FinTech is alive and kicking at the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars – New York City

There is no use in circling around the matter any longer – FinTech is hard! Healthcare and e-commerce entrepreneurs thought they had it tough? Try competing in a highly regulated industry with pockets deeper than the ocean led by some of Wall Street’s brightest minds.

FinTech is not for wallflowers. The days are over when an app with a beautiful interface, blockchain, or a lower commission rate could turn into a successful startup. Large players watched and learned, and now they’re making beautiful apps, cutting commissions and packaging new products. So what now?

A FinTech entrepreneur needs to see things more broadly, zoom in quicker, and build faster. Here is where the New York City Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars is of note. As the most active early stage FinTech investor in the world, we propel FinTech startups to success. Since 2014 we’ve invested in 170 FinTech startups, of which 84.7% are active and valued at $1.43B today. 

Check out a few of our portfolio companies that are blazing through the financial sector:

Compliance and RegTech: Chainalysis, Alloy, Sigma Ratings

Personal Finance: Aire, Harvest Platform, Trio

Capital Markets: Cashforce, Alpha Exchange (acquired by Visible Alpha)

InsurTech: Cuuva, Nimbla, Waffle

Real Estate: Morty, RealBlocks

Enterprise Tech: Cutover, Remesh

We dare to go both broad and deep in FinTech. Our startups cover just about every FinTech corner – personal and business banking with lending, mortgages, loyalty, risk management, capital markets, payments processing, wealth and asset management, trading/exchanges, insurance and big data, real estate, regtech, blockchain and cyber-security. 

What we do

Every year we invest in 10 FinTech companies and help them get to the next level. The founding team of each startup moves to the New York City area for the 13-week program (September – December) for an intensive hands-on, mentorship-driven experience. During the program we dive into an intense combination of presentations and mentorship with two goals in mind: 1) Refine/confirm your business concept based on rapid feedback from users and “what-if” insights from mentors. 2) Get ready to raise capital.

Our mentors are experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and executives from financial services companies. We teach you how to pitch,  prepare for industry partnerships, create momentum with investors, and negotiate solid investment terms.


What we are looking for

We are looking for 10 relentless teams working on  FinTech or Enterprise Tech ideas in just about any corner of the financial sector, from anywhere in the world. If your team wants to join a community of other passionate founders and access the networks of Barclays and Techstars, come join us in New York this fall – apply here.

Meet us

Over the next 12 weeks, we will be visiting cities across the globe to meet the most promising FinTech founders for 1:1 conversations. If you would like to meet with us in your city, request a 1:1 meeting with Kelly Fryer & Olga Bartnicki.

You can also join us for one of our upcoming virtual AMA (ask me anything) sessions. You will have a chance to chat directly with founders who have been through the Barclays Accelerator, hear from Barclays on how they think about FinTech, and ask any questions on top of mind about the program.

March 4th @ 1 PM EST – Save your spot

April 9th @ 10 AM EST – Save your spot 

May 4th @ 12 PM EST – Save your spot

We are excited to see what you are building in FinTech!

Olga Bartnicki Joins Techstars as Managing Director of the New York Barclays Accelerator Program

Today, I am excited to announce that I am joining Techstars as Managing Director of the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, in New York City. As an experienced entrepreneur with a passion for turning ideas into revenue-generating businesses, I’m thrilled to come on board to give back (and #givefirst) to the entrepreneurial community that has been the lifeblood of my success throughout my career.

Over two decades ago, I left Russia with nothing more than a tourist visa and a couple hundred dollars, eager to earn a college degree in the US. It was during this time that, through a combination of luck and fate, I met Duane Pearsall, a venture capitalist who saw part of himself in my passion for entrepreneurship. He offered to pay for my college tuition if I promised to, one day, help someone else down the road. 

I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating with a Masters of Sciences degree, spent two years launching new ventures at a large Swedish media conglomerate, attended Harvard Business School to earn my MBA, and ultimately took a role on Wall Street at Allen&Co., executing M&A transactions in the media sector and leading venture capital investments. After three years in the corporate sector, I decided I had acquired enough professional and life experience to start on an entrepreneurial journey of my own.

I will be the first to tell you that entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. My first two companies failed, which was very, very challenging to navigate, both personally and professionally. But, I got back on the horse and co-founded a third company, LiveLook, an e-commerce screen sharing startup, that successfully raised Series A funding and was acquired by Oracle. The fourth company, LiveAuctioneers, a live auction marketplace, after a business model pivot, more than doubled its revenues in 18 months, and was acquired by Bessemer Ventures. With two successful acquisitions under my belt, it was my time to pay back what I promised Mr. Pearsall. In 2016 I launched a Startup Accelerator at a university, enabling students to launch their startup ideas with over $400,000 invested in more than 80 startups. 

When I first learned of the opportunity to join the Barclays Accelerator in New York, it felt like the perfect next step to continue helping entrepreneurs reach their goals. Fintech is the bread and butter of New York City’s tech landscape, and this program already has an impressive list of high-quality mentors and successful alumni. With the knowledge I gained as a former investment banker, I have a deep understanding of Barclays and the complexities within the industry. In my new role as Managing Director, I look forward to deepening the partnership between Barclays and fintech entrepreneurs to propel innovation in the financial sector.

Applications for the 2020 Barclays Accelerator in New York are open from February 17 through May 10. If you are an entrepreneur who is passionate about fintech, ask me anything via