Accelerator Application Criteria
Each application will be evaluated against the same program criteria, detailed below:
FSL Accelerator Challenge
- Applicable Solution: Company’s product/service is relevant to the Financial Solutions Lab Challenge.
- Accelerate Impact: Company’s participation in the Accelerator would be catalytic to their impact and ability to scale.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”): Company demonstrates commitment to operationalizing DEI principles and to further strengthening their DEI efforts within the organization (more information on the Financial Solutions Lab’s approach to DEI can be found below).
- Embrace Inclusion: Company has a commitment to responsibly expand access to low- to moderate-income individuals and/or historically underserved communities, and demonstrates a deep understanding of their customers’ needs/circumstances.
- Create Opportunity: Company’s services provide support for upward mobility.
- Build Trust: Company ensures transparency, integrity, and consistency of its offering.
- Promote Success: Company’s offering positively affects consumer behavior and empowers informed decision-making.
- Business Model: Company has achieved at least a minimum viable product/service in the market with a viable revenue model.
- Scalability: Company has identified a significant total addressable market, a go-to-market strategy, and relevant channels for customer acquisition.
- Team: Company’s leadership has the relevant experience and domain expertise to execute on its vision.
- Operations: The Company is on track to complete the Financial Solutions Lab cohort program and to achieve continued viability.
- Innovation: Company’s product/service is differentiated and an improvement upon current competition/offerings, and its design reflects engagement and input from target customer segments.
The Financial Solution Lab Accelerator’s Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
A key mandate of the Financial Solutions Lab Accelerator is to seek and support companies addressing the financial health needs of low- to moderate-income individuals and historically underserved communities in the U.S. In an effort to be conscious of the racial and gender disparities in both socioeconomic status and accessibility to fintech, the Accelerator aims to support both founders from underrepresented communities and those that are building solutions with women, and people of color – especially Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities – in mind.
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.