Q&A with

General Q&A

Must be an early-stage startup within the Financial Technology or “fintech” industry. While all fintech companies will be considered, the first cohort launching in August 2023 will have some sessions that focus specifically on ‘BankTech’ defined as: technology seeking to improve, automate, or scale the delivery or use of payments, deposits, loans, or relationships between retail or commercial banks and their customers.

Additional Requirements:

  • A minimum of one full-time team member
  • Phase One or Phase Two of Entrepreneurs Lifecycle as the Selection Committee will consider applications in two tracks:
    • Phase One (Pre-Seed): Annual Revenue $0 – $50,000
    • Phase Two (Seed): Annual Revenue $50,000+
  • Established LLC or C corp

Applications for the first cohort will be live as of June 6th, 2023. Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis, so if you are interested in applying, please do so as soon as possible to be considered for our first cohort. The program will begin on 8/2/2023.

The accelerator offers industry-specific programming, networking, expert mentorship, high-value exposure, and access to additional community resources.

Programming will include weekly virtual sessions, focusing on specialized areas such as FinTech Regulation, Financial Modeling, Sales & Branding, Pitch Tips & Tricks, and Fundraising. Unique speakers and experts will be brought in for each session.

Networking opportunities will be both virtual and in-person in Nashville. For example, free admission is offered to 3686, for up to (2) members of your team.

Mentorship will take two forms. Each startup will (1) be matched with a designated mentor “champion”, and receive one-on-one coaching throughout the accelerator, and (2) receive special access to a statewide expert network.

Lastly, the cohort will have unique exposure throughout the program, including an in-person Pitch Competition to over 100 regional and community banks.

Yes. There is a cost of $3,600 to join the 9 month accelerator, payable in monthly installments of $400. This cost has been subsidized by our donor community, and covers all 9 months of programming, networking events, and EC community resources.

No. There is a nominal program fee that has been subsidized by our donor community, but there is no ownership taken. We operate as a founder-first 501(c3) nonprofit, and our goal is to help you grow and scale your startup, no strings attached.

This is a small and personalized program — no more than ten.

In our extensive network, we have a distinguished group of specialized mentors in the FinTech space. Many of these mentors are exited entrepreneurs, and their collective expertise covers a broad spectrum of areas within the realm of fintech and entrepreneurship, making them invaluable resources for entrepreneurs seeking guidance and support.

Our network of mentors and experts includes professionals with deep knowledge and experience in the following areas, and more:

Business Strategy and Planning: These mentors excel in formulating effective strategies and business plans, enabling entrepreneurs to navigate the competitive FinTech landscape with clarity and purpose.

Product Development and Innovation: With a keen understanding of technology and market trends, our mentors can provide insights on developing innovative FinTech products and services that align with customer needs and expectations.

Technology and Digital Transformation: Our experts possess expertise in implementing and leveraging advanced technologies to drive digital transformation within the FinTech industry.

Regulatory and Compliance: Understanding the intricate regulatory frameworks and compliance requirements is crucial in the FinTech sector. Our mentors are well-versed in navigating these complexities and can guide entrepreneurs in ensuring their ventures adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

Funding and Investment: Our network includes mentors with a deep understanding of the funding landscape in the FinTech space. They can offer valuable insights on securing capital, attracting investors, and optimizing funding strategies.

Risk Management and Security: Our mentors have experience in identifying and mitigating risks associated with FinTech ventures, including cybersecurity threats and operational risks. They can assist entrepreneurs in developing robust risk management and security frameworks.

Marketing and Customer Acquisition: Our experts specialize in FinTech-specific marketing strategies, customer acquisition techniques, and user experience optimization. They can provide guidance on branding, customer segmentation, and effective marketing channels.

Operations and Scaling: Scaling a FinTech venture requires careful planning and execution. Our mentors can share their knowledge on operational efficiency, scaling strategies, and organizational design to help entrepreneurs achieve sustainable growth.

Industry-specific Expertise: Our network includes mentors with in-depth knowledge of specific sectors within the FinTech industry, such as payments, lending, wealth management, insurance, and more. Their domain expertise can provide valuable insights and guidance to entrepreneurs operating in these areas.

By leveraging the diverse expertise of our network, entrepreneurs in the FinTech space can benefit from tailored guidance and support across all aspects of their business journey.

As a Project FinTech cohort member, each startup will receive access to:

  • The Nashville Entrepreneur Center co-working space
  • Special EC discounts from resource partners, such as WeFunder, HubSpot for Startups, etc
  • Invitations to all EC member events and networking opportunities
  • The EC Advisor platform for additional support
  • The EC community slack channel for resource sharing

Companies do not need to be based in Tennessee, however as they grow, we strongly encourage them to consider the plethora of resources available to startups based in the state.

No, although we would love to have you! The majority of the program is virtual, with periodic in-person gatherings across the state.

Whenever possible, we hope that startup CEOs can join us for the program’s select in-person events. These event locations and schedule are publicized with startup founders after accepted into the program. Advanced notice is given for all travel booking purposes.

The program will start August 2, 2023, and run for approximately 9 months.

We expect full engagement from cohort participants, as we find that engaged founders derive the most value from accelerator programming. A typical month will include:

  • 60 minutes of programming, weekly (most often, this will be instruction from experts in the industry).
  • 60 minute one-on-one mentorship call with champion mentor.
  • 30 minute check-in with program manager, so the team can ensure we are connecting you to personalized, highly relevant resources.

This program is designed for the primary participant to be the company’s founder or CEO. For those companies with additional leadership in-place, other full-time employers in functional vertical may be invited to attend workshops or panels that align with their role.

No, participation does not guarantee investment; however, if this is one of your startup’s goals, the team will work with you to optimize your fundraising strategy and position you for success.

Mentors, advisors, & startup founders are required to sign an NDA to participate in the accelerator.

Your startup joins the network as a Project FinTech alumni!

You will have the option to enroll in additional Project FinTech or EC programming as you continue your entrepreneurial journey.

There are a very limited number need-based scholarships available — more information will be shared in the interview process as needed.