Solving real business problems through Colab FinTech, an innovation program for mature markets

Solving real business problems through Colab FinTech, an innovation program for mature markets


Colab is an innovation program for mature markets. It provides established industry players in Financial Services with early access to relevant growth stage companies. Through a theme-based approach, Colab is designed to equip corporates in mature FinTech markets, such as London and New York, with the capability to create engagement and solve real business problems.

The program was launched in 2017, and following an initial validation period in early 2018, Colab will continue to operate under the SBC (Startupbootcamp) brand to offer a consistent migration path for corporate partners, and a clear value proposition for growth stage companies, at different stages of their maturity.

Colab was created by the founders of Startupbootcamp FinTech, and powered by a global network of entrepreneurs, partners and mentors, Colab brings together enterprise-ready businesses, industry leading companies, investors and mentors.

Young FinTech companies remain relevant for innovation across financial services, and a growing number of established players engage with FinTech businesses via hackathons, accelerators, labs and competitions. However, some markets are experiencing ‘accelerator fatigue’ and require a new way of thinking to engage with the startup ecosystem.

Colab is designed to create meaningful engagement and the opportunity for collaborative projects between Financial Services incumbents and FinTech companies.

How does Colab work?

  • Through careful due diligence of both growth stage companies and industry players, it will connect FinTech businesses with proven technology and business models, to the right people within established organisations who are ready for commercial arrangements.
  • The program runs in waves throughout the year with each cycle targeting a different industry theme, working with the partners to determine the theme for each cycle. The themes allow the partners and growth stage companies to tackle specific industry problems of most importance to them.
  • Focused themes allow for deeper insights into specific sectors. Areas that might be explored within the upcoming cycles include: capital markets; regulation; artificial intelligence & machine learning; identity; security; data & analytics; client onboarding and financial wellness.

Colab is supported by leading industry names including Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, Rabobank and Santander, as well as Addleshaw Goddard (UK) and WilmerHale (US) as the program’s legal partners. By working together and learning as part of a trusted peer group, the partners will benefit from: in-depth industry analysis around each theme; proof of concepts (PoCs); pilot projects and collaboration opportunities within the sectors of financial services most relevant to their business.

Mature FinTech markets have been calling out for an innovation program that goes beyond matching two like-minded companies. With Colab, we want to push the industry and provide a model that provides even greater value for both startups and corporates. Our due diligence processes are so important – we are not a matching service. Within a set theme, our analysts will work with the FinTech companies and the corporates to really understand their needs, ensuring that the startups speak to the right people within the right part of an organisation, and have engagement that will ideally lead to a commercial arrangement.