Building on the successful Fincluders Startup Competitions in Berlin and Amman, the EFSE and SANAD funds with their partners (Finance in Motion, Village Capital, Luxembourg House of Financial Technology) developed Fincluders Bootcamp 2017 — a unique investment readiness program designed for entrepreneurs offering inclusive financial products to underserved demographics.
After two weeks of intensive work in Luxembourg and Frankfurt, here are the bootcamp highlights:
“Fintech is really going to change the way financial services work across the world, and we need to boost that” — Mary Joseph
The Fincluders Bootcamp brought together 12 brilliant startups from different corners of the globe, each tackling challenges of financial inclusion, and offered a tailored program of intensive mentoring, coaching, peer to peer learning, targeted networking and exposure. Shortly after arriving in Luxembourg, Mary Joseph, Director of Partnerships at FarmDrive set the tone for the week: “Fintech is really going to change the way financial services work across the world, and we need to boost that”.
The first week of the program in Luxembourg covered a range of topics, including business model mapping, peer due diligence process, customer centricity, investability and financial narratives. In addition to the formal sessions, startups and mentors spent many late nights discussing their unique challenges and broader industry trends.
Lino Pujol, Co-Founder of Quotanda, commented: “We had a lot of contact with mentors and peer companies from other parts of the world, so we can learn about their needs and the solutions they are providing in other places that are interesting to us.”
October, 26th was the key event of the week in Luxembourg with the mock board meeting session, where startups and mentors simulated some typical challenges, and ask some tough questions. The day ended with a busy networking event where each startup gave a brief pitch, and mixed with representatives from the Luxembourg ecosystem.
Representatives of the Luxembourg ecosystem watch the pitches
The success of the program in Luxembourg was down to the incredible support of so many mentors and experts (representing Governance.io, BCEE, Infrachain, Société Générale, Bonn Steichen & Partners, CGAP, BGL BNP Paribas and LuxFLAG) who shared their wisdom and enthusiasm for tackling financial inclusion problems.
Daniel Bloch, CEO of SESO, summarized his experience: “I met a lot of great companies working on other game changing solutions. It was also great to see Luxembourg — now my favorite country in Europe.”
Daniel Bloch, CEO of SESO
On the 28th of October, the participants of the Fincluders Bootcamp moved from Luxembourg to TechQuartier in Frankfurt, where the program continued for one more week, discussing in-depth business model mapping and growth strategy and conducting mutual evaluations.
The bootcamp ended on November 2nd with final advisory meetings, including potential customers and strategic partners, where the startups received input on the strategic challenges they face related to sales, partnerships, and customer acquisition. Building on all of the feedback and insight received up to that point, each then gave a final pitch.
Mehmet Memecan, Managing Partner of Tarfin, shared what he thought was the most valuable component: “We like all of the Fincluders events, first and foremost for the synergies that we end up building with the other startups. There’s lots of ideas transferred, and lots of new ideas being developed.”
Mehmet Memecan, Managing Partner of Tarfin
“In this space we have 12 co-founders who are extremely brilliant, who know their space, know what they are talking about, and can help you succeed. We are here to succeed, and to also help others succeed.”