Elevator Lab Challenge South-East Europe 2021

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Five Raiffeisen Banks* in South-East Europe are organizing an Elevator Lab Challenge and looking for innovative fintech startups in the region.

Apply now

Your Benefits

Elevator Lab Challenge South-East Europe 2021 is part of the Elevator Lab, a group-wide international Partnership Program powered by Raiffeisen Bank International. Joining this Elevator Lab Challenge can be a stepping stone to scale your business to an international level.

By applying to the Elevator Lab Challenge South-East Europe 2021 you will jump start your idea and receive valuable feedback from relevant industry experts with the chance to present your company among other participants.

The program is organized through 5 categories in the fields of Retail and SME banking, Advanced Analytics & Artificial Intelligence, Large Corporates & Institutional Clients, Payments and Transaction Processing, and ESG solutions. Category winners will be invited to the Regional Finals.

Category winners

  • €5,000 cash prize for winning each of the categories
  • A possibility of developing a pilot project with one of the local banks
  • Placement in the Regional Finals of the Elevator Lab Challenge South-East Europe 2021
  • Opportunity to integrate the innovation with the regional Raiffeisen banks’ systems and reach 2.6 million clients

Regional competition winner

  • €10,000 cash prize for winning the regional competition
  • Presentation of the innovation to the local startup and business community
  • A possibility of developing a pilot project with one of the local banks
  • Opportunity to integrate the innovation with the regional Raiffeisen Group’s banking systems and reach 2.6 million clients
  • Meeting with senior bank managers from organizing Raiffeisen Banks and Raiffeisen Bank International
  • Pitching at the International Elevator Lab Demo Day in 2022 in front of representatives of the entire RBI Group (in Vienna or online)
  • Expert advice on presentations and personalizing pitch decks for business clients
  • Extensive media coverage
Abstract, EL Challenge Winner Serbia 2019
Worig, EL Challenge Winner Croatia 2019
AILend, EL Challenge Winner Albania & Kosovo 2019
Uhura Solutions, EL Winner BiH & Regional Winner 2019

The Elevator Lab Challenge is perfect for startups ready to present their product to the experts from one of the most forward-thinking banks globally. It’s a huge learning and networking opportunity that will help put you on the map as a leading fintech innovator in the region.

Stefan Kostic, CEO of IPification (Elevator Lab Regional Challenge Winner 2020)

What we are looking for

The Program is open to fintech-startups that have at least minimum viable product ready and a committed founding team that consists of at least two roles (for example CEO and CTO).
The fintech-startups offering solutions/ technology for banks and financial services must be active in one of the following areas:

Advanced Analytics & Artificial Intelligence

  • AA & AI for Customer Engagement
  • Intelligent character recognition / smart document processing beyond OCR
  • Biometry e.g. behavior / gesture analytics
  • Omnichannel analytics /digital marketing
  • Voice banking, voice assistants and voice biometry

Large Corporates & Institutional Clients

  • Digital platform solutions (especially digital
    onboarding, workflow tools, risk limit management)
  • Digital contract management
  • Blockchain solutions for large corporates

Payments and Transaction Processing

  • Blockchain technology
  • Mobile payment solutions 
  • Mobile banking app solutions for additional services (e.g. bill payments, bill split)
  • Open banking interaction with the PSD2 APIs and monetization of business cases

Retail and SME Banking

  • Digital client acquisition solutions (digital/ video/ remote)
  • Digital sales processes
  • Beyond Banking (e.g. customer service/ advisory/ additional value added services/ digital contract management)

ESG Solutions

  • Social banking
  • CO2 certificate trading and carbon offsetting solutions
  • Innovative approach related to ESG models

Founding a startup is like jumping on a rollercoaster ride, it doesn’t happen fast or immediately bring you success. Those who read between the lines of any startup success story understand that the winners are those who are in for the long game; with a focus on delivering value. We are on a mission to ensure fair and easy access to credit for everyone whenever they need it. For that, we are grateful that our path crossed with Elevator Lab, who acknowledges our vision and efforts. 

Gentjan Zotaj, CEO of AiLend (Regional Challenge Winner Albania and Kosovo 2019)

Elevator Lab Challenge South-East Europe 2021

Applications are open until November 14th, 2021 - CET 23:59



The applications for Elevator Lab Challenge South-East Europe 2021 start on October 11th 2021. Followed by an internal selection process with the aim to identify the startups with the biggest potential, each of the 5 categories will have separate competitions** that will take place online. These online events will be held during November, and the winners from the categories will be invited to the Gala-event on December 15th 2021, where they will get the opportunity to present their solutions in front of the international jury.

Applications open

October 11th – November 14th, 2021 

1st Category Event (online)

November 22rd, 2021

2nd Category Event (online)

November 24th, 2021

3rd Category Event (online)

November 30th, 2021

4th Category Event (online)

December 1st, 2021

5th Category Event (online)

December 2nd, 2021

Gala Event (online or live – depending on Covid-19 situation)

December 15th, 2021

Elevator Lab Challenge
Jury Elevator Lab Challenge

Elevator Lab Challenge South-East Europe 2021 Jury

Category jury – Retail and SME Banking

Category jury – Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

Category jury – Payments and Transaction Processing

Category jury – Large Corporates and Institutional Clients

Category jury – ESG Solutions

Gala event jury