Startup Accelerator Spotlight: Queen City Fintech

Queen City FinTech

Queen City Fintech provides fintech startups access to world class mentors, capital, and leading financial services organizations; all in the heart of global banking hub Charlotte, NC.

Queen City FinTech

CEO / Managing Director, Dan Roselli

 Name of Accelerator: Queen City Fintech

 Location: Charlotte, NC


 CEO / Managing Director: Dan Roselli

This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight featuring accelerators from around the world.   We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator.

 In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives?

Queen City Fintech provides fintech startups access to world class mentors, capital, and leading financial services organizations; all in the heart of global banking hub Charlotte, NC.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Charlotte, NC

Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.

Charlotte is one of the largest financial services ecosystems in the world. We started our accelerator with a specific niche based on what was unique in our ecosystem—fintech. We had many great sponsor companies and tens of thousands of subject matter experts readily available. Our ecosystem was known for financial services, so we built our accelerator to reflect Charlotte’s DNA. We have taken a strategy of engaging a wide community table of sponsors. We are not exclusive to one Sponsor Company. This has allowed us to have one of the broadest networks of any accelerator company in the world.

Queen City FinTech


The greatest benefit of our program is the sponsor and mentor connections our companies get to make. The example we give is if you are a New York fintech startup, it doesn’t matter how big the fintech ecosystem is in New York if you don’t have access to it. Though Charlotte’s financial services ecosystem is a fraction of the size of NYC, people walk into our accelerator and get access to 100% of it from day one. That is what allows us to pull in some of the best startups from around the world into Charlotte. They walk into Charlotte at the top of the entrepreneurial food chain. There is almost no connection that we can’t get for them here.

What is the most difficult part of working with startups?

One of the most challenging things is also one of the best things. All their needs are unique. Each founding team is unique, their experience is unique, and their traction is unique. While there are some principles that you can apply repeatedly, you must customize what you do to the individual needs of that team, business, and where they are to date. Though it is intellectually challenging, it is a lot of fun and why I love what I am doing.

What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?

Though not everyone gets to succeed, you are able to see enough people succeed and see their hard work turn into a value that you can see the fruits of your labor. You can see the impact of what you’re doing. I describe what we do in entrepreneurial building a lot like farming. It’s making fertile ground, planting good seeds, and watching them grow up to the point where they become self-sustaining. You get to see it grow into something that people would have a hard time imagining when they were just a little seed of an idea.

Queen City FinTech

Tell us about your success stories; Which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?

Queen City FinTech

There are a lot of really great success stories. I particularly love TrustStamp (Atlanta, GA) who got their first big breakthrough a corporate connection through our program. It’s great to see our connections leading to helping companies taking off and growing.

We have had about half of our companies, historically, receive funding post-program, which we think is a really great success rate.

You also see some interesting companies like Saffe (London), who are using facial-recognition technology that was spun out of Harvard, and get to see it get commercialized on three continents.

What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?

First, decide what the needs of your company are. Start with that and see which accelerator matches. Don’t try this process in reverse. It’s a lot like going to the grocery store. You need a list before you go to the store to be effective. Understand deeply what your company needs first.

Second, look at the track record of the accelerator. Cohort after cohort you can’t fake adding real value to companies. You either are adding value or you’re not. You can check this by either looking at the sponsors or alumni companies.

Third, understand who you are going to be working with day-to-day. One thing we are proud of at Queen City Fintech is the team that you meet in the interview process is the team that you will be working with day-to-day. The ability to deliver on those sponsor connections and promises is a personal thing for us. We are the people who founded the program and run the program. We are not one of a hundred franchise accelerators. We are the program.

Queen City FinTech

Global Accelerator Register

What else would you like to share?

One other thing I always like to recommend is to look at accelerators outside of top-tier markets because the way they and their sponsors act is different. There is value in having a chip on your shoulder from not being in places like San Francisco. In cities like Charlotte, we don’t show value by just throwing logos up. We prove we add value by our results.

 Are you familiar with accelerators you believe should be spotlighted?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Tell us about them in the comments below.

Sandra Sloan

Sandra has previous supply chain and business operations experience which she is leveraging as an author with FundingSage focused on spotlighting entrepreneurs and their startup efforts.