About 2 weeks ago, the Think Forward Initiative celebrated the journey of its 3 pioneer incubator teams, on Demo Day. With the conclusion of phase 1 of the pilot, the focus now turns towards phase 2, the growth track. As we did in the incubator, we will continue learning from the outcomes of the growth track. This is to determine what best suits our path towards accelerating impact and ultimately, improving the lives of 100 million people.
Functioning as a 3-month part-time program, the TFI accelerator growth track is designed for startups impacting the lives of people, in the areas of daily financial decisions, financing the future and financial literacy. As part of the selection process, over 100 innovative startups within the financial services industry who also have great social impact potential were scouted. From that long list, 20 startups were shortlisted to participate. After evaluating factors relating to the team, their customer base, value proposition and financial sustainability, a final group of 9 startups was selected, to participate in Selection Day.
Selection Day at Startupbootcamp Amsterdam, determines the first 4 startups to join the growth track
The selection day for the growth track happened on 26th January and the 9 inspiring startups involved represented various sectors within the financial services industry including budgeting, lending, investment, retirement and insurance.
Otly!, Limitless, Quotanda, Money Coach, Goin, Peerby, WeSavvy, Finbase and Penstable had the opportunity to pitch their businesses a room full of TFI’s strategic partners coming from companies such as ING, Deloitte and Dimension Data. After which, each of the startups also had in-depth conversations with a selection committee. The criteria for selecting the startups for the next phase was based a few considerations. Factors such as the startups’ underlying motivations to join the program, their level of maturity and readiness for the program, their potential for impact, how financially sustainable they were and their general level of coachability were some of the considerations that determined the decision of the committee.
And so, in February, a final decision was made regarding the startups that were best fit for the Growth Track.
Meet the selected startups!
MoneyCoach is a personal finance app available on the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. It helps you compare your income to your expenses, understand where your money goes and set and achieve goals. MoneyCoach lets you keep track of the details as you spend money: where, when, what, why, & how much.
Millennials need new, simple financial products in order to start investing, while financial institutions are struggling to engage Millennials. Limitless is a white-labeled mobile app for automated micro-investments. It allows for spending-based investments into a portfolio of a low-cost funds with every card transaction.
Otly! is the new way parents can manage, track and control the allowance of their children while teaching them about money, banking and finance. Teaching children how to use and manage money responsibly is the best way to educate them and prepare them for a safe financial future.
Quotanda is a lending as a service (LaaS) platform providing a suite of student loan services. Quotanda technology enables organizations to quickly introduce affordable education loan programs in any country and currency in a matter of days without the need to hire additional resources.
“We had seen a good mix of startups at our Growth Track Selection Day. All of them are doing great things, innovating at the intersection of where financial technology meets social impact. The 4 selected startups are the best fit for this program as they have a real potential in helping improve the financial lives of millions. It’s all about what we can do together with our strategic partners in realizing each of these startups’ specific growth ambitions to further expand their impact potential.” – Marc Wesselink, VP, Startupbootcamp
Currently, the onboarding process is underway. During this time, the emphasis is on understanding the general growth ambitions of each of the startups and activating the right partners to help them with their specific growth needs. What are the key ingredients that will help the startups with scalability and enhancing their impact? What type of data or internal expertise do they require? Which of TFI’s partners networks should be activated to best help them? These are the various elements that are being considered and activated in shaping the tailored growth track for the TFI accelerator.
“We do believe that one great idea can have a big impact for many people when applied on a large scale. Therefore TFI wants to help the selected startups in the growth track really expand their impact potential. In this next track, we provide the startups a carefully tailored program as well as the added value of the TFI partner network, to help them realise their ambitions to scale. In doing so, they can increase their social impact on society.” – Dagmar van der Plas, Global Lead, TFI
The no equity, part-time program kicks off on March 8th at Startupbootcamp Amsterdam. More updates on evolution of this next phase of the TFI accelerator and the journey of the startups, coming soon!
In the mean time, relive the moments from the Selection Day here: