We search for startups that are building innovative applications using financial transactional data. We then use our data, technical support, mentors and network to accelerate the growth of those companies, with a goal of expanding the overall fintech market.
Name of Accelerator: Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator
Location: Redwood City, California
Incubator Director: Jeff Cain
This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator.
In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives?
We search for startups that are building innovative applications using financial transactional data. We then use our data, technical support, mentors, and network to accelerate the growth of those companies, with a goal of expanding the overall fintech market.
Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.
The Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator is unique because we do not take any equity in our startups and because we are willing to accept companies before they have an MVP. We offer companies in our program 12 months free access to our APIs as well as extensive mentorship and coaching in all aspects of building and scaling a startup. We also provide introductions across the broader Yodlee ecosystem and host exclusive industry events.
What is the most difficult part of working with startups?
Startups are a constant juggling act. The most difficult part is making sure everything gets done in the right priority, even while understaffed and with business models changing. Working with eight startups in a class means I am juggling eight individual juggling acts. It is exhausting and stressful, but also a complete adrenaline rush.
What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?
The commitment of our entrepreneurs to disrupting the status quo is always inspirational. Since our companies are generally very early stage, there is an opportunity in the program to really influence the direction they take and to accelerate their growth, which is tremendously fulfilling.
Tell us about your success stories; which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?
Of course, we think all our companies are interesting. We did just have our first exit. Stessa, from our fourth cohort, was acquired by JLL Spark in the middle of our program. We also have a company, Voatz, which enables mobile voting on the blockchain. It was recently selected by West Virginia to let military members vote from their phones in an upcoming primary election.
What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?
Companies really need to understand the strengths and resources of a particular accelerator and match those with the needs of the company. If you are a B2B startup, do not apply to an accelerator that is really good at helping B2C companies. Also, consider how much time the program will require from your team and whether you can take that time away from your business. Make sure that the value you get from the accelerator is greater than the cost, whether that cost is in time or equity.
What else would you like to share?
There are tons of great accelerators out there; make sure to do your research and find one that is a good fit. And of course, if your company has any interest in leveraging consumer or small business financial data to build innovative solutions, please check out the Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator. We are absolutely the best at what we do.
Are you familiar with accelerators you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them in the comments below.