Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab) is an early-stage accelerator that supports entrepreneurs to refine, grow and launch ground-breaking fintech ventures in developing countries. Backed by the Gates Foundation, DFS Lab provides the highest level of mentorship and strategic advice to start-ups. This support helps to build business models that transform the lives of the poorest, profitably and at scale.
Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab) is an early-stage accelerator that supports high potential entrepreneurs refine, grow and launch fintech businesses in developing countries. Focused on empowering communities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, DFS Lab delivers mentorship and strategic advice to early-stage start-ups pioneering transformative business models that empower the poorest, profitably and at scale.
DFS Lab gives entrepreneurs access to extensive networks and relevant advice on how to build successful ventures that change the way low-income consumers interact with digital financial services. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative is housed at Caribou Digital, a specialist in building inclusive digital economies.
An early-stage accelerator delivering innovative fintech solutions to the developing world.
Headshots and Bios
Jake Kendall is the director of the Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab). He was formerly the Deputy Director of Research and Emerging Technologies within the Financial Services for the Poor Team at the Gates Foundation, where his team helped create the global data architecture for tracking financial inclusion and create new technologies to power new financial inclusion models. Prior to joining the foundation, he spent time as an Economist with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) at the World Bank and in two start-ups in the field of cryptography. Jake is a published researcher and author and holds a PhD in Economics from UC Santa Cruz and a BS in Physics from MIT.
Stephen Deng is the Investment Officer for the Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab). Stephen has experience in advising private, NGO, and non-profit clients with their technology strategies. Previously, Stephen worked with the Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation providing research and grant making strategy for the team’s technology innovation portfolio. He started his career with LitiNomics, an economic consulting firm in Silicon Valley supporting the intellectual property strategies of clients in the technology, telecommunications, and healthcare sectors. Stephen earned his MBA from the Haas School of Business and his BA in Economics and International Political Economy, both from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dan Kleinbaum is the Entrepreneur in Residence for the Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab). He is responsible for sourcing and supporting innovative financial technology startups. Dan spent five years as co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Beyonic. Beyonic makes it easy for businesses to eliminate their need to use cash and use mobile payments across multiple networks in multiple countries. He was responsible for all the day-to-day tasks not related to technology that kept the business operating and grew the business from idea stage to a profitable business with a multi-million dollar valuation. Dan has three years experience consulting with Fortune 500 companies on sustainability and corporate responsibility issues. Dan earned his MS in Technology Commercialization at the University of Texas at Austin and earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.
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The full name is ‘Digital Financial Services Lab’. The abbreviation is ‘DFS Lab’. It is not:
- Dfs lab
- Dfs Lab
- DFS lab
- DFS LAB
- DFS Labs
- DFS LABS