Techcelerator, the most active accelerator in Romania for technology startups, launches a new edition of NEXT Fintech, the acceleration program developed with the support of Google for Startups, GapMinder VC, Stripe, Seedblink, TechAngels, RoFintech Association, Romania Tech Startups Association - ROTSA.
Up to 10 growing Fintech and SaaS start-ups will be selected, with MVPs ready to launch or in beta testing. Start-ups must present feasible digital products with a validated market need and potential for rapid expansion into international markets. In addition, start-ups must have a solid team, passionate and capable of execution.
The program will run between January 25th - March 25th and will include 10 intensive mentoring modules: sales, matchmaking with financial institutions in the region, product marketing, strategies for transitioning to the international market and preparation to attract investment, matchmaking with investors, and investment funds.
The mentoring modules will be held by over 20 regional and global mentors - experts and investors in banking, business development, representatives of global technology providers, FinTech unicorns in Europe – including Radu Cătălin Ionescu - Director of Product Management at Mastercard, Dragoș Ciobanu - Tech and Digital Client Segment Head for CE Cluster, Citi Commercial Bank, Suleiman Arabiat - Senior Investment Manager, Elevator Ventures, Sergiu Negut - Co-founder Fintech OS, Mike Parsons - CEO Qualitance, Irina Nicoleta Scarlat - Chief Growth Officer, Bitpanda, Petr Baron - CEO TBI Bank, Alexandru Bita - Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Libra Internet Bank.
Thus, NEXT Fintech becomes the most extensive program of boot camps and workshops that offers mentoring to start-ups, starting from customer discovery/identification and understanding of the target market to sealing trade partnerships and attracting financing. Participating start-ups will have the opportunity to establish partnerships with regional and global banks and fintech and technology players.
During the program, startups with commercial traction will be presented to the program investment partners to attract rounds of pre-Seed and Seed investments.
“SEE’s robust technical talent pool, combined with its rapidly evolving economies, is a fertile ground for fintech startups. We have witnessed the emergence of many sophisticated tech businesses out of the SEE, that in turn incentivized the emergence of local VCs, and attracted VCs from around the world to tap into the SEE. Elevator Ventures with RBI’s network works to enable the internationalization of these fintechs. From the region, for the region. Despite being a young fund, we’ve already had one exit, a testament to the region, and a valid reason to double-down on it. Such programs are tried-and-proven in distilling talented entrepreneurs into the VC pipeline, and, eventually into disruptive success stories”, says Suleiman Arabiat, Senior Investment Manager, Elevator Ventures, program mentor.
”Citi’s engagement with fintechs is significant and growing. Fintechs offer expertise in advanced digital solutions and the agile work environment needed to build successful digital enterprises. At the same time, fintechs can benefit from the legacy of experience and robust global network that Citi brings to the table, along with our decades of global business experience. Our goal is to make collaborative partnerships with fintech innovators a triple win: a win for our clients, a win for our partners, and, ultimately, a win for Citi”, says Dragoș Ciobanu,Tech and Digital Client Segment Head for CE Cluster, Citi Commercial Bank.
”Financial innovation generates significant opportunities for society, stimulating the development of new financial products and services, new ways of working and, at the same time, new means of communication with customers and consumers. Fintechs have become a driver of financial innovation, thus helping companies to remain competitive and relevant. Mastercard is recognized as the preferred partner of fintech in Europe, supporting their growth to the next level through the Mastercard Accelerate platform and the four associated programs: Fintech Express, Start Path, Engage, and Developers. Techcelerator provides a valuable platform for the local startup ecosystem and for the advancement of digitalization and I am glad to support, as a mentor, the projects that are part of the program”, says Radu Cătălin Ionescu, Director of Product Management, Mastercard.
NextFintech aims to provide support to Fintech and SaaS startups so that they can scale their business through strategic partnerships, meet investors in the region, reach the hyper-growth stage and meet with regulators and with financial representatives.