Our Catapult Accelerator Programs are a series of educational bootcamps powered by the LHoFT in collaboration with our vibrant community. These programs are specifically designed to harness the expertise and experience of the Luxembourg financial services and entrepreneurial ecosystem to accelerate growth in diverse Fintech fields, including financial inclusion and early-stage businesses. Our programs are intensive yet highly rewarding, delivered over a period of weeks rather than months, distinguishing us from other accelerator programs. As alumni of our programs, participants receive ongoing support from the LHoFT, ensuring long-lasting assistance as they continue to grow.
Catapult: Inclusion Africa is a one-week bootcamp held at the LHoFT’s innovation hub in Luxembourg. This program is sponsored by Luxembourg’s Directorate of Development Aid and Humanitarian Affairs, with support from numerous partners in the financial services and microfinance sectors, including ADA, Infine, AFI, and the Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund.
The program, conducted once a year, accommodates 10-12 participant Fintech firms. In 2022, we received 400 applications from firms interested in joining the program. Regardless of the headquarters of the selected firms, the LHoFT covers the travel and accommodation expenses associated with participating in the program.
At the LHoFT Foundation, we strongly believe that financial technology plays a crucial role in advancing financial inclusion by empowering marginalized groups left behind by traditional financial systems. Whether it’s providing financing for rural farmers, offering point-of-sale technology for underbanked merchants, or developing specialized insurance products, entrepreneurial efforts are making a positive impact and improving lives worldwide.
In Africa, accessing financial services remains a pressing issue. In collaboration with the Directorate of Development and Humanitarian Affairs, the LHoFT is dedicated to supporting Fintech firms that aim to create a meaningful impact on financial inclusion within the continent. Luxembourg, as the European leader in responsible investment fund assets with 31% of funds and 39% of all assets under management, boasts an extensive ecosystem of supporting initiatives and institutions.
The Luxembourg government is committed to eradicating extreme poverty and promoting sustainable development.
Catapult: Kickstarter is a dynamic two-week bootcamp designed for early-stage Fintech firms. The program takes place partially online and also on-site at the LHoFT’s innovation hub in Luxembourg. It is sponsored by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Economy, with robust support from partners in the financial services and Fintech sectors. Participants in this program have the unique opportunity to connect with industry leaders, investors, and founders, gaining valuable insights and knowledge.
Conducted twice a year, each cohort of Catapult: Kickstarter accommodates 10 promising Fintech firms. Selected participants typically have a strong affinity with Luxembourg’s financial center and focus on delivering innovative solutions related to Regtech, Fundtech, Insurtech, Greentech, Cybersecurity, or Payments. These solutions leverage cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, AI, and big data analytics. At the end of each program, all participants present their pitches to a jury. Among the 10 participants, 50% or five of them will be chosen as Laureates, earning the opportunity to receive up to €50,000 in subsidies upon establishing a subsidiary in Luxembourg.
In alignment with the LHoFT’s mission to ensure the future competitiveness of Luxembourg’s financial services industry, as well as the national strategic focus on fostering a thriving startup ecosystem, the Catapult: Kickstarter program aims to leverage the interconnected and accessible financial services ecosystem in Luxembourg. We also harness the expertise and experience available within our center.
Through this program, our objective is to support the development of Fintech solutions that deliver significant value to industry stakeholders while offering promising growth opportunities to emerging technology companies.
Many participants in the program, regardless of whether they secure subsidies, often establish valuable partnerships with one or more Luxembourg institutions through the connections made during the bootcamp.
These partnerships frequently lead to Proof of Concept (PoC) agreements, further propelling the growth of the participating companies