Fast Tracking Start-ups – Are you interested?



On Wednesday 14 June 2017, The RCS Group (RCS) hosted the latest Startupbootcamp FastTrack event at BNP Paribas Personal Finance Head Office in Paris. RCS, which is owned by BNP Paribas, one of the largest banks in the world, is South Africa’s most prominent and innovative financial services provider in the retail credit market.

Startupbootcamp is a global startup accelerator that connects top startups from around the world with a mentor network of renowned industry experts, entrepreneurs and major players in banking, insurance, consultancy, leasing and technology. Startupbootcamp aims to identify and develop disruptive startups, particularly in the FinTech/Insurtech industries, that will create the innovative technologies that will build the economy of tomorrow.

RCS partnered with Startupbootcamp Africa as a key sponsor earlier this year and hosted Startupbootcamp’s first Cape Town-based FastTrack event at their head office in Cape Town in May. The success of the Cape Town event inspired RCS to host the next FastTrack session at their Paris Head Office with the view to introducing the Startupbootcamp initiative to their global network.

BNP Paribas PF SUN Region CEO Benoit Cavelier says, “At BNP Paribas Personal Finance we have positioned ourselves as the bank for a changing world. Innovation is thus at the forefront of everything that we do. It is through innovation that we will come to greater solutions to serve our partners and customers. We are excited to have partnered with this global initiative and are certainly impressed with the talent that the Paris FastTrack event revealed.”

Startups from across Europe attended the Startupbootcamp sessions in Paris last week, where they presented their ideas to the business and the Startupbootcamp Africa team. Startups participated in a five-minute pitching process where they each had the opportunity to present their unique business models to a group of mentors. Thereafter the mentors provided consolidated feedback in one-on-one sessions.

Natacha Baumann, the Head of Innovation and Transformation at BNP Paribas Personal Finance for South Africa, the UK, the Nordics, Belgium and Germany, adds: “We are engaging in various open innovation initiatives around the world, which is part of our transformation strategy. BNP Paribas Personal Finance is looking for innovative technologies to enhance the customer experience and to improve systems and processes. We are thrilled about the recent partnership with Startupbootcamp and look forward to a continued willingness to boost the cooperation with startups, that will in turn help to leverage the vast potential of the African continent.”

Startupbootcamp Cape Town will now begin its process of selecting the 10 most promising teams from a pool of hundreds of applications. Each team will receive EUR 15,000, 100+ highly engaged mentors from the FinTech, InsurTech and RegTech industries, free office space, a convertible note, access to funding and a network of industry partners, investors and venture capital firms. The three-month programme will kick off in September 2017.

Paul Nel of Startupbootcamp Cape Town said of the experience in Paris: “It was a great session with a diverse selection of startups in robo advisory, cyber security, investments, payments, digital banking and machine learning. Mentor participation was also cross-sector including corporate, VC, and entrepreneurial. In particular, there was great interest in Cape Town as a destination for an accelerator!”

As a leader in innovation itself, RCS is committed not only to the continuous search for new ideas and solutions that will define the future of financial services institutions, but also to collaborating and building partnerships with fledgling entrepreneurs to develop untapped talent. RCS believes in the potential of the African continent as the source of a new wave of technological innovation.

Three regional FastTrack events will be held in South Africa over the next three weeks. The first will take place in Johannesburg on 29 June, the next in Durban on 4 July and a third in Cape Town on 7 July.

Released by Moon Walk Communications
Account Director
Jan Moorhouse
087 231 1210