Frequently Asked Questions
FinTech Sandbox started with the challenge facing almost every entrepreneur in financial services: data (market and otherwise) is expensive. Often prohibitively so. And in a startup world where other barriers to entry are lowering every day, we determined to provide data sets to entrepreneurs for free.
Our goal is to be a place for entrepreneurs to learn, experiment and participate in the broader FinTech ecosystem. We sponsor events, as well as networking and mentorship opportunities for experts, investors, institutions and others in the FinTech community in Boston and beyond.
If you are a startup, you can apply at any time. We will review your start-up’s application materials and talk with you one-on-one to ensure that your company can benefit from our program at this stage of your growth. Note that in order to effectively manage the on-boarding process and create shared benefits between our program members, we try to stage the application and vetting process so that your company can join the program at the start of a financial period (e.g., the 1st of the month or the 1st of a quarter).
If you are a mentor, sponsor, data or service provider or would like to become a general community member, please reach out anytime. Our success is contingent on building a community of like-minded individuals and companies, so we look forward to your participation.
Nope. Currently, we welcome applicants from Boston, New York, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, London, and Canada. We will make exceptions for qualified start-ups who are working with any of our affiliated Accelerator Partners. Whenever possible, we facilitate face-to-face interactions with mentors, collaboration with fellow FinTech start-ups, and access to the various events that we host. Unfortunately, our program cannot offer any relocation or travel assistance at this time. However, we hope to expand our geographical reach soon.
We extend access to our program on a rolling basis and you can expect a response from us within two weeks. We set up a first round interview and, if a match is promising, we then set up a second round demo and follow-on Q&A with the wider team. All interviews are conducted remotely.
The short answer is no. FinTech Sandbox is an enabler of startups, with a particular focus on removing the data access barrier to FinTech innovation. We plan to partner with existing accelerators and incubators to support FinTech entrepreneurs, so if you already part of another incubator or accelerator program, you can still apply to the program and take advantage of both sets of benefits.
For start-ups, FinTech Sandbox program lasts for 6 months, and participants will have access to all data offerings during this term. Should you decide to continue using the data after the program ends, you will have an easy on-ramp to becoming full customers of the data providers in the Sandbox.
Your six month residency in FinTech Sandbox starts the day you sign your first data contract with an individual data partner.
Once a contract has been mutually signed between the startup and data partner, the latter will make their trial data available, per the agreement. Turn-around time varies by data partner and is also dependent on the particular data sets you are requesting to access. However, most standard offerings are available 10 days after the contract is executed.
No. We do not take equity of any kind. FinTech Sandbox is a non-profit with the singular goal of advancing FinTech start-ups looking to build the next big thing. We are fortunate to be sponsored by some of the nation’s leading financial institutions, data providers, software companies and investors who share this goal and are excited to help however they can. Learn more about our sponsors here.
Absolutely (and because we do not dilute your ownership by taking equity, your investors will love you for it!). Just make sure you meet the other criteria.
The spirit of our program is to offer data to start-ups that would not otherwise be able to afford it. So while we do favor start-ups in the seed / pre-revenue stage, having some revenue does not by itself make you ineligible. Just make sure to tell us your story and how your company will use the data when you apply, and we will take that into consideration during the review and selection process.
Yes, we view ourselves as complimentary to more traditional programs such as Techstars, Y Combinator and MassChallenge.
One our few restrictions is that, during the program, you do not use free data from our partners to make money in a production setting. Our support is meant to help you build and test your service / product using real data. While non-paying beta users are fine (and encouraged), once your product is ready for production you will need to work with the data providers directly to convert to paid access.
Data & Platform Partner Benefits Questions
Please use the contact form on the site to describe your need, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Once your company is accepted into the program, you will have full access to each provider’s knowledge hub, with links, documents and contact information.