About the Elevator Lab Challenges

What is the Elevator Lab Challenge?

Seven RBI network banks – Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Romania, Russia and Slovakia – offer start-ups in local fintech ecosystems the opportunity to apply to their local Elevator Lab Challenge. The Elevator Lab Challenge is the best way to get in contact with your local Raiffeisen Bank and is a fast track to the group-wide accelerator program. Each Challenge cooperates with partners from their own local start-up ecosystem and offers their own prizes for the Challenge winners. More details can be found on the respective website of each local Elevator Lab Challenge.

What is the benefit of applying to one of the Elevator Lab Challenges?

Elevator Lab Challenges are the best way to get in contact with your local Raiffeisen Bank and a fast track to the group-wide accelerator program. At the winner ceremony in your country, a “local hero” and a “RBI global talent” will be identified. For both winners there will be country-specific prizes (e.g. prize money, travels, local media coverage…). The winner of the category “RBI global talent” will be invited to a start-up workshop in Vienna, receives a „wild card“ to the semi-finals of the group-wide Elevator Lab acceleration program and therefore has the chance to be selected for a group-wide pilot project within RBI Group.

Do you only support start-ups in banking and finance?

No, the Elevator Lab supports all start-ups with technologies, solutions or services that might be used in banking and finance. Please refer in your application on how you think your start-up could fit to Raiffeisen.

About the application process

Who can apply for the Elevator Lab Challenge?

The Program is open to every later-stage start-up, with a proven innovative fintech solution and product and sound initial funding. In addition you must be active in one of the areas of Advanced Analytics, RegTech, Corporate Banking, Investing & Trading Tech, New Branch Experience or Open Banking.

Where should I apply?

We recommend applying for the Elevator Lab Challenge in your country of origin in order to assure the best starting position for you (local language, market know-how, scalability …). If you are selected as “RBI global talent” you will skip the group-wide selection process and directly participate in the semi-finals. If there is no Elevator Lab Challenge available in your country, we are happy to receive your application for the group-wide Elevator Lab program.

How does the application process work?

The application process starts with filling out the online application form. In the online application you will introduce your product, the market you are operating in, your team, business model, traction and roadmap to give us an adequate overview of your start-up. Also, you will be asked about your potential use case with RBI Group. After the application is submitted, the Elevator Lab Jury screens and evaluates it.

How detailed do I have to be in my application?

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. If you want to provide us with a business plan, please feel free to do so.

When will I hear back about my application?

We try our best to notify you as soon as possible after our Elevator Lab Jury evaluated all start-up applications. If you could not make it, we’ll also let you know accordingly.

About the selection process

How does the selection process work?

After your application has been submitted onto our online platform, our Elevator Lab Jury will screen and evaluate your application based on the information you provided us with in the application form. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited for a pitching session with Q&A.

What are the criteria the start-up selection is based on?

Elevator Lab is looking for start-ups with proven innovative fintech products and technologies. 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!

What is the role of the Elevator Lab jury?

The Elevator Lab Jury consists of carefully selected executives out of your local Raiffeisen Bank, leading experts from other industries and from your local start-up ecosystem. The Jury screens and evaluates your application and provides you with valuable feedback at the pitching session.