DBS opens DBS Accelerator in Hong Kong

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Southeast Asian super-regional financial services group DBSwhich is based in Singapore, has launched a DBS fintech accelerator in Hong Kong, in a physical site called “The Vault”. This is to function as a FinTech startup hub located in the heart of Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

The 5000 square foot workspace is its first accelerator and will provide DBS Accelerator startup ventures with work and office space, resources and mentor support, in order to incubate and build entrepreneurial fintech ventures into business that can compete and adapt in swiftly changing markets.

The accelerator is designed to help entrepreneurs facilitate the creation of ventures that can drive wealth creation and serve increasingly sophisticated customer needs, leveraging on ‘fintech-focused disruptive technologies’.

As part of a drive to promote an ‘innovative and digital mindset’, DBS HK recently piloted its first Greater China hackathon, with participation from about 75 employees from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. According to official statements, the outcome was compellingly positive.

Commenting on the opening of the accelerator, DBS (Hong Kong) CEO Sebastian Paredes stated: “DBS Hong Kong is a pioneer in leveraging digital and mobile technologies in our financial products and services. The DBS Accelerator programme aims to nurture a new generation of digital leaders and talent to secure Hong Kong’s future as a world-class FinTech hub.”

DBS Hong Kong has a record of investing considerable resources in driving innovation and digital banking developments. An instant of this is the DBS Loan Centre mobile application, which enables the loan application process to be completed within a minute via smartphone use.

Another example is the ec-Loan mobile application, which was recently launched to enable DBS SME Relationship Managers to efficiently conduct the in-principle loan approval during a client meeting. Via the application, the credit scorecard of the ec-Loan programme is converted into a mobile application, which transforms the traditional paper-based approval process into a real-time digital process.

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DBS, NEST & Demo Days

Startup ventures will be guided through their business growth and development with the help of business mentoring from DBS HK and Nest senior executives, as well as other partners. Each participating venture will refine their business model, product and service under the accelerator programme, which concludes with DBS and Nest Demo Days and a Public Investor Demo Day, where their ideas can find support to further scale up.

The opening comes amidst revelations of the scope of opportunities to be found in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Research indicates that investment in financial services technology worldwide has tripled to more than US$12 billion in 2014, compared to 2013 investment in the sector. DBS Accelerator’s programme commences in early August 2015, concluding with the Demo Days that are scheduled from 5 November 2015.

Nest CEO Simon Squibb said, “This city is uniquely positioned to help FinTech companies succeed and bring innovation to Asia. There is a lot of brainpower in this city that needs seed capital to support innovation and there are a lot of entrepreneurs here willing to invest time to build great companies. DBS Hong Kong is a great partner in taking the first step to make this vision a reality.”

Nicholas Yang, Innovation and Technology Advisor to the Chief Executive and Member of the Executive Council in Hong Kong, said, “Innovation and technology are drivers of economic growth in Hong Kong and the key to enhancing the competitiveness of our industries, and improving the quality of life of Hong Kong people. In its position as the super-connector between China and the rest of the world, Hong Kong can become a regional leader in a knowledge-based economy.”

Related Story: Building engines of innovation within DBS:Neal Cross

DBS launches fintech accelerator in a JV with NEST