Scouting The World’s Best Fintech Startups: Two Years And Counting!

By August 30, 2018February 2nd, 2024No Comments

When Pioneers Discover took on the task of scouting startups for RBI’s inaugural Elevator Lab program, which was announced at Pioneers’17 last June, they promised to deliver at least 150 innovative Fintech companies with which the Vienna-based international banking group might want to work on new products and services. But our consulting arm over-delivered just a touch: With their support, Elevator Lab received 336 startup applications!

“The experts from Pioneers supported us in communicating to the Fintech ecosystem, so all interested Fintechs could easily understand what RBI is looking for and how we want to cooperate,” says Maximilian Schausberger, Program Lead of Elevator Lab.

RBI’s internal mentors, drawn from all over the CEE region, then had the task of narrowing that giant selection down to a shortlist of around 40 ‘semi-finalists’ who would be interviewed for the partnership program. With so many to choose from, this might have seemed daunting. But with the more than 50 executive mentors all working through a dedicated account on Piobay, the Pioneers online dealflow management service, trimming down the initial list of applicants quickly and efficiently was an easy business.

“Screening, evaluating and rating the application data of over 300 startups with so many people from the whole RBI Group involved needs a tool like Piobay – developed by people who have experience with such processes,” adds Schausberger.

Pioneers Discover didn’t end their work with the initial scouting and giving all the mentors a personal login, of course. Our consultants provided a full onboarding for Piobay, and continued to support RBI as they worked towards selecting just five startups to work with during the four-month Elevator Lab program.

The selection process ultimately paid off in the form of a commercial partnership with kompany, a growth-stage RegTech company based in Vienna. Whilst conversations are ongoing with all five participants from the 2017/18 program – the other four Fintechs come from Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the USA – kompany has already developed a KYC product as a result of participating in Elevator Lab. We’ll have more from their founder’s perspective in a follow-on article in September.

Meanwhile, RBI and Pioneers Discover are already well into the process of finding the next Fintech gem together. The initial selection for the even bigger Elevator Lab 2018/19 has already been made, and a much larger group of around 150 mentors are trimming down our initial scout of 407 startups on Piobay at this very moment.

“New Fintech startups are appearing every day, so it’s a non-stop process to keep spotting the high-quality ones with the best ideas and potential,” says Harald Federspiel, Senior Innovation Consultant at Pioneers Discover. “But it’s both exciting and satisfying to make these connections happen, and we’re confident that our selections for the 2018/19 Elevator Lab and beyond will lead to even more collaborations!”

Keep an eye on our channels in September and October for news of which startups get chosen to go all the way with RBI’s Elevator Lab!

Read more about Pioneers Discover’s corporate innovation projects here.