FAQ Partnership Program

About the Elevator Lab Partnership Program

Elevator Lab is a leading Partnership program powered by Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) to jointly develop scalable business cases and enable international growth. It is a four-months program organizing the collaboration between fintechs and RBI Group in a structured way. Elevator Lab is looking for fintech startups, with proven innovative fintech products and technologies. Selected fintechs from around the world get the opportunity to work together with international leading experts on a proof-of-concept in order to further develop their business solution. During the program, the fintechs have the chance to be evaluated for a possible strategic long-term partnership with RBI Group.

The Elevator Lab Partnership Program offers its participants exposure to executives throughout RBI Group, access to 13 CEE countries as well as Austria, access to more than 150 mentors (experts from different fields of business within RBI), real testing through an IT sandbox and test clients, and a dedicated PoC fund.

The Elevator Lab Partnership Program consists of three phases:

  1. Application phase: starting from 24th of April and open for approx. 4 weeks from then
  2. Selection phase: consists of three selection steps – screening phase (June), video pitches (September) and finalist days (October) where you will pitch your product/service in front of the innovation board and the mentors
  3. Acceleration phase: starting with the onboarding after the finalist days in October 2019 and lasting until the beginning of March 2020; the heart of the acceleration phase is the pilot project; in the course of that you will have weekly calls with your mentors, monthly 1:1 mentoring sessions where you will work together and your PoC and in the last phase of the program have the chance to test your solution with real clients

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

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)

The Elevator Lab offers a selected pool of experts and mentors out of the vast Raiffeisen network. Further, the program offers the opportunity to work with leading industry companies, serial entrepreneurs, fintech experts and others.

About the application process

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. The application phase will be open for about one month (24.04.2019-19.05.2019). 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 mentors will screen and evaluate it.

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 growth KPIs. Regarding your application, we take our decision based on the information in the application form, pitch deck or videos provided by you and – most importantly for the semi-finalists – based on the information we get during the video pitch and Q&A. If you want to provide us with a business plan, please feel free to do so.

We try our best to notify:

  • All applicants after their online application: approx. one month before the video pitches
  • Semi-finalists after the video pitches: within two weeks after the video pitches
  • Finalists after the finalist days in Vienna: immediately during the pitching event on the last evening of the finalist days

If you could not make it into the program, we’ll also let you know accordingly.

Elevator Lab is looking for startups with proven innovative fintech products and technologies. In addition, you must be active in one of the search fields mentioned on the website. 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.

Everyone is welcome to apply. If you are accepted to the program, you must – of course – have a legal travel document to be able to enter and the permission to stay in the EU. Should you be accepted into the Elevator Lab, we may assist you with the organization of required documents.

Yes, of course. Please include details regarding past rounds of financing to your application.

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

The selection consists of a three-step process:

  1. After your application has been submitted on our online platform, our Elevator Lab mentors will screen and evaluate your application based on the information you provided us with in the application form.
  2. Shortlisted candidates (semi-finalists) will then be invited for a video pitching session via Skype for Business (beginning of September). The video session consists of a pitch and Q&A. In the pitch you should shortly present your solution and value proposition (keep it short since our mentors already have a basic overview about your concept), introduce your team and explain your use case for Raiffeisen (How could a potential cooperation with RBI look like from your point of view?). In the Q&A session our mentors will ask their open questions.
  3. After the video pitches, the Elevator Lab finalists will be selected to come to the finalist days in Vienna (October). During the finalist days you will work together with our experienced mentors in defining the potential pilot project with Raiffeisen and you will get coaching by experts from the startup industry. At the end of the finalist days you will pitch the result of the 1:1 mentor-startup session and the Innovation Board, chaired by our CEO, Johann Strobl, will decide upon the participants for the Elevator Lab Partnership Program.

During the selection process we will place great emphasis on the following criteria: your solution/product, your team, market potential & scalability and your proposed use case for Raiffeisen.

About the acceleration process

After the finalist days, when you have been selected as participant of the Elevator Lab Partnership Program, you will get onboarded and start to work on your proof-of-concept (PoC) together with our mentors. During weekly calls and monthly personal meetings, you will get the opportunity to develop a product for RBI Group or its customers, get feedback from our mentors and test it through the IT sandbox and together with test clients. After 5 months of hard work you will pitch the result of your PoC at the Demo Day of Elevator Lab.

Together with experts from RBI head office and/or local Raiffeisen bank mentors you will scope the pilot project. Your work will be ordered by RBI and covered out of the pilot project budget. This way, for the duration of the pilot project you are becoming a vendor to us.

The pilot projects are covered out of a dedicated PoC fund, which will be divided through all participants of the Elevator Lab program.

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Location and Living

If you’re accepted into the Elevator Lab Partnership Program, we cover travel and accommodation (flight & hotel) for up to two persons per startup for the Elevator Lab hosted events. Flights and hotel will be organized by us.

No, it is not required that you are based in Vienna, since Elevator Lab is a virtual program and is structured in modules with compulsory attendance. We are convinced that you will benefit from the close cooperation with other startups, experts from RBI and your mentors here in Vienna. By the

Travel and accommodation (flight & hotel) of the finalists and the participants for the Elevator Lab hosted events are covered by the program for two people per startup.