FAQ Partnership Program

About the Elevator Lab Partnership Program

Elevator Lab is a leading Fintech Partnership Program powered by Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) and its subsidiaries to jointly develop scalable business cases and enable international growth. It is a four-month 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.

In 2020 the Elevator Lab Partnership Program consists of several tracks, each track has a different timeline and searches for fintechs in different areas. The tracks will be hosted by different Raiffeisen banks within our CEE network, being the starting point for your expansion into this region.

Once selected to take part in a Partnership Program track, as a fintech you will have the opportunity to work together with international leading experts on a proof-of-concept in order to further develop your business solution. During the program the jointly developed solution/product will 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 customers from 14 CEE countries as well as Austria, working on a pilot project together with experts from different fields of business within RBI Group, access to our API Marketplace (with open APIs from more than 8 countries) and a dedicated PoC fund.

In 2020, several topic tracks of the Elevator Lab Partnership Program are offered, each with its own timeline. Irrespective of the topic track, the Elevator Lab Partnership Program consists of three phases:

  1. Application phase: open for new applications for approx. 4 weeks
  2. Selection phase: consists of three selection steps – screening phase, video pitches (both remote) and finalist days (in person either in Vienna or in one of our CEE subsidiary banks)
  3. Acceleration phase: starting with the onboarding after the finalist days and lasting approx. four months; the heart of the acceleration phase is the pilot project; in the course of  which you will have weekly calls with your mentors, regular 1:1 sessions in person with your mentors where you will work further on the PoC and the chance to test your solution with real clients

Each track of the Elevator Lab Partnership Program has an individual timeline, for detailed timelines please take a look at: https://elevator-lab.com/partnership-program/

  • Analytics & Loyalty Solutions for Companies
    Raiffeisen Bank Bulgaria & Raiffeisen Bank Romania

Raiffeisen Bank Bulgaria & Raiffeisen Bank Romania are looking for innovative solutions for their SME and corporate clients within the fields of advanced analytics and loyalty solutions. Possible advanced analytics use cases include churn and sales signals based on transactional data, data enrichment and risk profiling of clients. For the field of loyalty, B2B2C value chains, loyalty platforms and loyalty management technologies are some of the topics of interest.

  • Bank as a platform
    Tatra banka Slovakia

Tatra banka Slovakia is looking for fintechs that leverage open banking, with a special focus on bank as a platform, to implement new offerings that go beyond traditional financial services.

  • Digital Payments
    Priorbank Belarus 

Priorbank Belarus is searching for innovative solutions in the field of digital payments, to expand their offerings to their customers.

  • Value added Services for Large Corporates
    Raiffeisen Bank International Austria

Raiffeisen Bank International Austria want to expand their offerings to business customers through new value-added services in the fields of cash and treasury management, expense management and risk management.

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 (your 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 by clicking on the “apply now” button on our website or social media. You will be redirected to the RBI Fintech Database, which is our tool with which we are managing all our fintech contacts. Once there, you’re only 3 small steps away from applying:

  1.  Sign up your fintech
  2.  Fill out your fintech’s details and upload your pitchdeck
  3.  Apply for the Elevator Lab (select your program of choice and place your application)

That’s it! Your application is placed and you will receive a confirmation e-mail. The Elevator Lab mentors will now start screening and evaluating your application.

If you have further questions during the registration or application process do not hesitate to contact us: startups@rbinternational.com

You have a fintech startup and want to get in touch with RBI Group? Take the first step and register on RBI’s Fintech Database even if there is no open call for applications. The fintech database is the tool with which we’re managing all fintech contacts. You can create a profile of your fintech and upload your pitch deck, we constantly screen new registrations and will get back to you by e-mail.

Simply by registering to the RBI Fintech Database you will have the following benefits:

  • Visibility to several banking experts & fintech managers across all our 13 banks within RBI Group in CEE and Austria
  • Get informed automatically about open calls for Elevator Lab
  • Get contacted in case of on-demand PoCs taking place additionally to Elevator Lab initiatives
  • Exposure to Elevator Ventures, RBI’s venture capital entity

Your registration and application via the RBI Fintech Database 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 fintech database, 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: 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 the Partnership Program’s tracks are looking for (details mentioned under https://elevator-lab.com/partnership-program/). 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 or CEE countries outside of the EU. Should you be accepted into the Elevator Lab, we may assist you with the organization of required documents.

Please feel free to apply for the Elevator Lab again, even if you were not chosen to take part in the program in the previous years since strategic focus and/or timing may have changed. In case you have already submitted an application in previous years you already have a profile on our RBI Fintech Database which makes the application process even more convenient:

  1.  Login at the RBI Fintech Database (rbi-fintechdatabase.com/login)
  2.  Update your fintech’s details and upload a new pitchdeck (if needed)
  3.  Apply for the Elevator Lab (select your program of choice and place your application)

If another team member registered your fintech in the previous years and you cannot log in to your fintech’s profile anymore, please contact us at: startups@rbinternational.com

About the selection process

The selection consists of a three-step process:

  1.  After your application has been submitted via the RBI Fintech Database, our Elevator Lab mentors will screen and evaluate your application based on the information you provided us with.
  2.  Shortlisted candidates (semi-finalists) will then be invited for a video pitching session via Microsoft Teams. 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 invited to the finalist days to one of our Raiffeisen Banks within CEE or to the head office in Vienna. During the finalist days you will work together with our experienced mentors in defining the scope of the potential pilot project with Raiffeisen. At the end of the finalist days you will pitch the PoC to the Innovation Board/ Jury, who will decide upon the participant for the respective track of 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 regular 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 together with real test clients.

After 4-5 months of hard work you will pitch the result of your PoC at our Demo Day.

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.

Location and Living

No, it is not required that you are based in the city your pilot project is taking place, since Elevator Lab is a virtual program.

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 personal meetings/events taking place in the respective cities in CEE or Vienna. Once accepted into the program you will get more details regarding the organization of flights & hotel.