Kevin Tweddle: ICBA’s ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0

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By Kevin Tweddle, ICBA

ICBA’s ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0 program is under way, and this year’s fintech cohort brings even more potential for transformative technology that elevates the customer experience and serves as a point of differentiation for community banks. We’ve devoted additional time to the selection process and have a larger, more diverse pool of candidates, which bodes well for the program’s continued success.

Unlike many of the other accelerator programs out there, ICBA’s program is mission-based. Our No. 1 goal is to talk with our bankers, identify their top priorities and determine how technology can help solve real-world problems for community banks. Driven by members’ feedback, we identify early stage fintechs working on solutions for these challenges and choose up to 10 of the best.

ICBA’s program had tremendous success in year one. Adlumin, a leading security and compliance automation platform built exclusively for financial institutions, is now an ICBA preferred service provider. And MK Decision serves as a digital loan origination provider for ICBA Bancard customers.

I expect this year’s program to be even more successful. We had more than 190 potential candidates and conducted 80-plus interviews during the selection process. All of the major regulatory agencies and top core processors will be participating in the process. And we expect 40 community banks to provide feedback to the fintechs through March.

This year’s participants are working in the areas of:

  • Data analytics, especially actionable technologies that can help banks make faster and better decisions.
  • Financial management. We are looking for a guided financial experience that will improve how customers interact with their bank.
  • Digital lending opportunities, such as mortgage lending. We would like to create a more competitive space in this arena for our community banks.
  • Marketing. Everything is moving to digital. We are looking for ways fintechs can help banks with customer acquisition and retention and the transition from paper to digital media.
  • Fraud and cybersecurity. These areas are a top priority, and, given continued infrastructure movement into the cloud, we will always have one or two candidates addressing these issues.

During this 12-week program, ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0 participants will work closely with a variety of subject matter experts, including community bankers, regulatory agencies, core processing companies and ICBA’s own experts. They will learn about the needs of community banks and how best to meet them. In the high-tech, high-touch world of community banking, accelerator participants have an opportunity to make an important contribution to the industry.

Kevin Tweddle ( is ICBA senior executive vice president of community bank solutions