Fusion, Switzerland’s first fintech accelerator, announced that it has opened the application process for its first intake of financial technology start-ups. Aspiring start-ups have until June 15 to apply for a place in the accelerator, which will begin operating from 1 October this year.
Fusion, launched in February this year, is the creation of Polytech Ventures, a venture capital firm based out of the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL). The project brings together a broad group of stakeholders: corporate members such Temenos, the market-leading banking software vendor, which provide sponsorship and mentoring; resource partners, such as Capco, which provide technological consulting; and academic partners, including IDIAP (EPFL affiliated research institute), which provide access to cutting edge research and facilities.
The aim of Fusion is create a thriving ecosystem of fintech start-ups, which will boost and reinforce Switzerland’s reputation as a financial hub. Unlike many other incubators and accelerators, Fusion takes no upfront equity stake in the start-ups it accelerates. But, in common with some, it offers through its corporate members the opportunity for start-ups to be mentored by leading companies in their field who will facilitate access to their networks and customers.
Fusion is accepting applications from start-ups from all over the world, not just Switzerland. Applications are made through the accelerator website and must be made before June 15 in order to qualify for the intake of 1 October. Fusion expects to host between eight and ten start-ups for its 12 months programme and is especially interested in companies working in areas such as asset and wealth management, insurance, and commodity trading.
Guillaume Dubray, Managing Partner at Polytech Ventures commented, “Switzerland is a leader in both innovation and Financial Services. It is therefore a perfect place to launch a fintech accelerator. Where Fusion hopes to be different from other similar projects and add additional value to its start-ups is by facilitating access to a broad range of corporates and by concentrating on those areas where Switzerland is a world-leader such as wealth management.”