Several banks in Ohio have teamed up to establish a fintech accelerator in the Buckeye State.

Fifth Third Bancorp, Huntington Banchshares, KeyCorp and the $1.6 billion-asset First Federal Lakewood are among the firms that have partnered to launch Fintech71, an accelerator that takes its name from Interstate 71, which connects Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

JPMorgan Chase, which has a significant presence in Ohio, and Silicon Valley Bank are also part of the initiative.

Other companies in the partnership include the insurance firms Progressive, Grange Insurance and Root Insurance. The Kroger grocery chain is also a backer.

Adobe Stock

The aim of the accelerator will be to increase fintech and entrepreneurial activity in Ohio and expand the innovation pipeline in the state.

"Ohio is an innovative, resourceful and hard-working state where people have not forgotten how to make things,” Matt Armstead, the executive director for the accelerator, said in a press release. “With the creation of this accelerator, we aim to leverage Ohio's tech-savvy talent, attractive cost of doing business and established industry strength to make Ohio a global hotspot for Fintech innovation and growth."

The application process for startups hoping to join the accelerator opens May 15 and will close on July 15. The inaugural class of up to 12 companies will start on Sept. 10 and will be based in Columbus.

In a separate press release, KeyCorp said it views fintech partnerships as an important avenue of improving its clients’ experience with the bank.

“Being a part of Fintech71 enables us to concentrate some of our efforts here in Ohio with a nexus of strong partners,” Ken Gavrity, head of Key's commercial payments group, said in the release. Gavrity is also on the board of Fintech71.

Bryan Yurcan

Bryan Yurcan

Bryan Yurcan is a senior writer with American Banker, with a focus on financial technology.