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Financial technology company Fidelity National Information Services Inc. on Wednesday announced the finalists for its fourth class in the FIS FinTech Accelerator.

The 10 companies chosen will participate in a rigorous 12-week program, receiving in-depth mentoring and training from Fidelity National Information Services, known as FIS, and The Venture Center as well as a monetary investment.

The 2019 program received applications from across the U.S. and 31 other countries.

The companies, selected from about 225 applications, were ChangeEd and Genivity, both from Chicago; Digital Onboarding of Boston; Gremlin Social of St. Louis; Sendmi of Lehi, Utah; Voleo of Vancouver, Canada; Neener Analytics of Sunnyvale, Calif.; Curu of Charlotte, N.C.; Highside of New York City; and Mimble of Portland, Ore.

The program promises that the 10 chosen participants will have access to some of the top executives at Fidelity National Information Services.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Fidelity National Information Services has more than 1,000 employees in Little Rock and 47,000 worldwide.

Fidelity National Information Services is the world's largest financial technology company and says it works with more than half the world's banks.

Lynn Roche, executive vice president of Fidelity National Information Services' leveraged services division, has been with the company for almost 29 years.

Since last year's accelerator program, she has taken over leadership of the program because of some changes within divisions.

Roche has seen the program grow and enhance its overall structure.

"It has matured," Roche said. "Like anything in its early years, you learn from experience and you think about ways to improve the program every year to make it better."

Fidelity National Information Services has made a few tweaks to the accelerator program this year, she said.

One thing Fidelity National Information Services is doing is assigning an employee to work with each participating company, Roche said.

"So that these people have a direct contact with someone at FIS who can coach and mentor them," Roche said.

There are some themes that run through this year's group of 10 companies, Roche said.

"There's a little bit of a theme around social," Roche said. "Everything is digitally oriented. We recently completed a study of our customers that indicated how much of their transactions are conducted digitally. Of the customers we surveyed, over 73% of their customers were operating their transactions on a digital basis."

There also is a theme of companies focusing on banking regulation, which is not unusual in any year, Roche said.

In the past three years, seven companies have moved their headquarters to Arkansas and two more are negotiating to move here, said Mimi San Pedro, chief strategy officer for the Venture Center.

The economic impact for the state is significant, said Wayne Miller, executive director for the Venture Center.

The cost of living is better in Little Rock than other high-tech places around the country, such as San Francisco or Austin, Texas, Miller said.

The 12-week program will culminate with a Demonstration Day on July 17, where leaders from each firm will showcase their innovations to potential investors, regional community leaders and successful entrepreneurs.

Business on 05/02/2019

Print Headline: Finalists picked for FIS program

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