The Healey-Driscoll administration and MassTech have awarded Western New England University (WNE) a $1.37 million Tech and Innovation Ecosystem grant to establish an incubator that will drive innovation in financial technology, or fintech.
WNE’s new Springfield-based fintech incubator will bolster talent development in the growing tech sector; fund new, on-campus computing infrastructure for hands-on learning opportunities; and allow faculty and students to work directly with private-sector companies and other financial-sector organizations on real-world challenges.
The new incubator, a two-year, $2,125,000 project, will become a technical resource for fintech startups across the state, with an initial focus on those located in Western Mass. The $1.37 million state grant comes from the state’s Technology & Innovation Ecosystem Awards program, an initiative launched in 2022 and administered by MassTech to provide capital support for innovative projects like the fintech incubator.
“We want to make Massachusetts a more competitive place to live, work, and do business, and need to do everything we can to support the sectors where we are already leading, like financial services and technology,” Gov. Maura Healey said. “WNE’s new fintech incubator will help us connect the strong fintech assets that exist in Western Massachusetts to help accelerate the growth of existing companies, help new companies form, develop cutting-edge fintech tools, and prepare talented students for the workforce.”
The incubator will be managed by a team of WNE faculty who are deeply entrenched in the fintech space, which will allow them to quickly execute on the goals for the new facility, including establishing the incubator as an affordable option for fintech services and capabilities for small to mid-size businesses; working with businesses and nonprofits on fintech projects; assisting fintech startups in establishing their businesses in Massachusetts; increasing the number of graduates prepared for fintech careers, offering enhanced coursework and experiential learning; increasing fintech awareness in the existing workforce via professional-development courses and certificates for would-be entrepreneurs; and hosting an annual fintech innovation programming session across the state.