Ten ICBA Innovation Milestones for 2022

Dec. 20, 2022

We have previously called 2021 a year of innovation, but there’s no doubt that ICBA doubled down on its position throughout 2022 to ensure that innovation is accessible, affordable, and attainable to all community bankers. I’m proud to say that we intensified our innovation efforts and positively impacted community banking in these 10 meaningful ways:

  1. We strengthened our investment in innovation. ICBA’s leadership bankers sent a clear message this year: Innovation is a priority. By bringing the ThinkTECH Accelerator in-house, ICBA is taking on year-round innovation programming to better support community banks.

  2. We launched our Independent Banker podcast. In addition to our presence at industry events, our podcast hit its stride, connecting with bankers in a new way and creating a channel for enhanced storytelling. Watch for expanded coverage, curriculum, and resources in 2023.

  3. We debuted the Accelerator’s hybrid approach. Having to pivot to an all-virtual Accelerator in 2021, we found our groove in 2022 with a hybrid approach. It brought the benefits of both environments, creating in-person and virtual networking spaces and allowing a larger pool of bankers to participate.

  4. We closed out fundraising for BankTech Ventures. In its first fund to accelerate technology opportunities and adoption at community banks, BankTech Ventures raised more than $115 million in committed capital. Of 109 limited partners, 86 are ICBA members.

  5. We created a state banking association outreach strategy. In 2022, we began a concerted effort to take innovation on the road with visits to partner state banking associations. Now, the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program has connected community bank-centric fintech companies with more than 1,000 community bankers and industry leaders.

  6. We partnered with state associations to support their innovation programs. In addition to attending and speaking at events, ICBA worked to provide support for innovation agendas at the state level. For example, the Community Bankers Association of Illinois brought a group of their leadership bankers to the ThinkTECH Accelerator to dive deeper into innovation programming, and the Community Bankers Association of Georgia launched its Innovation Exploration Conference and innovation-centric programming and ICBA provided speakers and support.

  7. We increased industry engagement and visibility. We also worked to raise the profile of the ThinkTECH Accelerator and community bank innovation in the broader financial services landscape. We continued dialogue with regulators at our ThinkTECH Reg Day and expanded our outreach to more individuals within the bank, helping us grow the number of new Accelerator attendees by more than 50 percent and generate nearly 600 hours of thought discussion.

  8. We supported the Venture Center’s VenCent Summit. More than 500 attendees joined us for three days of programming and 70+ demos featuring community bank-centric fintech solutions. Our ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator program alumni were well represented, and DocFox, a company from our most recent cohort, received the first-ever Finny Award for global fintech excellence.

  9. We continued growing our team of innovation experts. We hired Wayne Miller as senior vice president, innovation programs and have announced plans to further build out our team and open our Atlanta office to house our innovation programs moving forward. This staffing up will ensure we have a robust foundation to execute our full innovation agenda.

  10. We launched our first industry innovation survey. To keep our finger on the pulse of community bank innovation we reached out to our members to gauge their mindsets on all things innovation, including strategy, technology, and implementation. The findings, scheduled for release in 2023, will help steer our innovation efforts going forward.

Despite all we have accomplished thus far, a world of opportunity still awaits. So, join us for our ThinkTECH Alumni Showcase at ICBA LIVE where you can hear first-hand from each of our four cohort alumni and learn more about what we have in store for the new year. In the meantime, know that as we kick off 2023, we are starting from a position of strength that will continue to evolve to meet your innovation needs.