2019 BAI Global Innovation Award Finalists
In 2018, Alior Bank started a comprehensive accelerator program, RBL_START, to identify innovative banking startups that could provide solutions to the bank’s real business challenges. Eight companies were accepted to the first 15-week program, during which participants received support from experienced mentors, both from the bank and from highly regarded program partners. As a result of the program, the chosen startups have been qualified to work on pilot projects of their solutions. Program activities were aimed at providing startups with necessary knowledge and enabling verification of their concepts in practice. RBL_START has already opened a recruitment process for the second edition, this time seeking for startups which offer solutions in the areas of security, data analysis and client loyalty, among others.
D10X is a global program that encourages internal entrepreneurship by empowering Citi employees to build, test and launch new solutions that are exponentially better for its clients. The entrepreneurs are encouraged to identify critical problems faced by Citi clients and explore innovative ways to solve those problems, to ultimately help businesses and communities thrive in a world of societal change and technological advancement. By leveraging foundational concepts like Lean Startup Methodology and Design Thinking, Citi realized its employees could be unleashed to create ideas that, when nurtured, could become just as powerful as the products and companies it was investing in.
Powered with its mission to fuel to the economy, Isbank sponsored a comprehensive entrepreneurship program – Workup – in 2017, in order to both support the newly forming startup ecosystem and to create value to the bank. The vision is straightforward – provide guidance and support to new generation, technology based, sustainable and scalable startups while learning about shifting customer preferences and new methods to create value. In two years, Workup has become one of the highest ranked entrepreneurship programs in Turkey. Startups have substantially increased their customer base, received investment and more importantly contributed to trigger the cultural change within the bank to make collaboration with startups a new way of doing business.
Royal Bank of Canada’s subsidiary, RBC Ventures, launched a corporate accelerator called RBC Reach with the goal of driving innovation at RBC. It aims to help high-impact startups grow and provide an easier path for startups to do business with RBC, while creating unique products and services that Canadians will love. RBC Reach is delivered in partnership with Highline BETA, a startup co-creation company. The first six-month cohort, which was launched in November 2018, was focused in the small business space. As a result of RBC Reach, RBC has built new relationships, offered new products to clients and employees, and continued to grow its brand equity within the startup community.
Woodforest National Bank’s Woodforest Foundry gives entrepreneurs and “wantrapreneurs” the freedom to create, collaborate, test, iterate, launch and grow ideas in a safe space. Programming starts with open community events that demystify entrepreneurship through candid conversations with successful entrepreneurs from the community. Eventually, entrepreneurs test and validate their ideas in a cohort of their peers, successful small business owners and other professionals who provide mentorship and trusted guidance. WNB recently launched new Foundry locations and plans to expand elements of its educational programming at WNB branches throughout its entire 17-state footprint in 2019.