First Founders' first fintech cohort launches - Delaware


Jan. 8, 2020 6:28 pm

First Founders’ first fintech cohort launches

#FinHealthChallenge, geared toward underrepresented founders, is accepting applications.
Garry Johnson.

Garry Johnson.

(Courtesy photo)

The First Founders Accelerator, launched by University of Delaware graduate Garry Johnson last year, is designed to boost underrepresented founders — those from one or more groups including racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ, people with disabilities and women — with a free 12-week program of educational sessions and mentoring.

This year, the program’s focus is on one of Delaware’s ever-growing industries, fintech, with a focus on developing fintech solutions for underrepresented communities.

Nine percent of all jobs in the Delaware fall under the fintech umbrella, the highest share of fintech employees of any U.S. state, according to a report conducted by the Delaware Prosperity PartnershipFirst State Fintech Lab and University of Delaware last June. (Indeed, the fintech boom is already here.)

Still, the number of fintech startups in Delaware is low, especially when it comes to early- to mid-stage startups, which is why Johnson, after developing his own fintech startup, KnowCapp, decided to make fintech a theme for this cohort, dubbed #FinHealthChallenge. KnowCapp, a platform that helps small business owners raise capital, came to be through a number of accelerators, including UD’s Summer Founders program, Founder Gym, StartupBus and Blueprint Project. (Johnson also appeared on the reality TV-style “Noir Tank last spring.)


Applications for the #FinHealthChallenge cohort will be accepted through Jan. 26. The program will run from Feb. 17 through May 11, with sessions in Wilmington on Saturdays and virtual sessions during the week, and includes a prototype stipend.

Anyone may apply, regardless of background. To apply, click here.


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