University of South Florida

Muma College of Business

Tampa | St. Petersburg | Sarasota-Manatee


image of fintech accelerator program

FinTech|X Accelerator program brings fintech entrepreneurs to USF’s St. Petersburg campus

ST. PETERSBURG – This fall, the FinTech|X Accelerator program convened forward-thinking fintech entrepreneurs at the USF Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance for a specialized accelerator program tailored for innovative fintech startups.

Fintech, a fusion of financial and technology, integrates cutting-edge technological advancements with conventional financial approaches to enhance financial services.

In its second year of a three-year collaboration between the Muma College of Business and the Tampa Bay Wave, the fall 2023 program welcomed these entrepreneurs to the University of South Florida. This collaborative effort has established itself as a pivotal force in the fintech startup industry.

During the intense 90-day program, participants from around the globe are immersed in mentoring, pitch coaching and invaluable investor connections.

Michael D. Wiemer, director of the Fintech Center at the Muma College of Business, says the center was established to advance fintech on multiple fronts, including world-class teaching, discipline-shaping research, and deep industry engagement.

“Our strategic collaboration with the Tampa Bay Wave allows us to collaboratively create and execute a distinctive fintech business accelerator program right here on the USF campus,” said Wiemer. “This is a competitive advantage for USF students and the Tampa Bay business community.”

image of fintech tampa event

At a fireside chat event on the Tampa campus in October, Jessica Washington, assistant vice president and director of payments research and outreach at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, shared her expertise on innovation and entrepreneurship.  Joining her was Willy Nunn of Homes by WestBay, and together, they provided valuable insights into the intersections of industry and leadership.  

“Not only did Jessica bring great insights to the panel discussion, but she was able to share her wealth of knowledge with USF students," said Kassie Patatanes, assistant director of USF’s Fintech Center. "This event aligned seamlessly with the center as we are striving to support the advancement of fintech knowledge while bridging the gap between educating students and partnering with innovative industry leaders.”

image of fintech panel

Yosh Miller of Hadley and Xaviar Gray of Tech & Flow, both members of the 2023 FinTech|X Accelerator cohort, engaged with business students in fintech entrepreneurship. In October, the duo presented an insightful discussion about startup dynamics, sponsorship strategies, and the nuances of business ownership. Their candid conversation, held at Lynn Pippenger Hall on the St. Petersburg campus, provided an opportunity for students to delve into the intricacies of the fintech industry and glean practical insights from the entrepreneurs. 

Programming that exposes students to the fintech business environment is a powerful tool for educating the next generation of business leaders, Wiemer said.

“Students gain significantly through opportunities to network with, and learn directly from, our startup founders who are advancing some of the most significant disruptive trends in business today," he said.

On the final day of program, Washington sat down with the entrepreneurs to offer her personal insights and guidance and to answer questions.

“I don’t worry about the future financial success of these companies,” she said. “When I sat down with them today, they asked me financial questions that were so advanced, even I had to think about how to answer them.”

image of fintech pitch night

The 2023 FinTech|X Accelerator program culminated in a Pitch Night event. Over 150 attendees listened as each of the 15 startups presented their pitches, showcasing the innovative ideas and solutions that evolved during their journey in the accelerator program.

Washington was also the keynote speaker for the evening. She urged them to reflect on the sources of their success and to carry those influences forward.

"Remember who or what got you here today, and keep that with you," she said.

Return to article listing

About Business News

Welcome to USF Muma College of Business news. We are dedicated to sharing compelling stories about our innovative research, outstanding faculty, staff, and students, and significant accomplishments from all three campuses. Here we are one college, six schools, and all business.