will be notified of selection by December 15, 2018

The program runs from January 7 thru March 29, 2019 in Little Rock, AR

Demo Day - March 22, 2019 at the ICBA Live Conference in Nashville, TN

 

How long is the accelerator? 


The program lasts 12 weeks and is held on-site in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Venture Center. The program officially launches in January; however, as soon as your company is selected for the accelerator we will help you with the logistical elements of your move.

 

Does acceptance secure a financial investment? 


All selected companies will receive an initial $75,000 investment from the ICBA via SAFE agreement.  In addition, companies may be eligible for up to $100,000-$300,000 follow-on investment at the end of the program. The Venture Center and the ICBA will also leverage their networks to provide the cohort access to other potential investors when appropriate.


How are teams selected? 


Applicants that are advanced through the evaluation process will be asked for additional information and documentation beyond the initial application. We will schedule founders for a series of video interviews that will consist of founder presentations, demos + Q & A.

Our video interviews are conducted through Zoom video conference. Due to the volume of applicants and the limited amount of time to conduct the interviews, applicants are advised to be ready at least five minutes early for their interview session. 

The accelerator encourages all entrepreneurs who have a bank enabling financial technology solution to apply.
 

Do I have to move to Little Rock? 


You will need to have one key team member (in a business development role ideally) on site for the duration of the 12-week program.


Can I bring my family? 


Absolutely! Housing accommodations are up to founders to arrange but we are absolutely willing to help. We plan several events throughout the program that are family-friendly. 


Can ThinkTECH help me sign a partnership with ICBA or other financial institutions through the accelerator? 

C-Suite executives from the ICBA and several other financial institutions regularly visit during the program to learn about your company and provide coaching and mentorship. We can't guarantee a formal partnership, but you can be assured you will have the opportunity and exposure to decision makers within the ICBA and other financial institutions to make it happen - the rest is up to you. 


What does your curriculum cover?  


The curriculum is largely individualized and SME focused as opposed to purely academic exercises. We will give you access to veteran entrepreneurs and industry experts to prepare your company to increase sales, grow, and seek investment for scaling.

The curriculum begins upon acceptance to the accelerator. Participants will prepare a few deliverables and complete short required readings prior to the program start date. On day one, we hit the ground running to accelerate your growth. 

But we don't stop after Demo Day—we will to stay connected to you and help cultivate your company's success.


What types of businesses does the ThinkTECH Accelerator serve?


The ThinkTECH Accelerator is designed to accelerate the growth of early-stage financial technology ventures. We are looking for innovative, bank-enabling FinTech businesses and are open to companies across the full spectrum of the financial technology space.


Where do your mentors come from and what value do they provide?


Mentors from both the ICBA and the Venture Center's mentorship network are heavily involved. The ICBA has committed to providing key persons from their organization to assist the FinTech accelerator startup companies.

The Venture Center's mentorship network is comprised of four types of mentors: Executive Leaders, Domain Leaders, Industry Leaders, and Capital/Funding Leaders.

Executive Leader– The seasoned and successful business leader, whether a CEO, growing startup founder or small business owner, all bring valuable leadership experiences to the entrepreneur.

Domain Leader – Skilled professionals who provide guidance regarding a specific subject matter. They provide valuable expertise in areas like: intellectual property development, financial and operational strategy, technology development and sales and presentation skill development.

Industry Leader – Recognized industry leaders provide assistance navigating the complexities and connections within areas such as advertising technology, communications, financial services, government, healthcare and retail.

Capital Leader – Raising capital or selling a company is as much an art form as a science.