BMO Financial Group and 1871 are issuing a national call for applications for their leading fintech industry program for women-led startups, WMNfintech. Applications for the 2022 program will be accepted through April 22, 2022.
Developed by BMO to help bridge the gender gap in the startup community, WMNfintech launched in 2020. It continues to provide women entrepreneurs resources, support and mentorship. The program helps women accelerate business growth while diversifying professional networks through a community of expert advisors, technology partners and founders. This is the latest evolution of the BMO / 1871 Innovation Program, co-created specifically for women-founded and women-led startups in the U.S. financial sector.
“We’re proud to work side-by-side with our longtime partner BMO to continue to expand this storied program,” said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. “WMNfintech is an essential part of our commitment to creating a culture of belonging for women in technology. The long line of success stories that have come out of this program highlight how transformative it is when women founders are given the resources, support, and community of advocates they need to thrive.”
“The WMNfintech program has experienced continued success. Our network of alumni and supporters across the venture community is eagerly awaiting this year’s cohort,” said Andrew Harrison, Head, US Digital Partnerships, BMO Financial Group. “We’ve seen first-hand how this program can help drive meaningful growth for founders. It also offers an incredible opportunity to diversify their network with our partners and clients. This is a powerful opportunity to support innovation and the diverse customer-centric technologies that can transform the banking experience.”
WMNfintech will provide selected startups with:
- A three-month program with guidance from industry experts at BMO, including an executive champion who will offer leadership guidance
- Four-month complimentary membership to 1871, including access to their space, resources, and roadmap of support
- Curriculum focused on enterprise sales cycles, vendor management, information security and risk and regulatory requirements
- The opportunity to pitch investors for feedback, mentoring, continued connections and/or funding
Participants will also have access to 1871’s structured yet flexible roadmap of support known as PYROS. This includes a 12-week series of workshops, shareouts, deep dives, and one-to-one mentoring. PYROS helps founders navigate startup fundamentals and propel them forward through every business milestone, from idea stage through product-market fit.
WMNfintech is an essential part of WMNtech, 1871’s overarching affinity offerings for women founders and leaders in technology. Ranging from tailored and regular programming, mentorship, pitch competitions, and more, WMNtech serves women professionals from across the entire maturity curve and empowers them to succeed in every step of their career journey.
The program includes a pitch day designed for startups to gather feedback from and network with BMO senior executives. Participants may also have a potential future opportunity to pilot their product with BMO.
WMNfintech strongly aligns with BMO’s commitment to women through its Zero Barriers to Inclusion Strategy. Learn more about BMO’s support for women entrepreneurs and purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life.
WMNfintech applications are due by April 22, 2022. More information and the application can be found at: https://1871.com/membership/wmnfintech.
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider. It is the eighth largest bank, by assets, in North America. As of January 31, 2022, BMO held total assets of $1.02 trillion. BMO provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to over 12 million customers. Additionally, BMO conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.
1871 is Chicago’s technology hub and the #1 ranked private business incubator in the world. It exists to inspire, equip and support early-stage, growth scalers and innovators in building extraordinary businesses. 1871 is home to roughly 450 technology startups, 300 growth stage companies, and 1,500 members, and is supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. The member experience includes virtual and in-person access to workshops, events, mentorship and more. The nonprofit organization has 350 mentors available to its members, alongside access to more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and others. Since its inception in 2012, more than 650 alumni companies are currently still active, have created over 11,000 jobs and have raised more than $1.65 billion in follow-on capital.
To learn more about the fintech industry, check out this female entrepreneur combining fintech with social entrepreneurship.