By Ethan Austin, Managing Director of the Techstars & Western Union Accelerator (Original Post – Techstars Newsroom)
We are incredibly excited to announce the 2020 class for the Techstars & Western Union Accelerator.
Our thesis for 2020 is access.
Access to better financial tools and services will create a more equitable and inclusive financial system. Providing access to the global financial system is central to Western Union’s commitment to inclusive innovation: developing products and services that consider the needs of all customers no matter their financial situation or location to improve financial inclusion.
This philosophy deeply resonates with me personally. With access as our North Star, program leadership contemplated the following questions:
- Can we help close the credit gap to give people access to daily essentials like food and medicine?
- Can we give people instant access to the wages they’ve earned or credit to pay a utility, grocery, or medical bills?
- Is there a way to make U.S. capital markets more accessible for people around the world so that everyone, not just a select few in the U.S., can reap the benefits of investing?
- Are there better financial tools and systems designed for the next generation that can dramatically improve their standard of living?
After speaking with hundreds of entrepreneurs throughout the selection process we found the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes!
We also believe access means opportunity shouldn’t discriminate based on where you were born. A point of pride around this year’s Techstars & Western Union Accelerator class is the diversity of the founders. The companies in our 2020 class are led by diverse founders from around the world including the Philippines, Egypt, Gambia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Israel, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, and the United States.
Our definition of access is not limited to opportunity for those moving to the United States. It also means creating equal access for those in every community across this country. While we recognize that there is much work yet to be done and we all have a role to play in ending systemic racism and inequality, we stand proudly with everyone who is fighting for a fairer, more equitable system.
We are proud to announce the 10 companies selected to participate in this year’s class of the Techstars & Western Union Accelerator This is a group of founders and entrepreneurs addressing challenges across the financial services system that have the potential to make a lasting impact in creating a more equitable and inclusive global financial system. Each of these 10 companies are tackling systemic industry obstacles and embody what it means to drive inclusive innovation. We are excited to see how they continue their growth over the next 13-weeks of our program and beyond.
Welcome to the family, Techstars & Western Union Accelerator Class of 2020!
A banking and spend management platform for NGOs.
- Gig Wage
Modern 1099 gig payments for the future of work.
- Heights Labs
AI and network analytics platform for risk, fraud, compliance, and AML/CFT.
Our AI-powered technology helps qualified and banked individuals without relevant credit-history, payslips or credit-scores establish credit and access affordable financial services such as personal credit.
AI/ML currency pricing software for the remittance and payments industry
Alternative credit scoring and lending for essentials in emerging markets.
- Rise Capital
Digital wealth manager connecting Africans to global dollar investments.
- Robbie AI
Facial recognition technology through real-time streaming in natural settings.
- Vested Finance
Investment advisory platform promoting sustainable wealth creation by empowering local Indian investors to go global.
Yunit allows users to save money with their friends.