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Central and Eastern Europe’s largest fintech acceleration programme starts

Central and Eastern Europe’s largest fintech acceleration programme has kicked off.

The application phase for the Elevator Lab Challenge opened this week after Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria, the Bulgarian network bank of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), started its application phase. 

Now, Bulgarian startups have until June 17 to apply in the fields of Advanced Analytics, Corporate Banking, Investing & Trading Tech, New Branch Experience, Open Banking and RegTech.

Eight RBI network banks in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are supporting the group-wide fintech accelerator program “Elevator Lab” with local “Elevator Lab Challenges”, making it the largest fintech accelerator program in the CEE region.

In addition to Bulgaria, the fintech ecosystems in Albania, Belarus, Kosovo, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia are also specifically addressed through local challenges.

Winners of the eight local “Elevator Lab Challenges” will receive a “wild card” for the semi-final of the group-wide “Elevator Lab” and will thus have the chance to even make it to the finals of the TOP 15 in Vienna in September 2018.

On May 1, the group-wide Elevator Lab will start its second round. 

Johann Strobl, CEO of RBI, said: “For almost 30 years, RBI has been successful in the CEE region. Therefore, we know how much economic and creative potential this diverse and dynamic region has to offer. With these local challenges we want to specifically support the start-up ecosystems in the region and give young companies the opportunity to compete on an international stage with fintechs from all over the world.”

The application phase for the group-wide “Elevator Lab” is open from 1 May until 24 June. Start-ups can then apply for the program via here.

For both, the group-wide program as well as for the local challenges, ideas and solutions from the fields of Advanced Analytics, Corporate Banking, Investing & Trading Tech, New Branch Experience, Open Banking and RegTech can be submitted to the program.

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