The press likes to write about the complex relationship between banks and fintech companies. Are they friends or enemies? It depends, so they are just “Frenemies”.
Instead of digging into this debate, I would like to talk about the friendly side of this relationship: incubator and accelerator programs led by banks.
Besides money, fintech business owners look for efficiency in their operations and opportunities to make their business grow, especially when they are at early stage. With the incubator and accelerator programs, banks become the “partner” who trains, mentors, tests, funds and supports young fintech companies.
Banks have expertise with solid departments dealing with matters where fintech startups are still learning (for example; time management, marketing research, financial planning, governance and regulations).
Let’s be aware banks also represent money. They can be future direct investors or can introduce influential capitalist people and seed investors. On the other hand, they can also become future customers with a national or even international scope.
Banks environment is the best “test kitchen”. As a fellow of an incubator/accelerator program, you will be surrounded by different type of populations ready to test your prototypes and give relevant feedbacks to improve your products.
Finally, networking is key as always. During the entire incubator / accelerator program, the fellow will be in contact with several executives from the bank but also to their network. Moreover, banks select exclusive mentors from the own organization or from the startup environment to go along the fellows during this process. Let’s remember that after the closing of the program, a fellow can always contact them for other matters and may be new opportunities can emerge.
These initiatives are quite famous among big international banks in the US, Europe and Asia. But, what is happening in Brazil?
Bradesco, one of the top banks of the country was the pioneer in Brazil to get involved in the startup world. The bank opened its doors to confront the challenges of innovation and digital revolution. Thus, it launched in 2014 the first edition of InovaBra, an accelerator program with duration of 10 months. In its first edition, 8 companies were selected out of 553 applicants. Today these companies are doing business with the bank. Some of them as Queroquitar.com.br and Qranio.com are also disrupting the current Brazilian startup ecosystem.
After these successful and inspiring stories, now it is time for the second edition.
To be part of the program, the applicant doesn’t need to be a startup that offers financial services. InovaBra is looking for disruptive startups with new business models and new user experiences that can be linked to Bradesco environment.
The accelerated startup will follow an integration process since the beginning, being in contact with several divisions of the bank and different levels of management. After that, there will be a process of experimentation and validation of the prototype to finally define the involvement with the bank.
The application for the second edition is already opened and goes until December 22th 2015.
For further information, please go to http://www.inovabra.com.br
As mentioned at the beginning of this text, to be part of an accelerator program led by a bank will be very positive. Only being part of the selection process will bring more experience to the founders, because it will be very competitive.
Entrepreneurs, click on the link and apply!
Investors keep an eye on the companies selected because they will shake the Brazilian ecosystem soon.