from left: Berthold Baurek-Karlic (Venionaire Capital), Hannes Cizek (RZB Group), Jörg Skornschek und Daniel Strieder (Cashpresso), Michael Höllerer (Executive Board RZB Group), Paul Kaiser (RLB Oberösterreich). © RZB Group
Raiffeisen Zentralbank AG (RZB Group) selected Cashpresso as the winner of its “Innovation to Company Startup Challenge”. Cashpresso offers its customers a quick and easy way to borrow money via mobile phone. The Viennese FinTech receives an innovation bonus of 10.000 Euros and – even more beneficial – Raiffeisen is offering the startup a long-term cooperation. This is for both sides a win situation: “While traditional banks profit from the dynamics of FinTechs, they need on the other hand the know-how, data and systems of big banks to scale their product and services”, says Michael Höllerer, a member of the RZB Group executive board and responsible for digitalisation and innovation. Raiffeisen will present the results of this cooperation in the second half of 2017.
Second places go to Blue Code and purchased.at
Besides Cashpresso, the Austrian startups Blue Code and purchased.at [Update 2019: purchased is no longer in business] were invited to the final pitch at the RZB Group headquarter. Blue Code is offering a payment method for smartphones while purchased.at is a payment solution for merchants of digital goods. Our CEO Berthold Baurek-Karlic mentored all three startups, helping them to prepare for the pitch. As operative deal flow and analyst partner of “Innovation to Company”, Venionaire identified and analyzed for RZB Group more than 87 startups in Europe with a focus on payment solutions. The startup challenge was the first milestone for Raiffeisen in its corporate startup engagement strategy. The bank is now developing its own accelerator program, which will have certainly a huge impact on the Austrian startup ecosystem.
Innovation to Company
Innovation to Company is Europe’s biggest Corporate Innovation Challenge: RZB Group, A1, AccorHotels, Microsoft, New Frontier Group, Post, and Verbund invited startups to work with them on specific challenges. The aim of this initiative is to merge the innovation strength of startups, with international networks, strong market positions and the financial power of large corporations.