Stellar Development Foundation and MoneyGram International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGI) announced a new partnership with Techstars, a global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and customized programming for entrepreneurs. The program will recruit founders across the world who are focused on driving technological innovation in areas such as blockchain and digital payments to further streamline cross-border payments and support financial inclusion.
The accelerator will specifically target technologies that facilitate the movement of money to and from Latin America. Each year for the next three years, the program will select a class of up to 12 fintech startups to participate in an immersive 13-week program where entrepreneurs will work with mentors from Techstars, the Stellar Development Foundation, and MoneyGram to solidify their value proposition and product-market-fit. At the end of each class, the participants will present their progress and vision to a curated group of investors and key stakeholders in the fintech community on Demo Day. Applications for the first class of startups will open on Monday, July 25, 2022, and the deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, October 12, 2022.
“Blockchain and digital assets are changing the cross-border payments process, enabling people to almost instantly and cost-effectively send money internationally,” said Denelle Dixon, Stellar Development Foundation CEO and Executive Director. “We believe that we can improve access to the financial system for all participants, and we’re proud to work with MoneyGram and Techstars to empower the next generation of innovators to build a more inclusive and accessible cross-border payments system that takes full advantage of 21st-century technology”
This partnership builds on the previously announced collaboration between the Stellar Development Foundation and MoneyGram to bridge digital and local currencies.
“We’re excited about this latest expansion of our partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation as we look to further accelerate our strategic goals to lead cross-border payment innovation,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO. “As the fintech landscape rapidly evolves, we’re committed to utilizing our combined expertise in global digital payments, blockchain, and compliance to uncover new opportunities for global customers and enhance the existing financial system. Partnering with startups through our new relationship with Techstars will further support our innovation efforts and ultimately benefit consumers around the world.”
“At Techstars, we believe great ideas are everywhere, but access to opportunity is not, which is why our global-investment model is to reach founders anywhere and everywhere,” said Maëlle Gavet, Techstars CEO. “As we look to reach founders in the Americas, this program will provide early-stage blockchain and digital asset innovators the advantages and resources they need to succeed in building an inclusive, accessible financial system, and deliver world-changing solutions.”
With the majority of Latin Americans either unbanked or underbanked, this region is uniquely primed for digital finance adoption. Both the Stellar Development Foundation and MoneyGram have deep roots working in Latin America, with an established ecosystem to help new entrants succeed with connections and mentorship. The Stellar network’s growing ecosystem and MoneyGram’s well-established presence in Latin America, one of its largest remittance corridors in the world, present a unique opportunity to effect change in the region. The new accelerator program aims to tap into the growing group of developers of financial technology and to provide a path to build locally-inspired solutions.
The Stellar Development Foundation, MoneyGram and Techstars will officially launch the program in Austin at SXSW.