Republic Bancorp in Louisville, Ky., plans to invest $5 million in tech startups after creating an incubator program.
The $6.3 billion-asset company plans to launch its BankTech Incubator to back technology companies that complement its strategic goals. To qualify, companies must have an existing or planned strategic relationship with the bank.
Republic’s investment committee represents a wide variety of employees representing key areas across the bank. The bank has not yet made any investments.
The incubator “allows us to create long-term partnerships with technology companies and share deep industry knowledge that influences the technology we use within the bank,” Andrew Trager-Kusman, Republic’s chief strategy officer, said in a press release.
“We see value in investing in companies with which we also have a strategic relationship,” Trager-Kusman added. “These types of relationships will be truly symbiotic.”
Republic hired Jeff Starke as its chief information officer last year, and the company has already installed 90 interactive teller machines (ITMs) across its five-state footprint.
“We’re going to be very thoughtful and selective to ensure the … portfolio allows us to better serve the needs of our clients, as well as the bank,” Trager-Kusman said. “We’re confident this initiative will allow us to deepen our existing strategic relationships while we continue to develop new relationships in undiscovered areas.”