NBKC Bank in Kansas City, Mo., is planning a fintech accelerator.
The $619 million-asset unit of Ameri-National Corp. said in a press release Tuesday that the Fountain City Fintech program will be based in Kansas City. The bank expects to bring five startups to the city in October to participate in the 75-day program.
All of the startups will receive at least $50,000 in seed capital; NBKC will also take an equity stake in each startup.
NBKC, which recently participated in a $16 million investment in Greenlight Financial Technology, said the accelerator program should enhance its reputation as a tech-savvy community bank. Fountain City Fintech could also provide another source of revenue.
Community banks are becoming more comfortable working with fintech firms. At the same time, startups often seek out smaller banks to help them test and improve products.
Still, NBKC would be one of the first small banks to launch a formal accelerator program. Other bank-run accelerators include the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator and Barclays Accelerator.
Zach Anderson Pettet, who joined NBKC last fall as a consultant, will be the program’s managing director.
“Zach’s understanding of the financial technology landscape in the U.S., paired with his love for Kansas City and its entrepreneurial community, makes him an obvious choice to lead the program,” said Brian Unruh, NBKC’s president and CEO.
The bank has nonprofit partners backing the program, including LaunchKC, a local entrepreneurial support organization. The accelerator is part of a citywide effort to establish Kansas City as an entrepreneurial hub.
“Kansas City’s been a fintech hub for longer than most people realize," Pettet said. "The likes of H&R Block, BATS and Zoloz have paved the way for an upcoming wave of financial technology innovation. Fountain City Fintech is excited to play a pivotal role in that wave, fueling forward-thinking entrepreneurs in their efforts to solve real-world financial problems through technology.”