TechHub Riga and Rietumu bank invite FinTech startups from all over the world to join their challenge and win €5,000 on April 28th in Riga. The contest is open to startups at any stage and defines FinTech rather broadly – any startup developing a solution for finance sector and improving any type of money operations can apply by Apr 3 here.
The organizers have taken care of a mentor pool well-versed in finance, banking, startups and entrepreneurship. Their flagship mentor is Roy Vella, the Managing Director at Vella Ventures Ltd. and Stanford graduate. Throughout his career Roy has developed competences in entrepreneurship and VC, helping creating teams, operating new digital services, delivering remarkable user experiences and generating substantial revenue across multiple countries. Other mentors include Jevgenijs Djugajevs (VP at Rietumu Bank), Viesturs Sosars (CEO at Real Sound Lab and Business Angel), Aigars Macins (Technical Evangelist at Microsoft), Karlis Andersons (Business Development Manager at Eegloo business lab), Jevgenijs Kazanins (Chief Marketing Office at Bondora). TechHub promises that there are ‘many more [mentors] to come’.
The final pitch competition taking place at the end of the day will be judged by Roy Vella, Renat Lokomet (Senior VP at Rietumu bank), Maris Dagis (Co-founder and CEO at Sellfy) and Brendan Murphy (Deputy Chairman at Rietumu bank). The winner will be awarded €5,000 by Rietumu bank.
With the growing number of all-purpose accelerators around the world, industry-specific support programmes are becoming more and more popular as they create value for both entrepreneurs and industry players. FinTech is particularly young in this respect, with world’s first programme launched in 2013 by Fintech Innovation Lab in London, qucikly expanding to other global financial centres like NYC, Hong Kong, Dublin.
Riga has a unique position as a regional financial centre with impressive 22.5 bank branches per capita for the population of just below 2 million. Competitive advantage of many of these banks is serving as a financial bridge between Russia and CIS and the West. Local workforce has excellent command of both English and Russian. Coupled with relative security ensured by EU membership, this makes Riga an attractive destination for Russian-speaking investors and wealthy individuals seeking to hold their funds in a more stable environment.
Rietumu bank is among the biggest players in the scene with €71.5 million audited profit for the last year. For a fintech startup the greatest value from taking part in the competition may not be the €5,000 prize money, but rather the experience, network and market access that Rietumu can provide.