All Plug and Play’s accelerators worldwide follow their own business model: they do not take any equity from the startups, instead, they match large companies with startups focusing on a specific vertical. The same principle will be applied in Plug and Play’s newly launched accelerator "Plug and Play Fintech"in Paris. The accelerator was opened following the partnership between Plug and Play, one of the largest accelerator in the world based in Silicon Valley and French bank BNP Paribas in 2016.
“At BNP Paribas, we believe in open innovation as a strong driver to transform ourselves towards building the bank of the future and providing our customers with high-value products and services, says Jacques d’Estais, Group Deputy COO, “This goes through developing Fintech incubation and acceleration ecosystems in Europe, the USA and Asia. This new step in our partnership with Plug and Play will complement our current programs, such as the Fintech and Corporate Accelerator by l’Atelier BNP Paribas.”
Held twice a year, the accelerator offers a three months Fintech and Insurtech acceleration program to startups from across the globe. The main objective of the program is to identify potential opportunities of running joints pilot with BNP Paribas and to gain access to the global network of Plug & play.
Working closely with one of the top 10 banks of the world
The first batch of startups to join the accelerator in Paris has been selected. Among them is the Zurich based startup Sonect. Sonect offers a platform which allows anyone to withdraw cash from any neighbourhood store, restaurant or delivery service by using a smartphone. This decentralized cash distribution model is also interesting for banks because it not only helps banks to reduce their operational costs but also enables them offer their customers an additional service. Moreover, this innovation reduces the gap between the digital and physical worlds.
“It was a proud moment for team SONECT to get an opportunity to work closely with one of the top 10 banks in the world. With big banks putting in serious consideration towards the democratization of financial services, this selection affirms our belief in how a service such as ours can help banks towards a digital future”, says Sandipan Chakraborty, Co-founder and CEO of Sonect.
Startups will further benefit from a wide range of services offered by BNP Paribas. These include:
- Business plan coaching
- Business development opportunities
- Fundraising opportunities
- BNP Paribas’ business relationship manager support
- Plug and Play mentorship
- Networking events and numerous speaker series