The program will better prepare startups for raising capital and make valuable connections with advisors, mentors, investors, and potential customers in the region’s finance sector
The intensive investment readiness program will run from April – June and will focus on Greater Philadelphia’s opportunities in financial services technology innovation by cultivating and assisting early-stage fintech companies. As part of the VilCap Communities program, the Ben Franklin Fintech Accelerator will employ Village Capital’s unique peer review methodology, empowering the entrepreneurs themselves to evaluate each other’s early-stage businesses across nine indicators of investment readiness. Ben Franklin will invest a minimum of $25,000 in each of the two startups chosen by their peers at the end of the accelerator.
Ben Franklin is leveraging its extensive network of regional mentors and advisors, proven ability to coach early stage ventures to first investments, and readiness of capital to invest in promising early stage ventures, to create this 12-week accelerator program. The cohort will consist exclusively of Greater Philadelphia companies focused on fintech innovation, and will connect these companies to Village Capital’s global network of communities.
“Ben Franklin’s mission in Greater Philadelphia is well aligned with Village Capital’s focus on facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship to develop communities,” said RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President and CEO of Ben Franklin. “Consistent with our support for initiatives like ImpactPHL, Village Capital’s focus on democratizing entrepreneurship, and building the meaningful connections that grow communities, will help bring new national and international resources to companies in our region, and draw new attention to Philadelphia’s burgeoning technology ecosystem. We look forward to hosting a small cohort of entrepreneurs at Ben Franklin, offering them the deepest engagement we can offer, connecting top-flight, nationally recognized curriculum with the generous involvement of Ben’s broad network of investors and other stakeholders.”
Ross Baird, Village Capital's CEO, said, "With the launch of Ben Franklin’s Fintech Accelerator, Village Capital is pleased to build on its long-standing relationship with Philadelphia. We believe the combination of Village Capital’s proven investment readiness programming and unique peer reviewed investment process, coupled with the extensive network of relationships and resources that Ben Franklin and Greater Philadelphia can provide to startups, will provide best-in-class support for fintech entrepreneurs tackling problems in the financial services sector."
Village Capital program participants have raised over $220M in additional capital and have generated, with entrepreneurs who have graduated from its programs, over 11,000 jobs and served over 5.3 million customers. One year after a Village Capital program, alumni companies generated 43% more revenue, created 43% more jobs, and raised 8.6x more investment than a control group.
Throughout the program, participants will receive mentoring from industry experts and potential investors on business model development, customer hypothesis testing, financial modeling, partnership and customer development, and investor engagement. The entrepreneurs will also receive one-on-one time with mentors, industry experts, investors, top local business leaders, and potential customers.
Interested companies can learn more and apply here.