FinTech company Intuit Canada and venture capital firm Highline Beta have opened applications for a new virtual accelerator program aimed to promote the future financial health of consumers and small businesses in Canada.
“By focusing on finding the most effective solutions and executing pilots quickly, we can deliver impact where it matters most.”
The program, called the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator, will offer four months of programming. Startups will have access to a network of mentors, $20,000 in financing intended for pilot execution, and the possibility for follow-on investment from Highline Beta. The accelerator is being designed as a response to the economic hardship individuals and businesses are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Collaboration between corporations and across the global startup ecosystem will be critical to moving with even greater urgency in this fast-changing landscape,” said David Marquis, country manager at Intuit Canada. “Many of these challenges are global, and I believe that if we broaden our views, expand our networks, and learn from each other, this time of crisis will bring innovative solutions that will help solve financial prosperity challenges for Canadians.”
The latest MNP Consumer Debt Index indicates that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, half of Canadians have reported they are $200 or less away each month from insolvency. Data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business reports that 48 percent of small businesses are making half or less their normal sales. The Intuit Prosperity Accelerator is aimed to solve some of these emerging challenges.
Through the accelerator, startups will pilot one of two possible types of solutions. The first solution should be one that helps Canadians eliminate debt, increase savings, and improve financial literacy. The second solution that can be developed must help Canadian self-employed and small businesses improve cash flow, secure customers, and access support.
“Consumers and small businesses in particular are going to be under significant pressure post-COVID-19. We’re very eager to find startups whose products can help make a difference during this difficult time,” said Benjamin Yoskovitz, founding partner at Highline Beta. “By focusing on finding the most effective solutions and executing pilots quickly, we can deliver impact where it matters most.”
The Intuit Prosperity Accelerator is accepting applications from global seed-stage tech startups with products on the market, but said it is open to accepting pre-seed or later-stage companies. The program is accepting applications now until September 4.
Image source Highline Beta via CNW Group.