Wells Fargo is trying to position itself as a patron of fintech startups at a time when banks worldwide are struggling to keep up with the pace of technological advancements.

Like a few other banks with similar initiatives, the country's fourth-largest bank is not counting on a financial return for its new accelerator program, which provides small equity investments and six months of mentoring for young companies. Nor does it demand exclusive relationships with these aspiring disruptors.

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