Fintech Innovation Lab

1871’s Fintech Innovation Lab connects early startups, growth-scalers, corporates, and VCs in fintech. Stay tuned for more updates in 2024.

Built with industry experts

Xiaochen Zhang 


Executive Director & Chief Responsible AI Officer, AI 2030

The path to becoming a successful FinTech entrepreneur is fraught with challenges. You don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Join the 1871 FinTech Innovation Lab and immerse yourself in a dynamic, global FinTech ecosystem. Here, you’ll find inspiring mentors, strategic investors, talented collaborators, and a supportive community—all dedicated to your growth. This is why I’m thrilled to be an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) at the Lab. Together, we can turn your ambitious FinTech dreams into reality. Take the leap. Shape the future. Join us now.”

2024 Focus Areas

Innovative Solutions and Business Models to Empower Financial Institutions and Their Service Providers

This area concentrates on equipping financial institutions and their service providers with groundbreaking solutions and business models that transform the delivery of financial services. (It aims to streamline operations, enhance the customer experience, and foster digital innovation, enabling these institutions to navigate the complexities of the modern financial landscape efficiently and effectively).


Innovative Solutions and Business Models to Deliver Financial Services Directly to Customers

Here, the focus is on developing direct-to-consumer financial services that leverage technology to bypass traditional channels. (Startups in this subvertical seek to personalize financial solutions, offering consumers greater control, convenience, and accessibility to financial products and services, thereby elevating the overall customer experience in the digital age).


Innovative Solutions and Business Models for Financial Inclusion

Dedicated to expanding access to financial services for underserved communities, this focus area explores new solutions and business models that address the challenges of financial inclusion. By innovating in this space, the startups in this subvertical aim to create opportunities for economic empowerment, enabling broader participation in the financial system and fostering economic growth and stability in marginalized communities


Who's in the lab >>

Growth startups

Late startups

Corporate innovators

Anchor partner

“At Discover, we strive to be the leading Digital Bank and Payments Network with a focus on Customer interactions as our #1 priority. AI helps drive insights from patterns of Customer needs in a faster, more accurate, and timely manner.”

Keith Toney, EVP / Chief Data & Analytics Officer @ Discover

Why AI?

This is the third innovation lab. Like any lab, the goal is to bring together startups, growth scalers, corporations, investors, etc., to collectively solve the biggest challenges in an industry or an emerging technology. The AI Innovation Lab focuses on how AI can be applied to solve various problems within other industries as well as what the future of AI holds.”

Rachel Feuerborn, CPO @ 1871​

“3 months, where they get content, support, resources, and networking”

1871’s CXO Stephanie Miller discusses the AI Innovation Lab.

Join the lab

The experience is open to many players within the AI innovation community. They offer a specialized value to each other, while also getting unique interests met.

Early stage startups

For an early AI tech company with a demonstrated product market fit.

Exclusive benefits
  • Share their product with Corporate innovators and VCs
  • Level up their product and business strategy
  • Create a network of peers in their industry
  • Get advisory from the best AI operators tech companies

Apps close 3.10.23

Growth scaler

For a series b+ AI companies interested in making their name and influencing major industry outcomes.

Exclusive benefits
  • Access to AI-curious corporations exploring their strategy
  • Emerge as a showcased thought leader
  • Connect with the largest operators + early startups innovating
  • Explore curated connections to potential partners and VCs
  • Network with leaders in the industry
  • Scale with new tech talent interested in AI
  • Give back by mentoring early-stage startups
Apps close 3.10.23

aspirationals & experts

For a corporation exploring AI tech solutions, solving for legal restraints, and product pipeline.

Exclusive benefits
  • Network with AI innovators
  • Amplify your industry leadership with press, events, and more
  • Engage in curated networking and exclusive events
  • Activate your employees with engagement points
  • Connect with tech talent interested in the AI industry
  • Give back by mentoring early-stage startups
  • Explore curated connections to potential partners and VCs
  • Sit on the 1871 AI Innovation Advisory Council
Apps close 3.10.23

Lab breakdown

The lab is made up of 4-weeks of immersive programming and culminates with a capstone-like event, our AI Innovation Summit. 

Startup recruitment & application

Apps due by


2023 Immersive Lab

Week 1

4.3.23 - 4.7.23 [Virtual]

Week 2

5.1.23 - 5.5.23 [In-person]

Week 3

5.30.23 - 6.02.23 [Virtual]

Week 4

6.26.23 - 6.30.23 [In-person]

2023 AI Innovation Summit

Public showcase


2023 AI Innovation Summit

Join us on 6.29.23 for the first-ever event to link early stage startups, growth scalers, corporate innovators, mentors, venture capitalists, and community leaders in ALL that is happening in AI innovation.

Program supporters

Thanks to the following companies for supporting our immersive week program + summit event.

Join the lab experience today!

Start the process below to join