YI Incubator: The 1st FinTech Incubator in Silicon Valley

Are you looking to grow your startup or build the next generation of financial apps? On July 11, 2014, VentureBeat published a story on how “Yodlee Interactive’s incubator program gives fintech startups $20K for no equity.” We’d like to share the inspiration behind our NEXT program and how you can get involved with the incubation piece. Below are insights from Christine Loredo, VP of Programs and Partnerships at Yodlee Interactive. 1. Why did you launch NEXT by YI program? NEXT by YI was launched in August 2013 as a platform for startups to get value from our influential ecosystem of partners, investors, mentors and experts. Our vision is to support innovation around financial services, connecting our ecosystem to high potential startups and facilitating disruptive industry growth. Our program began by incubating early stage startups and providing strategic business guidance to accelerate growth and bring startup ideas to market. In the cultivation stage, we work with startups that are interested in giving back and entrepreneurs who we have helped to grow. Since many early stage startups face challenges such as securing funding, finding talent and launching a minimal viable product, we decided to boost our incubator program offered to early stage startups. Besides an award of $20K for each startup, our incubator program offers six months of free access to Yodlee Interactive API, dedicated experienced engineering staff, as well as a series of hands on boot camps with mentors across the tech sector covering product development, business planning, marketing strategy and more. 2. What resources do you offer financial tech startups? As part of our incubator program, we’re excited to offer five multi day boot camps comprised of entrepreneurs, seasoned mentors and experts. Boot camps will be held in Silicon Valley in November this year and January through May 2015. Curious about what startups will be learning? Boot camp topics range from “How to drive app downloads” to “How to obtain startup funding” and “How to develop an effective business plan & prototype.” We aim to help entrepreneurs scale their business by providing guidance on technology integration, business planning, marketing/sales and access to capital, etc. In addition, we will provide one-on-one consultations to educate startups on how to prepare for Demo Day, where they pitch ideas to high profile investors in April/May 2015. A key component of our boot camps are opportunities for entrepreneurs to get to know each other, develop relationships with experts/mentors and network in an environment that fosters creativity. Besides our immersive boot camp experiences, startups can work at our office with Yodlee engineers and receive dedicated API integration support. Startups will also benefit from our network of experts with deep knowledge about the FinTech industry and other key areas. 3. How do you select participants for the incubator program? Our incubator program is very selective and only a few distinctive applications are chosen each year. We’re looking for talented teams with brilliant product ideas, strong business potential and commitment to developing with Yodlee Interactive API. Qualified startups are encouraged to apply online by October 1st, 2014. Most applicants for this elite program are already incorporated or are an otherwise legally organized entity. In addition, startups must have a product or service that has recently launched or is ready for launch. The types of projects sought by our Yodlee Interactive team are innovative solutions in personal wealth management, personal financial management, small business accounting, small business lending, crowd funding and mobile wallet, etc. 4. What types of networking events are available? There will be plenty of networking opportunities through the five boot camps and Demo Day events planned over the six-month program. Furthermore, promising companies from the incubator will be invited to join the NEXT acceleration community consisting of events with investors, influencers, successful entrepreneurs and banks. If you would like to apply, please submit an application before October 1st, 2014. Stay tuned for updates on our incubator cohort, boot camp schedules, expert mentors, demo day and more!