Fintech Mentorships and Accelerators Might Forever Change After Pandemic Risk Subsides

In-person meetups, investor pitches and mentoring have been replaced with virtual sessions that now have the organizations running these programs rethinking the future; “We certainly did think about canceling or delaying, but we kept coming back to this idea that when you have an unprecedented economic event, it’s even more important to support entrepreneurship,” said Ben Schack, Head of Digital Partnerships for BMO Harris Bank, to American Banker; virtual meetings have helped to eliminate travel and boost production, but they have also posed a challenge in that it is harder to build community; virtual allows accelerators to eliminate regional focus and cast a national or even global net, though video fatigue could hurt applicants and so figuring out ways to break up sessions has been challenging; building a sense of community among a cohort has been the biggest challenge to date, its hard to replicate the organic nature of in person meetings and mentor sessions on Zoom; “This process is often pretty lonely for founders,” said John Thompson, Chief Program Officer at the Financial Health Network, which manages the Financial Solutions Lab with JPMorgan. “There is something about the cohort experience, the process of building that shared experience together and knowing problems you and others are working on, that you’re not alone,” said Thompson to American Banker. American Banker.


  • Todd Anderson

    Todd is the host of PitchIt: the fintech startups podcast, a weekly interview show featuring emerging fintech founders and leading venture capitalists. He is responsible for leading the content team which covers fintech through daily & weekly email newsletters, editorial, virtual events, and in-person conferences. He has been covering fintech, banking, and venture capital for more than 15 years, including speaking regularly at industry events.

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