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The Independent Community Bankers of America announced Monday that it will sponsor for another three years its ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program.
Launched in 2018, the program is hosted by the Venture Center in Little Rock and also sponsored by the state. It brings community banks and financial technology companies together to develop new technologies specifically for community banks and their customers.
“Because of its highly collaborative nature and direct access to community banking expertise, the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator has developed a reputation within the fintech community as one of the best for entrepreneurs looking to enter the community banking industry,” said Kevin Tweddle, ICBA’s SVP of community bank solutions, in a news release. “This three-year commitment to the program cements ICBA’s mission to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish.”
“Forums like the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program are pivotal in fostering a creative and thoughtful approach to innovation,” said Beth Knickerbocker, chief innovation officer at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. “We look forward to working with ICBA and other stakeholders to continue this important dialogue, to promote greater access to our nation’s banking system, and to support innovation that ensures our industry’s continued health and resiliency.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Arkansas looks forward to welcoming “more innovators” to Arkansas.
“While this partnership impacts neighborhoods from coast to coast, community banks make more than 50% of all small business loans and 80% of agricultural loans, which is especially meaningful for Arkansans,” he said.
Venture Center Executive Director Wayne Miller said, “After two highly successful accelerator programs in partnership with the ICBA and with support from the state of Arkansas, the Venture Center is honored to continue playing an important role in bringing relevant fintech solutions to our nation’s community banks through 2024.”