Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and CPA.com Startup Accelerator

Accelerate your startup and the accounting profession.
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Accelerate your startup. Accelerate the accounting profession.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” — Peter Drucker

It’s no secret that the accounting profession of the future will look radically different than it does today. We’re already being challenged to adapt and evolve to global trends and practices, such as the increasing complexity of regulatory compliance, task automation, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things.

The Association and CPA.com Startup Accelerator will help grow startups throughout the accounting ecosystem so they can help transform the profession. Our aim is to make accountants the go-to analysts, strategists and consultants who are indispensable to organizations throughout the world. Our plan is to convene interested and well-qualified startups in early 2019 to share, learn and grow.

Startups selected for the 2018 cohort

  • TrueUp – The Los Angeles startup uses gamification to help companies assess the technical skills of job candidates and improve the skills of current employees
  • RegroupTax – A San Diego firm that built a cloud-based program and app that creates workpapers for business tax preparation with a trial balance feature
  • Pluma – A San Francisco company that offers a professional development platform pairing working professionals with experienced executive coaches through in-app messaging and video sessions, accessible by computer or mobile device
  • North Capital – A Salt Lake City marketplace solutions and advisory firm whose technology platform allows broker-dealers, funding platforms, and issuers to conduct online private securities offerings
     

What are the themes?

We’re focused on two specific themes, both of which ultimately help the profession perform and add value at a higher level:

1.     Technology and financial information — Practical tools and applications that further strengthen the ability of individual accountants or finance teams to be the analysts, strategists and consultants that are indispensable to organizations throughout the world. In particular, help accountants and the profession shift their focus more to value-add work rather than routine tasks.

Examples may include but are not limited to:

  • Automating routine accounting tasks
  • Leveraging augmented or artificial intelligence
  • Establishing a dominant role in blockchain data and information sharing within and between industries
     

2.     Professional development — Tools and platforms that help accounting and finance professionals and their teams develop, grow, and measure new competencies to advance in their careers while adapting to technological and business change.

Examples may include but are not limited to:

  • Use of machine learning to personalize education
  • Measuring the growth of professional competence
  • Connecting experts, mentors, mentees

What we're offering

Transform your startup

We will help you transform your business as you transform the profession.

$25,000 funding

Up to five startups will be offered up to $25,000 each, subject to agreement of commercial terms, to work with the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and CPA.com as part of this year’s accelerator cohort. Commercial terms are previewed in the sample convertible promissory note and memorandum of understanding.

Knowledge

We will provide subject-matter expertise, coaching and mentoring on the profession to help each startup in this year’s cohort succeed and grow.

Advisory panel participants:

  • Atif Ansari, CPA, CGMA, CMA, ACMA – founder and President, Piik Insights
  • Gary Boomer, CPA, CGMA, CITP – founder of Boomer Consulting, Inc.
  • David Cieslak, CPA, CITP – principal at Arxis Technology
  • Ian Hanning, FCMA, CGMA – CFO, Capital One Canada
  • Jenni M. Huotari, CPA – partner at Eide Bailly, chair of Digital CPA
  • Sabrina Parsons – CEO, Palo Alto Software
  • Ron Quaranta – blockchain expert, CEO of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance
  • Amy Radin – marketing, innovation, digital strategist; Association board member
  • Mike Sabbatis – CEO, XCM Solutions

General guidelines and eligibility

Eligibility

  • Startups located in any country
  • Stage of the startup must be Seed or pre-Series A, with some exceptions
  • Startups must have a functioning product or service
  • Pre-revenue companies will also be considered based on their development progress, roadmap and business plan
  • Startup must address, or be able to address, one or more of our defined themes
     

Timing

  • November 30, 2018 - applications due
  • December 12-13, 2018 (virtual) - Select applicants will be invited to pitch to Association and CPA.com executives.  Up to five startups will be selected to receive up to $25,000 each, subject to agreement of commercial terms (e.g., convertible note, equity, channel agreement, etc.).  Upon selection, the full accelerator program is ~6 months.
  • February 2019 (location TBD) - Convene the cohort in-person for two days of learning, mentoring and navigating the profession. An advisory group consisting of Association and CPA.com executives, industry leaders, tech companies and topical subject-matter experts will attend this session.  Full agenda to be distributed to invited participants.
  • February ~ June 2019 (virtual and in person) - ongoing coaching calls and meetings with each startup to continue providing guidance, expertise, access to applicable channels, and feedback on growth plans and progress.

For questions and inquiries regarding submitting an application please contact: Mark Brooks, Associate Director, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, mark.brooks@aicpa-cima.com, or Kacee Johnson, CPA.com, Strategic Advisor, kacee.johnson@hq.cpa.com.
 

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AICPA CPA.com Startup Accelerator