How It Works

The DBS Accelerator, powered by NEST, a unique programme run by a full-time, dedicated team. Up to 8 startups will be selected to come to Hong Kong to accelerate their FinTech businesses. Successful applicants will receive:

  • mentorship from specialists in banking, technology and startups provided by DBS and NEST. Additional support from leading industry experts
  • dedicated workspace in Wanchai, a state of the art co-working space well served by transport links and 24/7 secure access to suit any startup accepted into the programme
  • access to the DBS & NEST innovation ecosystems
  • opportunity to pitch your business at our prestigious demo day

Unprecedented Access

Gain unprecedented access to this unique accelerator and benefit from the following:

  • dedicated support from the Transformation team within DBS
  • introductions and 1:1 working sessions with key decision makers within DBS
  • key insights on how to build relationships with the DBS organisation as a service provider or partner
  • mentoring from relevant industry experts across business, FinTech and technology
  • opportunity for extended backing from DBS and NEST
  • access to NEST’s key expertise in marketing, strategy, funding and network of over 600 mentors and investors

Who Can Apply

We are seeking up to 8 ambitious startup companies from across the globe with an innovative FinTech proposition. If you are passionate about improving the banking experience and believe you can bring in a new era of FinTech innovation, we want to hear from you!

The types of ideas we are looking for, but not limited to:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big data and analytics, where large amounts of complex data can be processed in a second
  • Banking infrastructure, workflow and operational management
  • Mobility and payments
  • Risk monitoring and management
  • Security
  • SME Banking Solution


Leveraging both the NEST and DBS networks, participants will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of key industry leaders and renowned entrepreneurs. Furthermore, mentors can offer access to a wider network of contacts that could significantly accelerate a company’s development.

View all mentors here


Be a part of the thriving startup ecosystem in Hong Kong, one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

Take maximum advantage of the other accelerator participants through working in a custom-made, exciting, open-plan office space that is collaborative, creative and fun!

Throughout the accelerator programme there will be regular events promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. Events will be open to accelerator startups and Hong Kong’s aspiring entrepreneurs.


The timeline has 5 milestones as shown, with the programme itself comprising of 3 stages.




General Overview

What types of businesses is the Accelerator focusing on?
We are looking for technology-focused startups with a passion for innovation and lots of creativity, who share our revolutionary vision.
How are the final companies chosen? What is the criteria?
Innovative, tech-savvy companies with cutting-concepts that could take FinTech into a new dimension.
What role is DBS going to play in the Accelerator and what commitment has it made?
DBS are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and startups. We will provide mentorship from carefully selected business leaders and entrepreneurs to help you develop your business. These mentors will be able to give you unparalleled advice in financial services, corporate sales, financial technologies, regulation, marketing, PR, pitching and more, to help you accelerate your company’s development.
What are the networking and educational opportunities provided during the programme?
You’ll be based in a centrally located office, so you’ll be surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs and teams. This will give you an excellent opportunity to build strong working relationships, learn from others’ experiences and share your own. We will also provide access to the calendar of educational workshops happening across Hong Kong.
Will all the mentors come from DBS itself?
No. Some will, but the majority will be a network of entrepreneurs and business leaders throughout Hong Kong and many are listed on the NEST website
What if my company is not an expert at developing FinTech solutions?
We’re not looking for experts, just creative startups with a visionary attitude and inspiring ideas. You’ll get access to DBS + NEST’s experts in the field. All we ask is that you’re capable of building your own solution, have the drive to make it happen, and are focused on the potential of your startup.
What size company is DBS focusing on for this programme?
We’re focusing on startups at seed and Pre-A stages, so these tend to be small businesses or individuals, though there’s no limit on the size of the company applying. We’re particularly interested in FinTech solutions that can be quickly brought to market and ready for beta testing or launch at the Investor Demo Days.

Application Process

How does the application process work?

Interested startups can apply online through www.DBS-accelerator.com, which will direct you to a dedicated Angel List application page.

It includes a few simple questions about your company and your team. You’ll have the opportunity to include a video that describes your business.

How detailed does my idea need to be in the application?
In this initial application process, we ask applicants to describe market opportunity, the team, the concept that you want to take forward and how you plan to execute it. The more information you provide, the easier it is for us to assess the full potential of your business
Do I need to send in a business plan?
No, just complete the online application.
Is my age a factor in your selection process?
When is the deadline to apply and what’s the overall timeline?
Applications open on 23rd April 2015 and the deadline for submissions is 1st July 2015. If you’re a finalist, we’ll notify you by 9th July 2015. The timeline has full details, including start and end dates of the programme.


Is there an equity stake component for participation in the programme?
DBS and NEST are offering 3 months’ support for free, however there will be a warrant system in place allowing both DBS and NEST to potentially invest in a startup after the programme. This also means that you’ll be part of the extended NEST network and will always be able to benefit from the business opportunities this presents.
How can participants receive funding after the DBS Accelerator ends?
You’ll have the opportunity to showcase your products and services at Demo Day, where a range of potential investors, which may include venture capitalists and influential industry leaders, will see your proposition and listen to your pitch.


Where is the DBS Accelerator office?
The DBS Accelerator office will be located on Wanchai, Hong Kong Island
Do companies have to be on site for the entire acceleration period?
We recommend that you’re on-site as much as possible during the programme. The more immersed in it you are, the more you’ll gain. Although we appreciate you may need to occasionally work elsewhere, please be aware that participating companies won’t be able to take any DBS information or data away from the DBS Accelerator office. There may be other restrictions on what work can be taken off-site, to make sure our confidential information and intellectual property rights are protected.
Do participants need to be based in Hong Kong to take part in the programme?
If you are a spectacular company based overseas, we will be able to offer virtual participation for the programme, or Nest will cover the costs of your travel and housing for the duration of the programme.
Can I apply if our company or founders are not from Asia? Can you help with visa/immigration issues?
Anyone from anywhere can apply. If you’re accepted, you’ll need to have a legal right to be in Hong Kong. DBS/Nest may be able to provide working visas for successful companies for the duration of the programme. If this isn’t possible, we can put you in touch with agencies and services that can help you with visas and immigration, but we can only do this once you’ve been accepted onto the programme. We encourage you to start this process as early as possible.


When are the Demo Days and who will be invited?
The Demo Days will be in Q4 2015. This will be by invitation only. We’ll invite key people from our strong network of industry leaders, investors, venture capitalists and press.
What will a typical day be like for a DBS Accelerator participant?
We’re pleased to say there’s no such thing as a typical day. Throughout the programme, you can expect somewhere in the region of 100 potential meetings with mentors, venture capitalists, CEOs, innovators and industry visionaries


Will DBS invest in my company?
DBS Bank shall be invited to participate, without obligation to participate, in any fund-raising event within a period of one year following the program completion, unless the equity investment by the bank creates a conflict of interest to the business or DBS itself.
What guarantees can DBS make to companies who get into the programme?
DBS will support companies that are accepted by providing mentors, visibility and engagement around business opportunities that emerge from this programme. You’ll also have the collective resources of NEST, both during the programme and afterwards.
Is a participating company’s product or service guaranteed to be endorsed by DBS?
No, there are no guarantees. It’s entirely at DBS’s discretion as to whether a participating company’s product or service is taken on and endorsed by DBS


What is NEST?
NEST is the leading full-service innovation accelerator platform in Hong Kong. Providing seed capital and expertise to entrepreneurs, empowering startups throughout Asia with a wide range of services.
Why did DBS partner with NEST on this programme?
DBS Accelerator is a ‘powered by NEST’ programme. This will be run by a dedicated team to help bring innovative business ideas to market. DBS has teamed up with NEST to run its model of mentorship, accelerated, intense development and world-class demo-day preparation.
How to get in contact?
If you have questions about the programme, application, please do not hesitate to contact our NEST team