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Valentina Isakina
Valentina Isakina

With the US continuing to drive fintech investments, JobsOhio, the private economic development corporation that spearheaded a fintech accelerator programme, is on a mission to speed-track innovative fintech start-ups to the US state of Ohio and US markets.

Second only to New York City in the number of top US banks and insurance companies’ headquarters it hosts, Ohio supports a collaborative banking, insurance and financial services environment to foster innovation.

Valentina Isakina, chair of the accelerator’s board of directors and managing director for financial services at JobsOhio, alongside Terry Gore, the corporation’s director of financial services, will be out to attract the best talent at Finovate Europe 2018.

Isakina said: “Banks, insurance and financial institutions in Ohio recognise the need to innovate and committed to working with and supporting talented fintech startups. We’re committed to facilitating the engagement between fintech start-ups and our financial partners and contacts in Ohio and the US.

“Ohio is a hotspot for fintech and it’s time we told Europe about it. Not only has the state become a significant hub where financial firms cluster, and with sophisticated, experienced and digital-savvy talent in abundance; it offers a significant cost advantage compared to New York, its only meaningful rival as a US entry point.”

To support and speed-track innovative fintechs make the leap to Ohio, a comprehensive financial mentoring support package is available:

  • $100,000 funding grant per team
  • Access to top financial services companies and partners
  • Mentoring from a team of specialists
  • Free office accommodation
  • Financial leaders who have committed to Fintech71 include Huntington National Bank, KeyBank, Progressive Insurance, Grange Insurance, CardinalCommerce, Visa, Fifth Third Bank, Mastercard, PNC Bank, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, First Federal Lakewood and Safelite Group.

She added: “Ohio combines an enviable cost base with a very positive business environment and, crucially, easy access to partners. Combined with commercial rents that are about a quarter of those in New York City and universities turning out 35,000 graduates annually, Ohio is the premier location for European businesses seeking to break into the US market and access America’s venture capital, entrepreneurial know-how and innovation expertise.”

Some 270.000 people, nearly the size of NYC’s workforce, work in the financial industry in Ohio, one of the largest in the USA. Ohio is also an innovative and successful hub for a large number of other industries, including automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, and chemicals. The state is among the top five US states for Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 headquarters. An array of transportation options connect the state to about 75 per cent of the North American financial services industry.