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Wall Street Contest Seeks Financial Technology Breakthroughs

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Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Wall Street’s biggest banks and a group of venture capital funds are backing a New York City contest to find new technology to boost economic growth and help the financial-services industry operate more efficiently.

Up to six winners will get support, including workspace, partial funding for expenses and mentorship, from the FinTech Innovation Lab, according to an e-mailed statement. The lab is run by the New York City Investment Fund, created by KKR & Co. founder Henry R. Kravis, and technology-consulting firm Accenture Plc. The fund is the economic development arm of the non-profit Partnership for New York City.

The contest invites applicants with new commercial tools that can be applied to financial services, such as mobile technology, data management and analytics, security, and social media, according to the statement.

“Our goal is to identify the best of the next generation of financial technology entrepreneurs and to give them access to and feedback from potential customers and funders,” Maria Gotsch, president and chief executive officer of the New York City Investment Fund, said in the statement.

Applicants must submit proposals by Jan. 31 and have a working version of their technology ready to be tested in the institutional or retail market. Winners will be notified by mid-March. The program will begin in May and and conclude in July. Finalists must reside in the city for the duration of the program.

Winners will be selected by a panel of senior technology executives from Bank of America Corp., Barclays Capital, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, State Street Corp. and UBS AG.

Venture Funds

Venture funds supporting the FinTech Innovation Lab include Contour Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, RRE Ventures, Village Ventures and Warburg Pincus LLC.

“A prime objective of this alliance is to facilitate greater network connections between the large users of technology, the entrepreneurs who establish businesses in New York City and the venture capital investors who fund them,” James D. Robinson III, co-founder and general partner of RRE Ventures, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harper in New York at charper@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.