Our Application Process
As we assess companies, QCF looks for several key factors. We encourage founding teams to come through the program, specifically companies with a technical co-founder. Companies that have a live product in market by the start of the program, or at least a private/public beta live, tend to gain more out of the program as they have a tangible solution to vet and demo to the domain experts in our network. Finally, we are assessing the alignment of various solutions with our network. This alignment is key in driving excitement and interest leading to an engaged QCF-base and ultimately rich founder experience.
What We Do
Offer a 12-week accelerator program twice a year (Spring/Fall)
Introduce companies to our extensive mentor and investor network
Provide programming to improve pitches, founder relationship, marketing, brand creation, and more!
$40,000 Capital Infusion
What We Look For
Early-stage fintech companies anywhere in the world
Willing to relocate to Charlotte for the 12-week program
Dedicated founding team with at least one member working full-time on the startup
Release of MVP prior to the cohort beginning
6% equity stake in the company
"QC FinTech has been a catalyst for our success. The mentors & advisors we met and continue to still work with, have been a major benefit in helping us solidify new relationships and partnerships. The entire team has been there every step of the way and provide great feedback and support to ensure a successful outcome."
"QC FinTech was a phenomenal accelerator to participate in. The access to mentors, advisors and coaches was a major benefit in helping us develop our platform and identify new relationships. We loved the space, open atmosphere and how the Charlotte community opened their arms to us so we could grow as a startup. Dan and his entire team were on top of us to keep us on track and to provide a successful outcome, which worked perfectly. If you're a company looking for the right investment to grow your company with proper guidance and insight, QC FinTech is the place to go."
A ‘thank you’ to the QC FinTech leadership team upon completion of Demo Day simply does not do justice to the invaluable guidance, expertise, and business contacts we have received during these past three months. Our one objective was to gain validation for the Amicus digital customer experience platform from Donor Advised Fund (DAF) sponsors, but we gained so much more. Most grateful for the opportunity to participate and for the welcome extended by all the coaches and mentors in the Charlotte business community that are the backbone of this program
What is an accelerator?
We describe the Queen City Fintech accelerator program as 12 weeks of intense mentorship focused on customer acquisition within the financial services space, preparation for the next round of funding, plus a $40,000 grant per company. The accelerator program is structured to prepare your fintech venture for the market and expose you to the network you need to succeed.
What is the difference between an accelerator and an incubator?
For distinction between accelerators and incubators, check out this article.
When will you start taking applications for the next class?
Applications for the Spring 2019 class are open! Visit the "Apply" tab above!
Do you have any tips for filling out the application?
Be sure to fully answer each question. We do a rolling acceptance; the earlier you apply, the earlier you will be interviewed and get a decision.
What happens after I apply?
Our team will review your application. If we feel that you and your company are a good fit, we will reach out to you for a phone interview. If that goes well, we will schedule a follow-up video interview with our leadership team. Each year, our goal is to have offers given, accepted, and the class set by end of January for the Spring Cohort and end of August for the Fall cohort.
What is the timeline of the accelerator?
The program is a 12-week on-site intensive program, but with continuing support and free workspace for 12 months.
What is the ongoing relationship with the accelerator once the timeline for the "acceleration period" is over?
We realized that a lot of the value of the networking and introductions comes over a full year's time frame. We will hold ongoing advisory meetings with the graduate companies for 9 months after the program ends.
Do I have to relocate to Charlotte?
Yes. You, or another one of the company’s founders and/or officers, must relocate to Charlotte for the 12-week program.
Do you provide housing for the 12 weeks?
Yes, founders can opt-in to our free housing! We have a wonderful partnership with Extended Stay America that provides 1 double occupancy room for each company for the full 12 weeks of the program.
What are the accelerator's desired outcomes?
The main goal is to get you 'investment ready.' There is a heavy emphasis on the business model and gaining traction via sales, investments, advisors or other. We also help build the entrepreneurial capacity within a founding team.
What equity stake do you require to participate in the program?
We take a 6% equity stake in the companies in the program. The 6% equity stake does not affect valuation as it is derived from the entire value of the program, including but not limited to any upfront monetary grant.
Do you negotiate terms with companies?
Why should I consider a Charlotte-based accelerator versus other programs across the country?
If you speak to our alumni, you will begin to see why Charlotte is a fantastic place to accelerate your venture. The cost of living and hiring are low and the access that Queen City Fintech has to major US financial institutions is unparalleled.