With an eye toward the Internet of Things and security, Wells Fargo has added two new firms to its startup accelerator, which now includes a roster of 13 early-stage companies.
As part of a six-month mentorship program with Wells Fargo, the two startups, ProxToMe and Uniken, will each receive up to half a million dollars, guidance on refining their offerings, and access to a platform that can serve as a testing ground for their solutions.
ProxToMe is a company that offers “proximity-based authentication” for Internet of Things payments via Bluetooth connectivity. The firm touts that its proprietary technology can replace other authentication methods and has multiple advantages over solutions such as near field communication (NFC) and QR Code.
“The Startup Accelerator program is a launching pad for us to strategically address emerging needs of financial institutions and other fintech industry stakeholders,” said Carlo Capello, chief executive officer of ProxToMe.
Uniken, which is headquartered in New Jersey, specializes in cybersecurity software that it says can help companies “survive zero-day attacks while maintaining a great customer and brand experience.”
Bimal Gandhi, CEO of Uniken, says that being selected for the accelerator program among the many submitted applications, which Wells Fargo will continue to accept until June 23, “is a great validation of our innovation in delivering great security.” Currently the software being used by personal and corporate banking companies as well as various institutions in the public sector.
“This collaboration with ProxToMe and Uniken helps us nurture innovation while continuing to build a better consumer experience,” said Steve Ellis, head of the innovation group at Wells Fargo. He added that, “Wells Fargo is always interested in innovative ideas that make banking faster, easier, smarter, and safer for our consumers and the financial services industry.”