A small group of five companies were selected from hundreds globally to take part in the Sixthirty fintech accelerator program and we were lucky enough to be part of it. We have been part of accelerator programs before and have also been closely involved with the formation on them back in Hong Kong so I was interested to see how they do it in the US. St Louis is perhaps not the first place you think of when you think of financial technology- thats more of something you associate with the big cities of the world like New York, London, Shanghai and so on but smaller cities have the ability to be a lot more focused and well connected than larger ones and this is a competitive advantage that I am seeing as part of the Sixthirty program.
Recently St Louis was ranked as one of the 14 best startup cities in America. There are a number of Fortune 100 companies based here including Wells Fargo, Mastercard, Scott Trade, Edward Jones, RGA and more. The premise of the Sixthirty program is to provide the answer to the question of ‘What if we could create value by connecting the big companies who have problems to solve with the small startups who have the innovative solutions? Thereby driving new customers and revenues for both parties. Its this highly connected atmosphere and focus on delivering real paying customers to the startups that make it worthwhile and something which hardly any of the Asia based accelerators do (only one that comes to mind is Accenture Fintech lab) and makes programs like Sixthirty unique with real value-add.
Bitspark is here to connect with new customers in the US (the largest sender remittance market in the world of about $140bn) who see value in utilising and being part of our growing network in Asia. Throughout the program we are connecting with potential partners, investors and government representatives who will be assisting us in bringing Bitspark to the next level. We will be posting further updates of our progress over the next few weeks so tune into our social media for updates!
While we’re here
We should also make note of some of the enhancements our team has rolled in the last few weeks to the Bitspark platform. You’ll now note that we have enabled instant pickup codes for remittances to the Philippines! We have enabled ‘top ups’ for our level 3 business users for mobile topup integration with the Bitspark app (closed Beta testing currently), API updates, deposits in new currencies, sender side SMS integration and much more.
Bitspark will be launching Malaysia payments soon to all Bitspark users and we aim to be adding a few more countries before the end of 2016. We will be present at the IMTC World event in November in Miami, FL and have made a number of appearances recently in the Hong Kong press which will be going live over the coming weeks. As always, we will be updating our movement on our social media so stay tuned!