Partnership hopes to unify FinTech clusters across the country.
Fintech Cadence, a Montréal-based non-profit organization aimed at helping early-stage startups, has entered into a partnership with Atlantic FinTech.
With this partnership, Atlantic FinTech will have access to Fintech Cadence’s Hub for pre-Series A startups.
The Hub is a no-fee, no-equity program that gives startups access to industry and knowledge experts, pro-bono legal office hours, discounted software, workshops, and peer-to-peer support. The hub also offers access to a network of financial institutions and corporate partners, especially in Toronto, Montréal, and Calgary where Fintech Cadence already has a strong presence.
“Years from now, we hope that this program has laid the foundation to help build bridges for startups across the country.”
While Fintech Cadence is not the only innovation hub in Atlantic Canada, this FinTech-focused partnership with other regions in Canada is the first of its kind. The partnership is meant to help FinTech startups in Atlantic Canada accelerate growth at the same pace as other Canadian regions. The organization hopes that partnerships like this create a more unified FinTech ecosystem across the whole country in the future.
“A regional or provincial-only focus will hinder efforts to build a sustainable and successful FinTech startup,” said Fintech Cadence executive director Layial El-Hadi. “Years from now, we hope that this program has laid the foundation to help build bridges for startups across the country.”
The hub launched in April of 2021, and is backed by the Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions, TD Ready Commitment, The City of Toronto, Meridian Credit Union, The autorité des marchés financiers, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, and Payments Canada.
In that time, Fintech Cadence claims to have enrolled over 130 startups to be part of their hub, provided discounted services for 20 software providers, delivered 10 workshops, and provided more than 90 hours of coaching.
Atlantic FinTech was founded in 2021 to develop Atlantic Canada’s FinTech ecosystem by working with stakeholders, government, investors, and international FinTech groups. Atlantic Canada is home to over 500 businesses in the finance sector, according to Atlantic FinTech.
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Atlantic FinTech says Atlantic Canada calls an “unspoken superpower”: a well-developed middle and back-office industry of non-client facing support and administrative staff such as accounting and IT. “Our firms here who have raised less money have technology that can compete with anyone on a global perspective. In many ways, this region is one of the world’s best-kept secrets,” said Jonathan Dunnett, Atlantic FinTech head of global ecosystems and member success.
Atlantic Canada has a long history in Canadian finance, being the founding location of both Scotiabank and RBC. In recent years Verafin, a fraud detection and management platform from Canada’s Atlantic was acquired by Nasdaq for $2.75 billion USD in 2020.
A report by Accenture identified Atlantic Canada as the smallest FinTech hub in Canada with 14 companies in 2020. However, a report from last year created by Atlantic FinTech references 140 FinTech startups which places the region, closer to some of Canada’s bigger FinTech Markets like Vancouver and Montréal but still behind the largest FinTech hub, Toronto.
“The (Atlantic) ecosystem has the right formula to continue to grow and create financial products and services that will not only impact Atlantic Canada but the rest of Canada as well,” said El-Hadi. “This formula includes a burgeoning financial sector, an entrepreneurial mindset, government buy-in and support, non-profit community structures, and a successful academic landscape.”