FAQ Challenges

About the Elevator Lab Challenges

The Elevator Lab Challenge is the best way to get in contact with your local Raiffeisen Bank and is a fast track to the group-wide Elevator Lab Partnership Program. Seven RBI network banks – Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia – offer startups in local fintech ecosystems the opportunity to apply to their local Elevator Lab Challenge. Each Challenge cooperates with partners from their own local startup ecosystem and offers their own prizes for the Challenge winners.

There are two types of Elevator Lab Challenges:

  1. Standard Elevator Lab Challenge
  2. Regional Elevator Lab Challenge

More details can be found on the respective website of each local Elevator Lab Challenge.

Single country challenge looking for local later-stage fintechs. Organized in three RBI network banks – Bulgaria, Russia and Slovakia. Typically, there are two kind of winners: Local Hero and Global Hero.

Multiple country challenge looking for local later-stage fintechs. Organized in five RBI network banks: one regional challenge is organized in cooperation by Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, another regional challenge is organized commonly by Albania and Kosovo.

Elevator Lab Challenges are the best way to get in contact with your local Raiffeisen Bank and a fast track to the group-wide Elevator Lab Partnership Program. At the winner ceremony in your country, a “Local Hero” and a “Global Hero” will be identified for both types of Challenges. For all winners there will be country-specific prizes, typically the Local Hero – gets country-specific cash prize + potential PoC with the local bank and the Global Hero – gets country-specific cash prize + a Wild Card to the semi-finals of the global Elevator Lab Partnership Program and therefore has the chance to get selected for a group-wide pilot project within RBI Group.

No, the Elevator Lab also supports startups with technologies, solutions or services that might be used in banking and finance. Please refer in your application on how you think your startup could cooperate with us (proposed use case).

Typically, the duration of the Elevator Lab Challenges is around 3 months, between the opening of the application phase and the winner ceremony. Further steps regarding cooperation may vary between the different banks.

It is our aim not to select companies which are competitors within the same Elevator Lab Challenge. However, it is possible that there may be competing companies in the broader network.

About the application process

The Challenges are open to every local later-stage startup, with a proven innovative fintech solution and product and sound initial funding. In addition, you must be active in one of the search areas mentioned on the website.

You will be able to apply for the respective Elevator Lab challenge which matches your country of incorporation or one of the countries you are operating in (and also for the Elevator Lab Partnership Program). We recommend applying directly for the Elevator Lab Challenge in your country of incorporation/operations in order to assure the best starting position for you (local language, market know-how, scalability etc.). In addition, if you are selected as “Global Hero” you will be directly participating in the semi-finals (video pitch) of the Elevator Lab Partnership Program, which is the fast track into the program. If there is no Elevator Lab Challenge available in your country, we are happy to receive your application directly for the group-wide Elevator Lab Partnership Program.

The application process starts with filling out an online application form, which can be reached through a link on the Elevator Lab website as well as on our social media channels in form of an “Apply now” button. Deadlines for the applications are shown on the website of the respective challenge. On the platform you get directed to, you will have to register yourself and your fintech, introduce your product, the market you are operating in, your team, business model, traction and roadmap to give us an adequate overview of your company. After entering all this information you will have to chose an initiative you are applying for and submit your application through filling out a few more questions e.g. your potential use case with RBI Group. When you successfully submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. After the application is submitted, the Elevator Lab jury will screen and evaluate it.

If you may have any further questions regarding the application process, please contact us under: startups@rbinternational.com.

The Fintech database is an online platform which serves as the application tool as well. Since we care about our applicants and we store the data about fintech’s in safety matter, there are following Steps. In order to submit the application you will have to download and authenticator app (Salesforce Authenticator, Google Authenticator or other), which will allow you to register and login on to the fintech database with two factor authentication, by simply entering a code provided by the app. If you have further questions or difficulties during the registration process do not hesitate to contact us: startups@rbinternational.com

Your application should be as detailed as needed for an outsider to understand your business concept and market opportunity. As bankers, we love data and are used to make decisions on KPIs. Regarding your application, we take our decision based on the information in the application form, pitch deck or videos provided by you. If you want to provide us with a business plan, please feel free to do so.

We try our best to notify you as soon as possible after our Elevator Lab Jury evaluated all startup applications. If you are not selected, we’ll also let you know accordingly.

This year the Elevator Lab will use a new application tool. In case, you have already submitted the application in previous years we have developed the following process to make it more convenient for you:

    1. Please newly register yourself on the platform (email, username, company name)
    2. After registration, please wait until the next business day. During this time the Elevator Lab team will match your new registration with the previous company description (e.g. introduce your product, the market you are operating in, your team, business model, traction and roadmap) which you can adjust and modify as soon as you see the information in your profile.
    3. In the next step you have to choose an initiative and can apply for it by answering a few additional application questions.
    4. When you have successfully submitted the application, you will receive a confirmation email.
    5. After the application is submitted, the Elevator Lab Jury screens and evaluates it.

If you may have any further question coming up during the application process, please contact us under: startups@rbinternational.com.

About the selection process

After your application has been submitted onto our online platform, the local Elevator Lab Jury will screen and evaluate your application based on the information you provided us with in the application form. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to the local finalist ceremony, where the winners will be selected after the pitching session with Q&A.

Elevator Lab Challenge is looking for fintechs with proven innovative fintech products and technologies. Thus, if you have a strong team, at least a working minimum viable product with first market traction and you can show us that you know and understand your market, you are a strong candidate.

The local Elevator Lab Jury consists of carefully selected executives out of your local Raiffeisen Bank, leading experts from other industries and from your local startup ecosystem. The local Jury screens and evaluates your application and provides you with valuable feedback at the pitching session. Further steps regarding cooperation may vary between the different banks.