Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has selected its first bunch of 11 finalists for its FinTech Hive startup accelerator program.

Jojo Puthuparampil is a business news writer for Inc. Arabia.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has selected its first bunch of 11 finalists for its FinTech Hive startup accelerator program.

The first cycle of the accelerator, which has been organized in collaboration with Accenture, will begin with a 12-week program allowing the select startups to work with financial institutions and stakeholders to create solutions for the financial services segment.

The finalists are selected based on business maturity and potential to thrive at the accelerator, DIFC said.

Following the are selected startups:

Bridg (UAE)

A custom-built communication technology that allows smartphones to send and receive money while offline.

Delio (the UK)

A solution for private assets, helping financial institutions and their advisors enhance their offering through connecting private deal flow.

Labiba (Jordan)

A platform to help businesses create artificially intelligent chat bots.

Maliyya (Azerbaijan)

A Shariah-compliant P2P financing and investment startup.

Middleware (the US)

The platform allows customers to share access to money on their cards without using a money transfer.

Norbloc (Sweden)

A specialist in financial regulatory applications built on distributed ledgers.

Sarwa (UAE)

A hybrid automated investment management platform for young professionals in the Middle-East.

Semantify (the US)

A data analytics platform to help business users interact with critical data.

Starling Trust (the US)

An applied behavioral sciences RegTech startup helping financial services firms to manage culture- and conduct-related risks.

Theme Chain (India)

A subsidiary of trade finance software as a service provider Encore Theme Technologies.

WeInvest (Singapore)

A digital wealth management solutions provider.

In the first phase of the program, each finalist with meet with executives from partners including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citi, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, Network International, Visa etc.

They will also meet with representatives from Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and UAE Exchange to get feedback and discuss mentorship opportunities.

In the second phase, the startups will engage with partners and mentors specializing in technology, legal, Islamic finance, and regulation.

The third phase will see the finalists prepare to present their products to investors, bankers, government officials and members of the media.

Fintech has seen a surge of startups in the region in the recent past.

The number of startups in MENA’s fintech ecosystem doubled from 46 to 105 over three years from 2013, according to ‘State of Fintech’ report recently released by Middle East-focused payment service provider PAYFORT.

The region could see over 250 more fintech startups being launched by 2020, according to the report.