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Fintech Sandbox – Helps FinTech Startups Build Great Products And Apps

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Boston-based nonprofit FinTech Sandbox facilitates free access to financial data and infrastructure for innovative FinTech companies around the world. FinTech Sandbox was founded by several FinTech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Below is our interview with Jean Donnelly Executive Director at FinTech Sandbox:

Jean-DonnellyQ: Tell us something more about FinTech Sandbox and your history?

A: FinTech Sandbox is a nonprofit based in Boston. We were founded by several FinTech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who knew from experience that access to data is a major challenge for FinTech startups.

We all know that the costs of starting technology companies have been falling. But that hasn’t been true for market data and much of the other data that FinTech startups rely on. One of our sponsors, Devonshire Investors, found that FinTech startups spent on average $14K a month on market data –and some spent as much as $70K a month – far outstripping any of their other expenses. Never mind how hard it can be just to find the right person to talk to at any large vendor of data.

So they brought together some of the world’s leading data providers and financial institutions to solve this problem by providing relevant data sets to FinTech entrepreneurs for free to advance product development.

Related: Manos Accelerator – Mentorship, Support And Guidance For Early-Stage Startups

Q: What can you do for startups? What are main benefits of your 6-month program?

A: Specifically, we offer four things:

  • Free access to data for up to six months for use in product development
  • Free cloud hosting services
  • A broad network of advisors
  • Community events

All we ask in return is that entrepreneurs give back to the community by providing feedback to our data partners, documenting and sharing what they learn, and contribute non-proprietary code and APIs to our GitHub repository.

Our goal is also to become a (virtual) place for entrepreneurs to learn, experiment, and participate in the broader FinTech community.


Related: Needls – Helps Startups And Entrepreneurs Grow Their Business

Q: How do you process your applications?

A: We review each application to make sure there is a good match between what they need and the data sets we currently have available. We also want them to have clear goals for their time in the program.

Q: Do you have any particular advice for startups planning to apply?

A: To be considered, startups need to be incorporated, they need a technical team (or at the very least a technical lead) in place, they need to have a strong use case for the data they are requesting, and they need to be ready to hit the ground running.

Startups that are interested can apply here. We accept startups on a rolling basis so we encourage people to apply whenever they are ready. We are targeting the cities of Boston, New York City, San Francisco, and London in 2015.

Related: Nimbus – Helps Startups Get More Customers

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: We will be busy on-boarding new startups, and we will also be working to add new data partners particularly in the areas of payment, credit card, insurance and social media data. We expect to continue to expand the types of data and infrastructure solutions we can make available to FinTech entrepreneurs.

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