Tuesday, 12 July 2016 12:20

KPMG sets up new fintech accelerator for Aussie startups


KPMG Australia has launched a fintech accelerator — mLabs  aimed at connecting authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) with fintech startups.

James Mabbott, head of KPMG Innovate, says the program will be initially utilised by seven Australian mutual banks and credit unions – Beyond Bank, CUA, Greater Bank, Heritage, IMB Bank, Police Bank, and Teachers Mutual Bank.

The launch of mLabs follows KPMG’s successful Energise accelerator run for the energy and natural resources sector last year, and Mabbott says it has been designed to help mutual banks and credit unions and their members gain access to leading fintech innovators, while providing a “unique opportunity for fintech ventures to work with a number of like-minded mutuals in one program”.

“As a hybrid of startup accelerator and corporate innovation program, KPMG mLabs draws upon our experience delivering the Energise energy and natural resources startup accelerator, and the elevate61 program which connects Australian enterprise tech startups to US markets.”

Mabbott says the KPMG Mutuals Review 2015 noted that mutuals are well placed to implement new technologies and ideas and to collaborate with fintech startups, and mLabs is designed to catalyse this process. “It will be a platform for collaboration and a safe space for experimentation – and help bring some exciting new services to life for mutual banks and credit unions and their customers.”

According to Ian Pollari, KPMG’s global co-lead for fintech, established organisations increasingly recognise the strategic importance of engaging with and sourcing capability from the fintech start-up community.

Pollari says the objective of KPMG mLabs is to systematically foster greater levels of collaboration between the participating mutual ADIs and fintech start-ups.

“The mutuals are eager to engage the start-up community and for the fintech ventures, the prospect of innovating with the mutuals, who represent a combined customer base of more than two million, is a very attractive proposition.”

Participants in mLabs will follow a 12-week structured programme providing access to expertise from KPMG mentors and industry advisors, including Chris Whitehead who has helped to tailor the programme for the mutual sector. Others include Leona Murphy, previously head of strategy for IAG, and Andrew Davis, formerly global fintech lead for HSBC.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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