Alior Bank’s RBL_START acceleration program has just opened a recruitment process for the second edition of the accelerator. The institution will seek for startups which offer solutions in the areas of security, data analysis, supporting client’s loyalty and those which offer launching financial services in channels that have not yet been explored. Startups which will be qualified are, among others, awaiting an extensive mentoring program, a chance for financing their solutions and a possibility to implement them at Alior Bank or PZU Group (Powszechny Zaklad Ubezpieczen, the largest insurance provider and one of the most prominent financial institutions in Poland).
The first edition of RBL_START was mainly focused on open-banking. Among 100 applicants from all over the world, 8 startups have been chosen to complete a 15-weeks-long acceleration program. As a result, chosen startups have been qualified to work on pilot projects of their solutions. Additionally, Alior Bank has decided to invest PLN 4 million in one of the startups that took part in the program – PayPo.
The second edition of RBL_START’s areas of interests is much wider. In response to the needs of both Alior Bank’s clients and its business units, this time, the institution will seek for solutions that enable obtaining data from various sources as well as advanced analytics of the data obtained, including predictive analytics. The accelerator will also focus on services which increase client engagement and loyalty, and let the bank offer both financial and non-financial products in different channels of communication, including those that have not presented any financial offers so far. The accelerator also aims to cooperate with companies specializing in security and identity verification in remote channels.
– We want to create new products with FinTech and InsureTech startups. Our own acceleration program allows us to develop the most efficient cooperation scheme for both the bank and the engaged companies – says Kamila Wincenciak, FinTech Partnership Director at Alior Bank.
Startups that will qualify for the program will be able to verify their business models in cooperation with experts from Alior Bank and PZU – the main partner of the program. Additionally, the program participants will have the chance to work on business cases of potential projects with the program partners which include IBM, Microsoft and Linklaters among others. During the program, each startup will be able to test their solutions with real clients, using the bank’s existing research facilities, as well as they will gain access to the Developers’ Portal and Alior Bank’s Open API. If necessary, solutions under acceleration will also be verified legally and will obtain access to KNF’s (Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego, Polish Financial Supervision Authority) sandbox. Additionally, RBL_START offers office space in the RBL_’s headquarters at Warsaw Spire during the whole program.
RBL_START is also a chance for startups to gain financing. A recently appointed investment team RBL_VC will assess each company from the investment potential point of view, examining possibilities of further cooperation. After the first edition of the program, Alior Bank decided to acquire 20% shares of one of the startups – PayPo – and is still open for investment opportunities.
– We believe that partnering with startups will help us change our business quicker and develop our bank offer in directions that our clients and the market expect. We have our own acceleration program and investment fund, we launched the Developers’ Portal which can be used by startups taking part in the accelerator. We have both the experience and the infrastructure necessary to successfully implement joint projects. Our goal is to establish cooperation with 20 different companies by 2020 and eventually, to become the first-choice partner for startups – says Marcin Jaszczuk, vice-CEO of Alior Bank.
RBL_START is looking for companies which develop solutions in the areas determined either by Alior Bank or PZU in the recruitment requirements. The main criterion for the product is to be at least in MVP stage of development. Given that startups representatives are able to join the program in Warsaw, the acceleration program is open for companies from all over the world.
– We are again partnering with Alior Bank in the second edition of RBL_START. For us it’s a very valuable experience, it gets us closer to the startups and modern technologies’ world. At PZU, we execute several pilot projects with startups every year and the RBL_START accelerator is a very important source of such relations. We hope that the second edition will let us meet teams with which we will establish permanent cooperation that will be beneficial for both parties – says Bartek Kwiecinski, Managing Director Digital & CRM at PZU. – We are especially interested in getting to know startups from finance and open banking sectors. We are also open for startups from three main areas of innovation at PZU – which are big data usage, digitalization and new interactions with clients, including the digital channel – summarizes the PZU representative.
The recruitment part of the second edition of RBL_START will last until May 12th, 2019 and the accelerator itself will be held between June and November. It will be finished with the DemoDay during which all accelerated startups will showcase their solutions in front of potential investors and partners.
More information can be found on a dedicated landing page of the accelerator.
Source: Alior Bank, press release from 05.03.2019