- Bank of America on Tuesday launched an accelerator program for early-stage fintech startups, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank announced.
- The six-month program provides mentorship, networking opportunities and access to potential investors to Black, Hispanic-Latino, Native American and other entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities, the bank said.
- The bank is offering the program, called Breakthrough Lab, at no cost. Participants are not expected or required to exchange equity with the bank, the firm said.
The launch comes after Bank of America tested smaller versions of Breakthrough Lab in 2021 and 2022.
Bank of America launched a pilot program with five startups from the New York area in 2021. The bank said it expanded the pilot in 2022 with 17 companies from the U.S., Mexico, U.K. and France.
“The bank’s long-standing commitment to supporting economic opportunity for people and communities we serve is at the core of Bank of America Breakthrough Lab,” Rina Arline, Breakthrough Lab program director in global transaction services at Bank of America, said in a statement. “We’re excited to play a role in giving emerging entrepreneurs from a range of backgrounds access to the bank’s vast resources and industry networks.”
Bank of America said it plans to host a new cohort each year, and is looking for pre-seed stage fintech companies or firms with tech-enabled ideas promoting inclusion such as healthtech, wealthtech, edtech and housing.
“While the aspirational goal of the program is to increase access for underrepresented groups, all eligible entrepreneurs regardless of background are encouraged to apply,” the company said in a statement.
The six-month part-time program runs from September to March, and includes 94 hours of live instruction. The bank is accepting applications for the first cohort until June 8.
Each cohort will be assigned mentors at Bank of America’s managing director or executive level, the firm said. Participants will receive technology support, a branding package covering website and logo design and guidance on partnering or selling to a large company.
At the end of the program, each cohort will be able to pitch to potential investors, the bank said.