Packard Place incubator lands major sponsor, 10 new startups

The 12-week program will launch its fourth class of companies this spring, featuring 10 new startups in the technology and financial-services technology fields. RevTech targets new companies with disruptive technology ...

Wells Fargo and Extended Stay hotels have joined the slate of sponsors for RevTech Labs and Queen City FinTech, a joint startup accelerator in Charlotte's Packard Place.

The 12-week program will launch its fourth class of companies this spring, featuring 10 new startups in the technology and financial-services technology fields. Operating together, but carrying different brand names, RevTech targets new companies with disruptive technology and QC FinTech looks for startups in the financial tech space.

The program is led by Dan Roselli, the founder and owner of Packard Place.

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The new sponsors will help the program provide access to mentors and advisers, plus financial support. San Francisco-based Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) employs 22,000 people in the Charlotte region and joins the program as marquee sponsor.

"Wells Fargo has a culture of innovation that benefits both our customers and our team members," says David Carroll, head of Wells Fargo's Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement group, and the bank's highest-ranking official in Charlotte. "We are excited to support a venture that will foster innovation and provide an environment where small businesses can thrive."

Charlotte-based Extended Stay America (NASDAQ:STAY) committed to sponsor the program by providing rooms to out-of-town participants for the full 12-week program.

"Business travelers are very important to us; they account for nearly half of our annual guests," says Jonathan Halkyard, chief financial officer. "We are proud to be able to sponsor Queen City FinTech and the emerging businesses they support."

Adds Roselli: "It is fantastic to see corporations based in Charlotte support the entrepreneurial eco-system here."

The new sponsors follow existing commitments from Bank of America, North Highland Consulting and several smaller firms. North Highland is donating curriculum, managing the program and providing mentors to the participants. It is also providing an employee as a full-time program manager for eight months.

Sierra Maya Ventures, a sponsor and partner with Roselli in last year's RevTech class, is no longer involved in the program.

The new class of startups include two firms from Charlotte and eight others from around the country, selected from 115 applicants. They include: BelTowr Financial (Portland, Ore.), Cathedral Leasing (Knoxville, Tenn.), Collegester (Oakland, Calif.), Dyme (San Francisco), FlyInStyle (Miami), Pacatio (Los Angeles), Phyrefly (Charlotte), Traderion (Bucharest, Romania), VeriFreight (Charlotte) and Vulletin (Santa Monica, Calif.).

The program will begin in March, and a demo day for potential investors will be held in May.

Adam O'Daniel covers banking, entrepreneurs and technology for the Charlotte Business Journal

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