Wells Fargo becomes the 12th corporation to anchor the Carolina Fintech Hub (CFH) joint venture, joining Bank of America, Ally, BB&T and Ernst & Young on the non-profit’s Board of Directors.
Both Wells Fargo and the broader CFH organization have a shared vision to operate at the confluence of technology, customer experience, and new ideas in order to convert unmet needs into new opportunities.
“We have been an active participant in the dialogue over the last three years that ultimately shaped what the Carolina Fintech Hub has evolved to today,” said Vas Kodali, head of Advanced Technology & Partnerships in the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo. “Taking our involvement to the next level by formally joining the board of directors is a natural evolution. Working with promising entrepreneurs and startups through the hub is an important way for us to support the local fintech community while also nurture innovation inside and outside of the company.”
Participation with the CFH is one of many facets for Wells Fargo to evaluate big ideas that can make banking faster, easier, smarter, and safer — for its customers and the financial services industry. The company’s Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator program has received nearly 1,600 applications from innovative companies in more than 50 countries.
Since its formal organizational launch in mid-2017, CFH has curated grassroots efforts to further connect the finance and technology momentum brewing in the Carolina region. In addition to the significant private sector collaboration and investment, CFH is programmatically evolving the approach to Fintech growth and innovation. The joint venture is focused on a singular objective - to make the Carolinas known as the global hub for fintech talent, innovation, and collaboration between startups and incumbents.
“2017 was about setting the table,” said Tariq Bokhari, Executive Director of the Carolina Fintech Hub. “We formalized the legal entity, raised capital, launched a central digital community, established a regulatory sandbox, and piloted annual programming elements for talent and engagement including hackathons, hivestorms and podcasts. 2018 is about showing an ROI for our anchor partners, startups and region. We will be increasing our pipeline of new market talent, growing our startup’s success stories by facilitating deal making and growth, and expanding regional chapters and our focus in verticals like insurtech and payments. Adding Wells Fargo to our board is a major milestone along this path.”