Two persons of color brainstorming ideas


December 08, 2021

Plaid Accelerate expands to include two new cohorts for 2022

Nell Malone

Updated on June 09, 2022

Earlier this year, we launched Plaid Accelerate, an incubator program designed to support early-stage founders who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). Entrepreneurship can sometimes be an isolating process, and with Plaid Accelerate our goal is to provide tactical, hands-on assistance and create a supportive community for founders that historically haven't been afforded the same resources as others.

Over the last six months, we’ve supported our first cohort through a robust program including a three-day bootcamp and follow up sessions led by Plaid experts, an executive mentorship program, and an investor preparedness series and pitch practice event. We learned so much from the founders in our inaugural cohort and were so inspired by the gaps they are filling in the market to improve financial wellness for everyone. Our 2021 cohort included:

  • Global Data Consortium - Global identity verification API offering both eKYC and eKYB verification for businesses. 

  • Guidefi - Financial wellness marketplace connecting communities of color to vetted, culturally attuned financial advisors. 

  • OfColor - Enterprise financial wellness platform for employees of color including personalized PFM and loans that allow them to maximize their 401k contribution.

  • Walnut - Point-of-sale lending platform that works with medical providers to make healthcare more affordable for patients. 

  • Zeta - Financial products and tools for couples and families. 

We helped the founders as they navigated important milestones like: fundraising, app and new product releases, identifying new banking and compliance partners, and defining new revenue models and sales strategies.

I joined the Plaid Accelerate program to gain support in navigating Guidefi’s challenging bank regulatory landscape. Yet during the past 6 months, I was able to accomplish so much more. With the support of my amazing mentors and access to Plaid’s content experts, our team redesigned Guidefi’s customer experience, optimized our pricing model, and defined our mobile app’s deployment plan. Further, the program’s customized approach was right-sized for Guidefi’s venture stage, and our sessions helped to prepare our team for our upcoming fundraise. I would highly recommend the program to other fintech founders. The opportunity to have this level of access to a panel of experts with deep product and competency expertise is priceless.

- Charlene Fadirepo, Founder of Guidefi

We want to replicate this experience, and expand its impact to even more founders in the ecosystem, so we’re excited to announce that we’ll be expanding the Plaid Accelerate program to include two new cohorts for 2022. While the program’s core offerings will remain the same, next year we’ll be condensing the program length to five months and running two cohort programs back-to-back with the goal of making these programs more tailored to the needs of each cohort. 

Our first cohort will run from February to June and programming will be geared towards helping very early stage fintech companies with products not yet in GA and are potentially preparing to raise a Seed funding round. Our second cohort will take place from July to December supporting startups that are slightly farther along in their growth with products released in GA, beta, or with meaningful traction and, if relevant, preparing for a Series A funding round. 

We’re excited to support even more BIPOC fintech founders and help make their entrepreneurial journey much easier. Fintech is making a big difference in people’s lives and helping a diverse group of entrepreneurs grow and scale their apps and services will help make financial services even more accessible for everyone. 

You can learn more about Plaid’s Accelerate program and apply to our first 2022 cohort at