Accelerator Application Criteria
Each application will be evaluated against the criteria below:
Embrace Inclusion: Company has a commitment to responsibly expand access to low- to moderate-income individuals, and to reach and serve Black and Latinx communities.
Create Opportunity: Company supports customers’ upward mobility.
Build Trust: Company ensures transparency, integrity, and consistency of its offerings.
Promote Success: Company’s offering positively affects consumer behavior and empowers informed decision-making.
Applicable Solution: Company’s product/service is relevant to the Financial Solutions Lab Accelerator Challenge.
Stage: The Financial Solutions Lab is mostly focused on supporting pre-seed and seed-stage companies. Companies can be pre-revenue and range from having a minimum viable product to being fully released in the market.
Scalability: Company has identified an addressable market that can lead to growth and sustainability.
Team: Leadership has a deep understanding of their customers’ needs and circumstances and the relevant experience to execute on its vision. Per the Financial Solutions Lab’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), we prioritize founders and teams with lived experience of the issues they are addressing and companies demonstrating a commitment to operationalizing DEI principles within their organizations.
Innovation: Company’s product/service is differentiated and an improvement upon current competition and offerings while in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Our Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In an effort to address the systemic disparities in both socioeconomic status and accessibility to fintech, a key mandate of the 2022 Financial Solutions Lab Accelerator is to seek and support companies addressing the financial health needs of low- to moderate-income (LMI) individuals and Black and Latinx communities in the U.S. Moreover, the Accelerator prioritizes supporting founders and teams with lived experience of the issues they are addressing.
The Accelerator also wants to work with companies committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion principles at all levels of their organization. Our belief is that organizations guided by these principles are best equipped to deliver innovative and responsive solutions to such vulnerable and underserved populations.
The Financial Solutions Lab and its partners define diversity, equity, and inclusion as follows:
Diversity is recognizing, acknowledging, appreciating, and bringing together individuals and groups with unique perspectives and differing backgrounds. The Financial Solutions Lab is intentionally focused on innovative ideas that support populations facing acute and persistent financial health challenges, including (but not limited to) people of color, women, aging individuals, and individuals with disabilities.
Equity means that all individuals, regardless of age, race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, socioeconomic status, protected veteran status, or disability have equitable access to economic opportunity. In practice, this does not mean identical interventions. Rather, equity is about providing groups of people with customized supportive services that will enable them to thrive. Through these services, we aim to counteract unequal access to economic opportunity caused by historical and present-day discriminatory systems and practices.
Inclusion is the conscious practice of creating an environment of involvement and mutual respect – where we support and welcome a broad spectrum of ideas, backgrounds, identities, and perspectives. Inclusion puts the concept of diversity into action and fosters a culture where individuals are given a voice and can bring their whole selves to every situation.