Fintech71's location and design were thoughtful decisions that account for the needs of the cohorts it will house.
In April, Fintech71, an accelerator for financial tech startups, unpacked its bags on the second floor of 107 S. High Street—the former home of design company Print Syndicate. Executive Director Matt Armstead says they chose the spot because it was “big and it was available” and able to accommodate collaboration well.
“Another reason is if you think about the sectors that we serve in financial services, if you look out these windows you see Huntington, Fifth Third, PNC—so it's kind of at the hub of the industries that we serve,” he adds.
The accelerator's name is a combination of the industry buzzword and a nod to the I-71 corridor. Fintech71's broader location was chosen because it is centrally located between Cleveland and Cincinnati—two places that will be destinations of its 20 cohorts' field trips.
As for the size, Armstead says it was initially going to go into a space 1/3 the size of this one, but chose 107 S. High St. because it made more sense to expand. Fortunately for Fintech71, it was able to partner with another accelerator and double its original number of cohorts from 10 to 20, which ensures more space utilization.
The decorations are similar to Print Syndicate's. The design company's wacky, colorful murals still decorate the walls, and Fintech71 has followed that aesthetic with new 4x8-ft. canvases propped up against walls. It brought in its own furniture which matches the art and adds bursts of color to the otherwise industrial floor.
Director of Marketing Tim Fulton says design will remain somewhat raw until the specific needs of the incoming cohorts are determined, though Fintech71 has been laid out thoughtfully. The conference rooms have received extra insulation to block sounds from coming in or going out, and the space has the capacity for both concentrated work and collaboration.
“I like that its open, says Fulton. “The ability to sequester yourself if you need to, to get work done, but also the ability to spitball off of—whether it's the executive director or an intern—everybody can come together quickly and easily and rally.”