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Barclays Accepting Applications for New UK Fintech Accelerator

Barclays announced Monday a partnership with Techstars to launch a three-month accelerator program in the UK next year.

Techstars, a startup accelerator, has also run programs for Nike and Microsoft. Ten entrepreneurs will be chosen to participate in the program in 2014.

Interested entrepreneurs should shape their application ideas around improving the customer experience, said the bank in an announcement.

Barclays Accelerator participants will receive mentorships from the likes of Barclays' Group Chief Information Officer, Darryl West, and Chief Design Officer, Derek White, as well as seed funding.

All told, Barclays said it will host six accelerators with Techstars within the next three years. The first accelerator will open in mid-June 2014.

"We've identified technology as a key driver of innovation and it will be paramount to Barclays achieving our ambition of becoming the 'go-to' bank," said Derek White, Barclays chief design officer, in a press release.

Banks worldwide have been sponsoring accelerators and contests to source new digital banking ideas. Bank Leumi, for example, launched a six-month accelerator program for financial tech startups this fall.Westpac recently solicited U.K. developers and designers to enter its new mobile and web banking app crowdsourcing idea contest.

Other banks host coding jams and sponsor mobile banking idea contests to solicit fresh thinking for an industry regarded as slow moving.

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