30 early-stage international startups will be mentored by corporate leaders to uncover creative payments solutions that can be nimbly executed in a Fortune 500 environment
DENVER — The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement, and Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, have come together to spur the next generation of disruption in the fintech sector with a focus on payments and seamless global money transfer. Over the next three years, Western Union will work with Techstars to run a mentorship-driven accelerator program and provide seed funding for startups out of its new Denver-based headquarters. Each year, 10 startups will form a class that takes part in Techstars proven accelerator program including interacting with and receiving mentoring from Western Union executives.
“Colorado is already one of the leading technology centers in the world, led by companies like Western Union. Working together will drive innovation and help change the fortunes of young innovators locally and globally by bringing their ideas to life for people around the world.”
“Through the accelerator program, we will mentor startups to test their ideas, focus their concepts, and help them bring-to-market innovative customer solutions to the ever-changing financial industry,” said Hikmet Ersek, President & CEO at Western Union. “By joining forces with Techstars, we will have access to entrepreneurial talent to help us identify cutting-edge technologies and approaches to solve customer pain points.”
According to PwC, the biggest engines of innovation are small tech startups, with over $58.6 billion in funding going to more than 4,500 startups in 2016. Building on this momentum, Western Union’s accelerator will explore many of the industry’s new and long-standing challenges with the unique value of leveraging both the start-up industry’s leading minds complemented with the corporate experience of Western Union’s executives.
“We are excited to work with a global company like Western Union so we can foster the right connections for a multitude of startups and help them gain access to the mentorship and resources they need to succeed,” said David Brown, founder and Co-CEO of Techstars. “Colorado is already one of the leading technology centers in the world, led by companies like Western Union. Working together will drive innovation and help change the fortunes of young innovators locally and globally by bringing their ideas to life for people around the world.”
With its headquarters in Boulder, Colo., Techstars has invested in more than 1,400 early-stage startup companies that now have a market cap of more than $15.9 billion. In addition, Techstars produced the first startup from a tech accelerator to go public: SendGrid.
Western Union and Techstars encourage all fintech, payments and related field startups addressing digital customer experience, point-of-sale solutions, fraud prevention, global identification, cross-border transaction processing, digital wallets, and related technologies to apply to the accelerator program, when applications open on December 3, 2018. The program begins in June 2019.
Please visit www.techstars.com/programs/western-union-program for more information about this program and to apply.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement. Our omnichannel platform connects the digital and physical worlds and makes it possible for consumers and businesses to send and receive money and make payments with speed, ease, and reliability. As of June 30, 2018, our network included over 550,000 retail agent locations offering Western Union, Vigo or Orlandi Valuta branded services in more than 200 countries and territories, with the capability to send money to billions of accounts. Additionally, westernunion.com, our fastest growing channel in 2017, is available in 45 countries and territories to move money around the world. In 2017, we moved over $300 billion in principal in nearly 130 currencies and processed 32 transactions every second across all our services. With our global reach, Western Union moves money for better, connecting family, friends and businesses to enable financial inclusion and support economic growth. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,400 companies with a market cap of $15.9 Billion. www.techstars.com