Accept Innovation announced on Wednesday (March 15) the launch of a scholarship fund aimed at supporting immigrant and military veteran entrepreneurs who are creating businesses centered on FinTech.
In a press release, Accept Innovation said the Accept Innovation Scholarship Fund was revealed during the PYMNTS Innovation Project 2017 by Souheil Badran, an immigrant himself and a financial technology industry leader credited for driving successful growth at many leading financial services companies in the United States. Born in Lebanon, Badran received U.S. citizenship in 1996 and is currently the president of Alipay North America.
“Like many of my fellow immigrants who call the United States home, I came to America to make a better life for myself and my family,” Badran said in the press release. “I am lucky to be part of the dynamic financial services industry at a time when new technologies are driving innovation, making financial solutions available for the many, and not the few. This new scholarship will ensure that entrepreneurial immigrants starting new, innovative financial services technology companies will have access to resources to succeed. We are also excited to offer the same award to our military veterans, without whom we would not have the luxury or opportunity to pursue our dreams.”
The new scholarship will award three people in the categories of Male Immigrant Entrepreneur, Female Immigrant Entrepreneur and Veteran Entrepreneur. Winners will receive the scholarship and networking resources to support the launch of their company and for future growth.
“The National Foundation for American Policy in 2016 released a study that said that 51 percent of all billion dollar-plus startups were started by immigrants, highlighting the role of immigrants in driving innovation forward in our country,” said PYMNTS.com CEO Karen Webster. “I, personally, and PYMNTS.com are thrilled to support the Accept Innovation Fund — and will make our platform available to scholarship recipients. We applaud Souheil for his commitment to making sure that all innovators get the chance to pursue their own dreams.”
Applications will be accepted on the Accept Innovation website starting Oct. 1, 2017, and will be reviewed by a board of advisors. Winners will be announced at Innovation Project 2018.