Established in 2018, the incubator is a partnership between BECU, the largest not-for-profit credit union in Washington, and CoMotion at the University of Washington (UW) to support fintech startups. The collaboration combines BECU’s expertise in financial services, data analysis, and member experiences with CoMotion’s strengths in incubation, partnership, innovation, company formation, and technology commercialization.
Located in CoMotion Labs technology incubator near UW’s campus, the fintech incubator has supported 11 startups over the past three and a half years: Noonum, Routable, Attunely, Fincluziv, Cozera, flub, QUUE, Bumper, Joola, Pay Your Tuition Funds, and Stack.
BECU and CoMotion’s collaboration provides support, mentorship, incubation space, and training to the incubator’s members. The startups selected for the year-long program receive benefits including one year of sponsored membership to CoMotion Labs; access to CoMotion training, events, and mentorship; connections to UW faculty and to BECU networks and subject matter experts; and access to Pitchbook. Startups with a live product that matches BECU’s organizational needs can also explore ways to collaborate on conducting user research or running a proof-of-concept.
Fintech refers to technology and innovation around the delivery of financial services. Many different types of technology aim to enhance the customer experience, including digitizing financial services through software, algorithms, computer or mobile application tools; peer-to-peer lending; crypto exchanges, and occasionally hardware like virtual reality (VR). This rapidly growing field has changed nearly all aspects of the financial industry, from banking and lending to how customers shop online.
This year’s kickoff event will be on July 6th at the BECU FinTech incubator. It will be led by Anson Fatland, associate vice provost for Innovation Strategy and Ventures at CoMotion, and Mike Zell, senior vice president of Digital at BECU. Leaders from the four startups are also participating: Landon Glenn of Asa Financial, George Cook of Honeycomb Credit, Miriam Ackerman of NetGiver, and Jessica Willis of Pocketnest.
“At BECU, we aim to provide our members with the right tools and resources they need to reach their financial goals and meet their growing financial needs,” said Mike Zell, BECU’s senior vice president of Digital. “By partnering with UW CoMotion, we support startups who will help foster innovation in the financial services industry and increase the financial well-being of our communities for the long-term.”