Plug and Play Inaugural FinTech and Retail Accelerators’ Graduates Demo Products

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Winners Announced at Quarterly Pitch Competition; Open Call for Second FinTech Class

Plug and Play, the global accelerator program, recently held its quarterly pitch competition event, which is the culmination of its two accelerator programs, FinTech & Retail. Over 50 graduating startups pitched an audience of corporate executives, venture capitalists, angel investors, media and more at a fast-paced Demo Day.

Additionally, after launching the inaugural class of 29 FinTech & Security startups, Plug and Play announced the opening of applications for the second group of disruptors. In partnership with Citi Ventures, Capital One, USAA, Intuit, Assurant, JCB and other Fortune 500 corporations, Plug and Play FinTech & Security is in search of up to 30 technology startups to enroll for the Summer Class of 2015. Startups are encouraged to apply to the 12-week accelerator program no later than June 15, 2015 for the series, which begins on July 22, 2015.

In addition to the first FinTech & Security class, the 22 startups from Plug and Play Retail also graduated. Plug and Play Retail brings startups together with corporations, investors, and experts in the field to help accelerate their growth.

“One of the most beneficial aspects of our program is the Retail and FinTech conversion. We can witness this by way of EXPO and our VIP judges including Kohl’s, Yum! Brands, Procter & Gamble Co., and Target,” said Plug and Play’s CEO and Founder, Saeed Amidi. “Lending Club is a great example of the cycle of entrepreneurship that happens at Plug and Play. Renaud is able to come back seven years later and mentor our startups. This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us.”

The startup accelerator program offers benefits including office space, mentorship, business development, pitch polishing, deal flow and may include investment of up to $500,000 as part of the program. Startups work with the partnering investor and financial organizations by way of weekly mentoring, introductions and office hours, enabling accelerated growth with an aim of getting products to market faster.

"We welcome the opportunity to mentor talented entrepreneurs working on some of the most disruptive business models and emerging technologies like blockchain, security, and commerce & payments,” said Debbie Brackeen, Managing Director and Global Head, Innovation Network at Citi Ventures. “As Global Anchor Partner, Citi is actively meeting with startup teams, providing product feedback, bringing different elements of Citi’s expertise, and making connections across our global network – and at the same time, we are building relationships with entrepreneurs and learning about emerging technologies that will drive the next generation of financial innovation.”

Mentors in the program include Anish Srivastava of Citi Ventures, Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners, Bill Tai of Charles River Ventures, Wences Casares of Xapo and dozens more.

The winner from each accelerator was announced late in the afternoon. The winner for the FinTech & Security class was Bluink, and for the Retail class, Pinn. Bluink’s app, Injector, is a mobile password and credential bank that secures your log-ins, credit cards, or other credentials. Pinn, by employing iBeacon technology, is able to streamline the payment process to one point of action.

The judging panel included representatives from: Citi Ventures, Kohl’s, Target, USAA, Panasonic, Banco Original, Simon Property Group, JCB, Tesco, Intuit, Toshiba, Capital One, and Mars. These two winning companies exemplified relativity, scalability, and applicability to our corporate partners among an extremely qualified pool of graduates.

As part of the selection criteria for the upcoming class of participants, startups focused in the following technologies will be prioritized:

  •     Payments as a Service
  •     Smart Accounting
  •     Smart Contracts
  •     Commerce & Payments
  •     Security
  •     Insurance
  •     Blockchain & Bitcoin
  •     Robo-advising
  •     Mobile Banking
  •     Data & Analytics

Learn more information by visiting our website:
http://www.plugandplayaccelerator.com/fintech
http://www.plugandplayaccelerator.com/retail

About Plug and Play Tech Center
Plug and Play Tech Center is an accelerator specializing in growing technology startups. Headquartered in Sunnyvale California, Plug and Play’s global network includes over 300 tech startups, 180 investors and a community of leading Universities and Corporate partners. Since its founding in 2006, Plug and Play startups have raised over $1 Billion in funding. In 2011 alone, Plug and Play’s startups raised over $350 Million and went through M&A valued in excess of $500 Million. From unique industry networking events, to education-emersion programs, international programs, to M&A, Plug and Play has everything tech startups need to get organized, connect and grow. Plug and Play portfolio companies include PayPal, Danger, Dropbox and SoundHound to name a few.

About Citi Ventures
Citi Ventures is the innovation arm of Citi committed to accelerating growth across the company through its global network of innovation labs, venture investing efforts and strategic partnerships. Its Innovation Network team partners with external organizations, thought leaders, corporates and accelerators and also coordinates the bank’s global labs, which test disruptive new solutions for its customers, like blockchain technology, wearables and UX design. The Venture Investing team invests in startups that are most relevant to Citi and commercializes new technologies and new business models in four key focus areas: Commerce & Payments, Security & Enterprise IT, Big Data & Analytics, and FinTech.

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Scott Robinson
@PlugandPlayTC
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