Applications Open for Third Annual WMNfintech, Women’s Fintech Program from BMO Financial Group and 1871

  • tWomen-led startups can apply through April 22nd, 2022
  • Target startups have a U.S. based product or service that supports the financial sector

CHICAGO, March 22, 2022 – BMO Financial Group and 1871 today are issuing a national call for applications for their leading fintech industry program for women-led startups, WMNfintech. Applications for the 2022 program will be accepted through April 22nd, 2022.

Developed by BMO to help bridge the gender gap in the startup community, WMNfintech was launched in 2020 and continues to provide women entrepreneurs resources, support and mentorship to accelerate their business’ growth while diversifying their professional networks through BMO and 1871’s community of expert advisors, technology partners and founders. This is the latest evolution of the BMO / 1871 Innovation Program and was co-created specifically for women-founded and women-led startups developing products or services for the U.S. financial sector.

“We’re proud to work side-by-side with our longtime partner BMO to continue to expand this storied program,” said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. “WMNfintech is an essential part of our commitment to creating a culture of belonging for women in technology. The long line of success stories that have come out of this program highlight how transformative it is when women founders are given the resources, support, and community of advocates they need to thrive.”

“The WMNfintech program has experienced continued success and our network of alumni and supporters across the venture community are eagerly awaiting this year’s cohort,” said Andrew Harrison, Head, US Digital Partnerships, BMO Financial Group. “We’ve seen first-hand how this program can help drive meaningful growth for founders while offering an incredible opportunity to diversify their network with our partners and clients. This is a powerful opportunity to support innovation and the diverse customer-centric technologies that can transform the banking experience.”

     The program will provide selected startups with:

  • A three-month program with guidance from industry experts at BMO, including an executive champion who will offer leadership guidance
  • Four-months complimentary membership to 1871, including access to their space, resources, and roadmap of support    
  • Curriculum focused on enterprise sales cycles, vendor management, information security and risk and regulatory requirements
  • The opportunity to pitch investors for feedback, mentoring, continued connections and/or funding

Participants will also have access to 1871’s structured yet flexible roadmap of support known as PYROS, which includes a 12-week series of workshops, shareouts, deep dives, and one-to-one mentoring built to help founders navigate startup fundamentals and propel them forward through every business milestone, from idea stage through product-market fit.

WMNfintech is an essential part of WMNtech, 1871’s overarching affinity offerings for women founders and leaders in technology. Ranging from tailored and regular programming, mentorship, pitch competitions, and more, WMNtech serves women professionals from across the entire maturity curve and empowers them to succeed in every step of their career journey.

The program includes a pitch day designed for startups to gather feedback from and network with BMO senior executives. Participants may also have a potential future opportunity to pilot their product with BMO.

WMNfintech strongly aligns with BMO’s commitment to women through its Zero Barriers to Inclusion Strategy. Learn more about BMO’s support for women entrepreneurs and purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life.

WMNfintech applications are due by April 22nd, 2022. More information and the application can be found at: https://1871.com/membership/wmnfintech

About BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 500 branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank’s commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the United States. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, visit the company fact sheet. Accounts are subject to approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN$1.02 trillion as of January 31, 2022.

About 1871

1871 is Chicago’s technology hub and the #1 ranked private business incubator in the world. It exists to inspire, equip, and support early stage, growth scalers and innovators in building extraordinary businesses. 1871 is home to ~450 technology startups, ~300 growth stage companies, and ~1,500 members, and is supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. The member experience includes virtual and in person access to workshops, events, mentorship, and more. The nonprofit organization has 350 mentors available to its members, alongside access to more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and others. Since its inception in 2012, more than 650 alumni companies are currently still active, have created over 11,000 jobs, and have raised more than $1.65 billion in follow-on capital.

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Contacts:

Jeff Roman, BMO, [email protected], (416) 867-3996

J Blaszczykiewicz, 1871, [email protected]

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